Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced this additional funding for two emergency initiatives to stabilize Newark’s small businesses and renters. The City of Newark will invest $4 million for small businesses and tenants. The Small Business Grant Fund Round 3 and the Rental Housing Assistance Program Round 2 totals $2 million each. Applications for both programs will be available the week of Dec. 14 at NewarkCOVID.19.com.
“Many of Newark’s small businesses and tenants have been devastated by COVID-19,” Mayor Baraka said. “To help them endure and prosper, we created emergency funds for businesses facing severe hardship as a result of the pandemic and for tenants facing eviction after losing the ability to pay rent. Newark is strong and this initiative is one of the many ways that we are pulling together as a community to fight this pernicious virus and restore our economy.”
Small Business Grant Fund
The Small Business Grant Fund is an initiative of Mayor Baraka to support Newark small businesses financially impacted by COVID-19 and help them to survive the current closure and crisis, retain as many employees as possible, and to adapt and recover. It will be administered by the City’s Department of Economic and Housing Development in partnership with Invest Newark.
Awards under the Small Business Grant Fund will be up to $25,000 with focus on assisting personal services (barber shops, hair salons, nail salons) businesses that employ Newark residents, MWBE businesses, and those that did not receive funding in the earlier round of City grants. Grants in earlier rounds were up to $10,000. Both programs will be available citywide with 25 percent of the small business funds reserved for the hardest hit zip codes (07104, 07105, and 07107).
Rental Assistance Program
The Rental Assistance Program, administered in partnership with the Newark Housing Authority, will provide up to three months of support for local tenants and families facing eviction due to COVID-19. Funds will be paid directly to landlords. To be eligible, household income must be below 60 percent of area median income, and the building must be substantially compliant. A minimum of 50 percent of the funds are reserved for tenants of buildings with four units or less. Free legal assistance may be provided to tenants facing eviction through the City’s Office of Tenant Legal Services.
Baraka held a virtual meeting on how to apply for a small business grant on Zoom and the City of Newark’s Facebook Live on Dec. 8 He will hold a virtual meeting on how to apply for rental assistance on Wednesday, December 16 at 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. also on Zoom and the City of Newark’s Facebook page.