Coronavirus spikes in other states could hurt New Jersey’s economy

A new Rutgers University report says even as parts of the state’s economy are bouncing back, the expanding coronavirus outbreak outside of New Jersey’s borders could still hurt the state. The report says there could be longer-term economic damage and potentially more job losses ahead.

A new effort is underway to try to increase lending to minority-owned small businesses in Newark. Mayor Ras Baraka says in his city, business owners can face hurdles obtaining financing and credit. The Main Street Alliance, a business policy group, has received funding from The Rockefeller Foundation to provide support for small businesses and invest in institutions that lend to minority communities. The group is focusing its efforts on just two U.S. cities: Newark and Norfolk, Virginia.

Meantime, entrepreneurs in particular face incredible challenges trying to get funding. A survey cited by New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority finds that nationwide, less than 1% of all venture capital investments go to Black-owned firms. So the EDA is now looking for creative ideas from the public on how to increase access to capital for Black- and Latinx-led startup companies. Ideas can be submitted to the EDA up until July 29.