Baraka announces first four organizations to participate in Neighborhood Investment Program

NEWARK, NJ — Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced Nov. 22 that the Newark Municipal Council authorized $731,505 in funding for four initiatives to strengthen Newark’s commercial corridors and help small businesses recover from the effects of COVID-19. The Neighborhood Investment Program, administered by the Department of Economic and Housing Development, is part of the city’s $8.8 million Equitable Economic Recovery Plan to strengthen Newark’s economy and bring aid to communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

“These four initiatives will give our small businesses the support they need to expand their work and ensure that they not only recover, but come back even stronger. They will bring new excitement and attraction to long neglected neighborhood corridors,” Baraka said. “Together the city and experienced community groups are taking another step toward building a post-pandemic equitable future for our neighborhoods.”

“Our neighborhood retail corridors are the lifeblood of Newark,” Deputy Mayor of Economic and Housing Development Allison Ladd said. “The Neighborhood Investment Program will fund real solutions developed and carried out in partnership with community organizations with proven results in their neighborhoods. This is one of the largest investments the city has ever made to support retail corridors.”

The four organizations — Ironbound Business Improvement District in the East Ward, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in the South Ward, Mt. Prospect Partnership in the North Ward and Partnership West in the West Ward — were chosen through a request for proposals seeking applications from community-based organizations with a history of serving neighborhood business districts in Newark. Organizations were invited to submit proposals in five areas of neighborhood investment: retail retention and vacancy reduction; public space physical improvement; events and public space programming; small business outreach, engagement and support to improve performance; and financial planning and organizational capacity building. The evaluation committee received 13 responses and recommended four for inclusion in round one of the program. A second round will be announced soon.