Officials walk in Newark to kick off Small Business Week

Matthew Fazelpoor//May 3, 2022

Officials walk in Newark to kick off Small Business Week

Matthew Fazelpoor//May 3, 2022

Officials kick off Small Business Week in Newark on May 2, 2022. – OFFICE OF U.S. SEN. BOB MENENDEZ

As a start to National Small Business Week, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.; U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, D-10th District; Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, as well as officials from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) gathered for a Small Business Walk along Newark’s Halsey Street.

For more than 50 years, the first week in May has marked National Small Business Week, celebrating America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

According to U.S. Small Business Administration statistics, small businesses account for 99% of all businesses in New Jersey and employ over 1.9 million people.

“Anyone who has spent time in the halls of congress has heard the common refrain: ‘small businesses are the backbone of our economy.’ It’s repeated so often because it’s true,” said Menendez. “Especially after the past two years, as small businesses across our state and across our country have had to overcome unprecedented challenges, it’s clear: Their success is our success. And it is why it’s so important that we advocate for them through legislation that allows them to adapt, to persist, and to thrive.”

The Small Business Walk included stops at The Walla, BrownMill, Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea, and Halsey Cleaners.

“Small businesses have proven to be the backbone of our economy and Small Business Week is an opportune time for not only Newark, but across the state and country to support local businesses,” said Baraka.

“I am always proud to visit the small businesses in the 10th district, especially during National Small Business Week,” said Payne. “The Halsey Street community has been a vital part of Newark since the city was founded and we must make sure the small businesses located there are supported.”

Added NJEDA Chief Executive Tim Sullivan: “During National Small Business Week, we celebrate the resiliency and tenacity of New Jersey’s small business owners who are doing their part to power our country’s economic comeback in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“New Jersey’s economy thrives when our small businesses succeed, and today’s walk served as a testament to Gov. [Phil] Murphy’s efforts and the federal delegation’s commitment to ensuring our small businesses always have the tools and funding necessary to prosper. Through vital programs like Sustain and Serve and the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Grant, NJEDA was able to help thousands of small businesses across New Jersey keep their lights on and doors open. Seeing NJEDA-supported businesses like Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea, Halsey Street Cleaners, and Burger Walla thriving showcased firsthand the resiliency of New Jersey’s entrepreneurs who are vital components of our state’s economic recovery,” he said.