Arts and entertainment news, features and event previews from New Jersey.


Originally published: 11/22/2022

(NEWARK, NJ) – On November 22, 2022, Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced that the City Council has approved $731,505 to fund four empowerment initiatives Newark’s trade corridors and help small businesses recover from the impact 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 economic recovery plan to boost Newark’s economy and provide assistance to communities hardest hit by the pandemic Afford.

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

“Our neighborhood retail corridors are the lifeblood of Newark,” said Allison Ladd, Deputy Mayor for Economic and Housing Development. “The Neighborhood Investment Program will fund real solutions, developed and implemented 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 District); and Partnership West (West Ward) were selected through Requests for Proposals (RFPs), in which applications were solicited from community-based organizations that have historically served Newark neighborhood business districts. Organizations were invited to submit proposals in five areas of neighborhood investment: retail retention and vacancy reduction; physical improvement in public space; events and programming in public spaces; Outreach, engagement and support for small businesses to improve performance; and financial planning and organizational capacity building.

The Evaluation Committee received 13 responses and recommended four for inclusion in the first round of the program. A second round will be announced shortly.

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month. Click here to get more information

The Neighborhood Investment Program uses federal funds from legislation under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and is part of Mayor Baraka’s Just Economic Recovery Plan. In developing the program, the city worked closely with Bloomberg Associates, the pro bono advisory 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;, the IBID’s website; Improved lighting, tree safety and cleaning projects; security camera improvements; building marketing; Administrative and Service Capacity.

Newark Beth Israel Medical Center: South Ward

Bergen-Lyon corridor; Physical improvements in public spaces: improvement of streetscape around Schuyler and Lehigh Ave; Increase business in nearby restaurants: Provide green space in the South Ward; and make the neighborhood more welcoming.

Mt. Prospect Partnership Business Improvement District: North Ward

Grant program to improve the showcase; Shop Small Campaign (connecting with and supporting our local businesses); Safer lane for pedestrians; A more attractive and traffic-calmed trade corridor; greenery and seating.

Partnership West Inc.: West Ward

Attract shoppers to the pop-up retail village: small business owners build temporary stores; branding and advertising to encourage residents/visitors to patronize the stores; A kick-off/closing event featuring local musicians and restaurants providing entertainment and refreshments; A mural crawl event designed to attract individuals.

Advertise with New Jersey Stage for $50-$100 per month. Click here to get more information