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The city of Newark, NJ along with the Brick City Development Corporation (BCDC), an economic development group, Prudential Financial, and New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), a nonproft that provides assistance for housing and community development, today announced the BCDC Newark Fund, a loan fund to support small business growth in the city.

The fund will make loans up to $400,000 to small business owners looking to set up shop in Newark. Loans are available to Newark residents as well as those wanting to head to Newark.

The fund will “enable business to have access to capital and start new businesses,” Lyneir Richardson, CEO of the BCDC said during his opening remarks. He told Madame Noire that restaurants, grocery stories, and companies in other industries have already taken advantage of BCDC assistance. He says the city could use more retail outlets.

Besides providing help for entrepreneurs, the organizations involved with the Fund see it as a way to build Newark’s communities. Lata Reddy, Prudential’s VP of corporate social responsibility, said small businesses, and providing capital to small businesses, is “critical to the economic vitality of the city.” Prudential Financial has been headquartered in Newark for more than 135 years.

“It’s important that small business come to downtown” as well as other neighborhoods, said Wayne Meyer, NJCC president, because they provide “jobs for residents, build wealth, create safe spaces… and are vital to build and stabilize communities.”

The Fund wants to attract, not just small businesses, but minority-owned businesses, and businesses owned by women. Loans can be used for things like inventory, equipment, and real estate purposes. Loan interest rates start at eight percent and last for a maximum of five years. Anyone interested in learning more is asked to contact Ryan Johnson at the BCDC (

Perhaps you’ve never thought of opening your business in Newark. Mayor Cory Booker was on hand to address that.

“In the depths of the worst economy that I’ve ever seen, something powerful is happening in Newark,” he said, adding that the city is experiencing the largest resurgence since the 1950s. The city, he said, has “some of the ripest soil in America for opening a business.”

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