News – Newark Launches Program

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Program will focus on the area bordered by Broad Street and Washington Street between Washington Place and William Street

Newark, NJ – September 6, 2023—Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced today that the City of Newark and Invest Newark, the city’s leading economic development corporation have launched a program to help business and not-for-profit organizations locate in Newark’s burgeoning downtown core. The program, known as the Newark Retail Reactivation Initiative, aims to support businesses that are looking to bring more retail, cultural and food experiences to downtown, improve aesthetics, safety, and quality of life in the heart of the city, and turn long vacant storefronts into amenities for Newark residents, workers, and students.


The City and Invest Newark will make low- to no-cost financial assistance available to businesses looking to locate in the focus area. Business operators will be eligible for up to $650,000 in support, depending on the square footage of the storefront. Funds can be used for exterior and interior improvements of the vacant space, or the purchase of furniture, fixtures, and equipment. This program was developed in collaboration with Bloomberg Associates, the pro bono consulting arm of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which works with cities and mayors around the world.


“The Newark Retail Reactivation Initiative will revitalize and accelerate the influx of entrepreneurial businesses making use of downtown vacant storefronts. Newark has become a magnet for entrepreneurs and small retail businesses. This program will make downtown even more attractive as a destination, a place for residents and visitors to enjoy. It is an important step in our strategy to make downtown a 24/7, exciting, walkable area where people can live, work, and play,” said Mayor Baraka.


“The many residents and visitors already eating and shopping in the heart of Newark and the growing number of people coming downtown to enjoy festivals, concerts and other outdoor events has set the stage for an initiative such as this,” said Invest Newark President and CEO Marcus Randolph. “It is also a great complement to Audible’s Business Attraction Program that was recently announced. We hope businesses and organizations interested in locating in the focus area will utilize the different types of support being offered by local entities such as the Newark Alliance, as well as from statewide resources like the Small Business Improvement Grant from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.”


“We’re excited to work with Mayor Baraka and our partners in developing a flexible but focused program to support entrepreneurs and fill the remaining storefront gaps along key downtown corridors like Halsey Street,” said Evan Weiss, President and CEO of the Newark Alliance.


“Cities across the country are struggling to revitalize their downtowns. Mayor Baraka and the City of Newark are again leading the way with a bold strategy to both fill empty storefronts and support local small businesses at the same time. This is a winning combination which other cities should look to as a model,” said Todd Rufo of the Economic Development team at Bloomberg Associates.


This initiative is part of an ongoing effort to create more jobs, enhance public safety, beautify Newark, and increase the number of businesses and organizations serving Newark residents and visitors alike.


For more information, contact Invest Newark at 973-273-1040 or email with the subject line Newark Retail Reactivation Initiative.  Click here for Newark Retail Reactivation Grant Application.


About Invest Newark

Invest Newark, the City of Newark’s Economic Development Corporation, propels the City’s strong and diverse economy, builds vibrant communities, and creates opportunities for all Newarkers. Invest Newark supports small, women and minority-owned businesses, invests in world-class internet service, spurs real estate development and executes economic development activities to produce and sustain economic growth, generate jobs and create wealth for the citizens of Newark.




For more information on the City of Newark, please visit our website