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Photo: NJ FAM Fund Facebook.
Photo: NJ FAM Fund Facebook.

Newark provides “First in the nation” investment to Black and Latino businesses

Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka and Rev. Al Sharpton initially launched the NJ FAM Fund in Sept 2020; now an addition $2 million investment has been announced.

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Black and Latino business owners who reside in Newark are getting a financial boost provided by the New Jersey 40 Acres and a Mule Fund (NJ FAM Fund)

The fund is a privately sourced investment dedicated to giving back to the community and its projects.

The $2 million investment provided by the Newark City Council, will go towards small business owners from diverse backgrounds. The boost will help reduce social and economic differences that people of color face on a daily basis.

“While the racial wealth gap is a major national issue, it especially impacts Newark,” Mayor Baraka said. “Black and Latinx businesses have always faced more roadblocks than their counterparts and the pandemic only made things worse. These investments will be a tremendous tool for them in Newark, and I am incredibly grateful for the generous support of our Municipal Council.”

The money will also go towards different ways of benefiting the city such as, creating more jobs, adding more money to affordable housing, and creating different rehabilitation centers.

Unfortunately, for decades, Newark has been known as a city that lacks financial and educational resources. State scores have been at an all-time low and students are often left behind to fend for themselves educationally.

There are vast wealth disparities in our nation, state, and city between white-owned businesses and Black and Latinx-owned businesses, clearly worsened by the pandemic,” Mayor Baraka said in a statement. “We need to empower our entrepreneurs of color so that they can compete at increasingly higher levels. The Newark 40 Acres and a Mule Fund will bring pride and prosperity to our city as a whole and to our Black and Latinx business community in particular.”

The city is hoping that the private investment fund will be able to change the way that Newark is looked at from the outside world.

Statistics provided by the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice show that the annual median income for Black and Latino families in 2018 was $7,020 and $5,900, while median income for White families was $271,402, making those numbers astronomically different.

Representatives of the Newark 40 Acres and a Mule Fund are hoping that the investments will provide Black and Latino businesses with the right tools in order to increase the numbers in annual income.

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