The city of Newark announced its first round of awards in support of small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
The $173,100 in funding, announced April 22, was distributed to 21 grantees from a contribution provided by Prudential Financial.
Awards ranged from $2,500 to $10,000 – the maximum – with 14 grantees receiving that high-end amount. Enterprises characterized by the city as “privately held businesses with employees” accounted for the most amount of awards, 10, followed by sole proprietorships with 7 grantees, and franchise business operations with two. The remaining two awards were dispersed to businesses identified as a food or beverage production and retail operation.
Altogether the companies employ a range of 50 to 101 workers.The grants are being offered to provide working capital for operating costs, payroll, accounts payable, inventory, equipment, rent, taxes, licensing and other business-related expenses.
“We didn’t stand by and wait for help from other sources,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said in a prepared statement. “Newark moved immediately to solve our own problems. It is clear from the strong response to this program, that much more funding is needed to meet the need. We are seeking additional public funds, and I call upon other major Newark businesses to join Prudential in contributing to this fund.”
There is $2 million earmarked for the program overall, the city said.
The second round of funding will include grants funded by Newark, in addition to federal and private sources.
To be eligible for the grants, business must have a physical location in Newark, 10 employees or less, and exhibit a loss of income directly related to the current COVID-19 pandemic. If a business owes money to the city, their application will be placed at the bottom of the list, the city said.
Invest Newark, which is also partnering with Audbile and Newark Venture Partners to provide assistance to city-based small businesses applying for other federal, state and local assistance programs, is providing technical assistance for applicants for this program, as well.