Invest Newark, that city’s economic development corporation, launched the Black Bunker program, designed for minority-owned businesses to navigate the intricacies of government contracting.
The program, according to a Feb. 16 announcement, will help businesses better understand government buyers, how to respond to government solicitations and requests for proposals (RFPs), and how to apply for certifications.
The first Black Bunker session will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 17. All Black Bunker sessions will be conducted virtually via Zoom.
Additionally, Invest Newark is bringing back Financial Fridays.
Beginning Feb. 25, the lunch-and-learn event will focus on tax resolution and tax tips, highlighting how small businesses can become tax compliant. According to the announcement, several Newark businesses missed out on opportunities to apply for COVID-19 emergency funding due to lack of tax documentation. On Financial Fridays, Invest Newark will bring two local accounting firms to help guide these businesses on the basics of taxes, best practices, financial reporting and tax resolution.
In other programming, Invest Newark is continuing its Language of Capital initiative, partnering with local banks to present an eight-week series educating businesses on best practices regarding applying for loans and mortgages, and preparing business plans and strategies. The program is divided into language cohorts; the current cohort is in English, with Valley Bank. The next cohort will be in Spanish, with TD Bank starting in March. And in April, there will be a Portuguese cohort, also with Valley Bank.
This program can benefit businesses that have struggled with language barriers. Businesses that participate in a cohort will be eligible to apply for a Business Development Grant ranging from a third place award of $500 to a first place award of $1,500.
“At Invest Newark, we know that Newark thrives when its businesses thrive. We couldn’t be more excited to launch the Black Bunker program and to bring back Financial Fridays and the Language of Capital programs,” Roy Southerland, interim president and CEO of Invest Newark, said in a prepared statement. “Minority-owned businesses have struggled immensely over the past two years. Newark witnessed a drop of close to $100 million in local consumer spending and a loss of nearly 16,000 jobs. These programs are designed to support local, minority-owned and -run businesses as they recover from the COVID pandemic, and better prepare them for tomorrow’s economy.”
All of Invest Newark events can be found by clicking here.