(NEWARK, NJ) -- On November 22, 2022, Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced that the 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 (EHD), is part of Mayor Baraka'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," Mayor 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," said Deputy Mayor of Economic and Housing Development Allison Ladd. "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 (East Ward); Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (South Ward); Mt. Prospect Partnership (North Ward); and Partnership West (West Ward) were chosen through Requests for Proposals (RFP) 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.
The Neighborhood Investment Program uses federal funding from the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act legislation and is part of Mayor Baraka's Equitable Economic Recovery Plan. To develop the program, the City worked closely with Bloomberg Associates, the pro bono consulting arm of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which works with cities and mayors around the world.
The Four Neighborhood Investment Initiatives:
Ironbound Business Improvement District: East Ward
Newark Gift Card Program; GoIronbound.com, the IBID's website; Enhanced Lighting, Tree Safety and Cleaning Projects; Security Camera Enhancements; Building Marketing; Administrative & Service Capacity.
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center: South Ward
Bergen Lyons Corridor; Public Space Physical Improvements: Improve streetscape around perimeter of Schuyler and Lehigh Ave; Increase Business Activity at Nearby Eateries: Provide Green Space in the South Ward; and Make Neighborhood More Inviting.
Mt Prospect Partnership Business Improvement District: North Ward
Storefront Improvement Grant Program; Shop Small Campaign (engage with and support our local businesses); Safer Roadway for Pedestrians; A More Engaging and Pedestrianized Commercial Corridor; Greenery and Seating.
Partnership West Inc.: West Ward
Draw Shoppers to The Pop Up Retail Village: Small Business Owners Will Construct Temporary Shops; Branding And Advertising To Encourage Residents/Visitors to Patronize The Shops; A Kickoff/Closing Event with Local Musicians and Restaurants Providing Entertainment And Refreshments; A Mural Crawl Event Designed to Attract Individuals.
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