To support small businesses devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, NJPRF’s Small Business Initiative will give grants to Grameen America, New Jersey Community Capital, Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation, and Rising Tide Capital, which have long track records in serving women-and-minority owned businesses.
In turn, the four organizations will use the funding to provide access to capital, technical assistance, financial coaching, and education to local businesses that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to this recent contribution, M&T has supported both Rising Tide Capital and New Jersey Community Capital, most recently providing a $1 million loan for the latter’s Garden State Relief Fund.
Additional funds will help to establish NJPRF’s Food Security Program where partner organizations, the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Fulfill NJ, and the Food Bank of South Jersey, will issue grants to ensure small- and medium-sized food pantries and soup kitchens are equipped to address the increased surge in demand amid the pandemic.
Grants between $5,000 and $15,000 will be available to pantries experiencing an increase in demand for emergency food, the need to winterize their outdoor “grab and go” food distribution programs, as well as those in need of expanding their operational capacity.
“Repercussions of the pandemic continue to be felt by the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Alle Ries, regional CRA officer for M&T Bank in New Jersey. “The New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund is working hard to identify where relief is needed most and provide tangible support to our community members in need. In addition to supporting NJPRF in 2020, we also provided $130,000 in emergency COVID-19 grants to support local anti-hunger and health care initiatives.”
Shortly after it was founded in April 2020, NJPRF distributed $1.75 million to nonprofit food organizations throughout the state to help address the immediate economic hardship created by the pandemic. NJPRF also partnered with the state’s largest food banks to raise $550,000 for the purchase and distribution of 3.25 million diapers. From May through June of 2020, NJPRF granted $19.1 million in emergency relief aid to over 430 nonprofit organizations, many of which were food pantries or organizations. To date, NJPRF has committed over $52 million and raised more than $64 million to help those most affected by the pandemic.