Newark to invest $10M into fund to support Black and Hispanic-owned businesses
Newark officials announced on Monday that $10 million will be invested into a fund to help support Black and Hispanic-owned businesses in the city to help close the economic wealth gap.
The first-of-its-kind fund has the goal to increase jobs and raise capitalism within those communities. Mayor Ras Baraka says that this is something that is long overdue.
“We need these institutions and financial institutions in the city that make billions of dollars in the footprint of Newark, and along its corridor, to contribute to the wealth and success of the majority of the residents. We need it now,” the mayor says.
Baraka says that New Jersey is one of the wealthiest states in the country, but also has a large racial wealth gap.
“Today, as we begin in Newark to deal with that… we are here trying to find a way to close the wealth gap,” he says.
The New Jersey Institute for Social Justice reports that on average, white families bring home an average income of $309,000, while Hispanic and Black families’ income totals to roughly $7,000 per year.
“There’s a knee on our neck every day,” says the Rev. Al Sharpton. “We are the workers of the unemployed and others take billions out of our communities with no commitments at all to the communities they come out of.”
Newark business owner Winston Rodriguez says that this will help tremendously.
“They gave me one loan and that helped lift me up from the bottom and kept me going,” he says.
Officials say that they hope the fund will build generational wealth in the years to come. Electronic applications will be made available in the next 30 to 60 days.