United Way of Greater Newark awarded $30K grant to help small businesses

Dawn Furnas//November 21, 2022//

United Way of Greater Newark awarded $30K grant to help small businesses

Dawn Furnas//November 21, 2022//

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Santander Bank awarded a $30,000 grant to United Way of Greater Newark to support the Greater Newark Enterprises Corp.’s BackStop Program, which provides training for small business owners. 

In a Nov. 18 statement announcing the grant, UWGN said the BackStop Program offers three yearlong tracks that small businesses can enroll in: Bookkeeping; Building Business Credit; and Branding, Website, and Digital Marketing. 

United Way of Greater Newark is intertwined within the community and understands the needs of those that we serve – including small businesses,” UWGN President and CEO Catherine Wilson said in a statement. “Working with the Greater Newark Enterprises Corp. allows us to provide crucial educational services to enhance sustainability for small businesses in a post-pandemic world.” 

BackStop basics

Bookkeeping track 
  • Comes with a one-year QuickBooks Online License and 50 hours of booking services offered by local firms. 
Building Business Credit track 
  • Provides access to and proper use of Dun and Bradstreet CreditBuilder Basic. 
Branding, Website, and Digital Marketing track 
  • Focuses on website design, social media and educational tools to enhance communications. 
How to apply 
  • The BackStop Program costs $300 for each one-year track. To apply, contact Program Director Al Alvarez at [email protected] or call 973-242-5564. 

During the onset of COVID-19, UWGN offered its Small Business Grants Program and GNEC provided micro-business loans to small businesses. However, UWGN said that 35% of businesses didn’t qualify for assistance because they lacked certain application components. 

UWGN Director of Financial Stability Danielle Corea-Smith said some examples of these gaps included proper financial information or proof of liability insurance. 

“It made me realize there was room for assisting some of these owners with deepening their hard skills in financial management, bookkeeping, and other areas,” Corea-Smith added. “You get a lot of really passionate people that are entrepreneurs or small business owners and sometimes these are the little pieces that can hold them back from achieving their dreams.” 

The BackStop Program was born out of the need to fill these gaps. During the program’s first year, 12 businesses enrolled in the available tracks. 

“At GNEC we understand that running a business is a complicated task, so with the help of UWGN, we’ve designed BackStop to allow entrepreneurs to focus on their strengths while providing experts to help them with back-office tasks that entrepreneurs might not have the skills or time to undertake,” said GNEC Executive Director Victor Salama. “Our three tracks are allowing micro-business owners to survive challenging economic times and start positioning themselves for growth.” 

According to its website, Santander Bank is based in Boston and serves nearly 2 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.