March 14, 2022


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Newark, NJ –March 11, 2022 — Mayor Ras J. Baraka today announced the launch of his Neighborhood Investment Program with the release of an $820,000 Request for Proposal (RFP) for initiatives that 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 a critical 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.

“Prior to COVID, some of our neighborhood retail corridors were in need of renovation. This investment will give our small businesses the support they need to expand upon their work and ensure that they not only recover, but come back even stronger,” Mayor Baraka said. “This collaboration of the City and experienced community groups is 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 implemented in partnership with community organizations which know our neighborhoods best. This is one of the largest investments the City has ever made to support retail corridors.”

“Mayor Baraka has kept small businesses and our neighborhood retail districts front and center in his administration, even as COVID has wreaked havoc on small businesses worldwide. He knows exactly what they need, and he delivers,” said Tomilola R. Ogundare, Owner of Mama Afrika Food.

“The nonprofit community development sector with long-standing agencies throughout Newark commends Mayor Baraka’s creation of the Neighborhood Investment Program. Focused on collaborating with local community groups to help stabilize, support and grow commercial corridors is vital to the full and equitable development of neighborhood areas citywide. We appreciate the Mayor’s commitment to working with community groups to forge a collective vision and the reality of an equitable City,” said Richard Cammarieri, Director of Community Engagement for New Community Corporation and Chair of Newark Community Development Network.

Through this RFP, the City is seeking applications from community-based organizations with a history of serving neighborhood business districts in Newark. Organizations may put forward proposals in the following five program 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
  • Financial planning and organizational capacity building

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, which was developed in collaboration with Bloomberg Associates, the pro bono consulting arm of Bloomberg Philanthropies. It works with cities and mayors around the world.

Eligible respondents include, but are not limited to: Special Improvement Districts, Business Improvement Districts, and Community Development Corporations. The City encourages applications that reflect the needs and concerns of the diverse communities that exist throughout Newark. The deadline to apply is Thursday, April 7, at 10:15 a.m.

The RFP can be found here:


For more information on Newark’s Equitable Economic Recovery Plan, please visit

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