The New Jersey 40 Acres and a Mule Fund, a private investment vehicle to reduce socio-economic disparities that’ve come from systemic racism, is partnering with Local Initiatives Support Corp.’s Black Economic Development Fund to enable co-investment opportunities in New Jersey of as much as $25 million.
LISC is a large, nationwide community development finance institution, and its private fund investment arm LISC Strategic Investments manages the pooled-capital Black Economic Development Fund, which targets investments in Black-led developers, businesses, banks, and anchor institutions to help create generational wealth for Black communities.
“Supporting minority businesses is imperative and we are thrilled to be a part of this partnership and to continue supporting local opportunities,” said George Ashton, managing director, LISC Strategic Investments, in a prepared statement. “The partnership will amplify efforts to improve access to capital for Black businesses and strengthen economic opportunity for Black communities in New Jersey.”
The NJ FAM Fund is a collaboration of eight New Jersey cities including Orange, East Orange, Paterson, Camden, Trenton, Irvington, Atlantic City and Newark. Since launching in 2020, the fund has received hundreds of proposals from local entities seeking funding for projects ranging from real estate development, to local small businesses spanning multiple sectors.
“The growth of the NJ FAM Fund and participation from partners like LISC is a testament to our well-timed focus on meeting the needs of Newark and other communities that have been underserved for far too long,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka in a prepared statement. “This partnership will be a tremendous tool for our business community, and we are incredibly grateful for this generous support.”
According to the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, the median net worth of New Jersey’s white families is $309,000, while the medians for New Jersey’s Latinx and Black families are just $7,020 and $5,900, respectively.
The objective of the NJ FAM Fund is to close these wealth gaps by giving minority business owners access to money and resources.
The LISC partnership follows Bank of America’s May 2021 investment in the NJ FAM Fund.
The fund is co-managed by minority principals in partnership with New Jersey Community Capital, the state’s largest CDFI.
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