How Newark is helping small business offset the coronavirus effectk

As New Jersey works around the clock to flatten the curve, its biggest urban center is moving quickly to bolster small businesses.

While Governor Phil Murphy is working to get more ventilators into the state, Newark — which is the largest city in the Garden State — is rolling up its sleeves to help its citizens and beat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re asking all essential businesses to make sure that their employees are safe and that they have masks as well,” Newark’s Mayor Ras Baraka, told Yahoo Finance. 

Along with neighboring townships, new initiatives are going into place to help flatten the curve and make sure it stays that way, Baraka explained. The first priority is to help essential employees who are going to work.

As part of several initiatives, the township is also focused on its senior citizens. Centers are being sterilized several times a day to reduce risk of contamination.

Beyond the concern of Covid-19, helping small businesses has also become a major focus. 

“We have about $6 million dollars that we’re using now to give to small businesses and a $10,000 grant to businesses that were affected by the COVID-19 prices,” Baraka told Yahoo Finance.

“We have also created a kind of transitional or rent subsidy for folks who are homeless or becoming homeless, who have the need to be quarantined or who have symptoms of COVID-19,” he said.

“We’ve been given building owners the opportunity to have a rebate on their tax assessment or reduced tax assessment if they can pass those savings on to the proprietor or to the retail business,” Baraka added.

The mayor highlighted insurance giant Prudential (PRU) as one company that has been helping his administration and small businesses.

Newark has also created a page for citizens to make donations to residents and small businesses.

Nick Monte is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @MontesMayhem

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