Newark Alliance launched a community-based eGift Card initiative Dec. 1 to infuse funds into Newark’s small business community.
The eGift Cards can be purchased online and are valid at more than 85 of Newark’s small businesses, including restaurants and retailers.
Cards will be available in denominations of $25, $50, $100 and $250, and as an added perk, Newark-based Prudential Financial donated $25,000 to support a purchase incentive: cards purchased before the funds run out will have a 40% incentive added to the card balance.
While the extra funds expire on Jan. 30, the main denomination does not.
“We are thrilled to launch this initiative in support of our small business community,” said Newark Alliance CEO Evan Weiss. “We are grateful to our corporate anchors for investing in such efforts to advance equitable economic recovery in the City of Newark.”
Purchases made with the eGift Cards will be processed similarly to a regular credit card transaction.
“The small business community is a vital part of our city’s economic engine and reflects the diversity that is Newark,” said Mayor Ras Baraka. “Initiatives like this demonstrate how our small business community and corporate partners come together for our collective well-being. We encourage residents, employees, students, and visitors to support this exciting new program.”
Newark Alliance shared that local independent retailers recirculate 47% of their revenue back into the community, while only 14% of national chains’ revenue stays in the community. Local restaurants recirculate 73% of their revenue back into the community, versus 30% for national chains.
“We are excited to sponsor the Newark Gift Card to benefit and promote small businesses that have demonstrated remarkable resilience and dependable service throughout the pandemic,” said Shané Harris, vice president of inclusive solutions at Prudential Financial and president of The Prudential Foundation. “This effort provides an opportunity for everyone to reconnect with their favorite local businesses in Newark and discover the many new ones that have opened over the past year.”
Similar card programs, operated by Yiftee, have been successful in more than 320 cities and towns, including Detroit, Mich.; Nashville, Tenn.; and Jacksonville, Fla.
“I’m so excited about the Newark Gift Card because of the impact it will have on small businesses like mine,” said Fly, founder and CEO of BossBlendCoffee in Newark’s downtown district. “I opened my café in the middle of the pandemic and we have sustained it simply because of the community shopping local. The Newark Gift Card gives the community the power to do just that – shop where your heart is.”