New Jersey Community Capital, African American Chamber of Commerce Launch Equitable Small Business Initiative

By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor

Photo: Jon Bradley | Follow South Jersey

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — The New Jersey Community Capital and African American Chamber of Commerce have launched their new Equitable Small Business initiative.

The two organizations will team up to provide $5,000,000 to businesses in need because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their initiative will focus on supporting Black-owned businesses throughout the state, and interested businesses can submit applications to receive money beginning on April 1.

“Through this collaboration, we will be responding to the call of business owners who desperately need resources to meet their objectives,” John E. Harmon, the President and CEO of New Jersey’s African American Chamber of Commerce, said in a press release. “This is the right partnership to make a difference.”

Small businesses whose applications for the program are accepted will receive a number of resources to support their businesses — including administrative support, high touch and individualized technical assistance, and capacity building. The aim of the program is not to just provide short-term relief for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, but to also provide businesses with a long-term path to success.

The National Bureau of Economic Research found that the number of active Black businesses fell by 41% between February and April of last year. In the United States, COVID-19’s impacts began to take shape last March.

This new initiative was made possible through support from the Pascal Sykes Foundation, the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Follow South Jersey provides local journalism which highlights our diverse communities; fosters transparency through robust, localized, and vital reporting that holds leaders and institutions accountable; addresses critical information needs; supports people in navigating civic life; and equips people with the information necessary to partake in effective community engagement. If there is a story or event you think we should cover, please send your tips to with “NEWS” in the subject line.