NEWARK, NJ — Three organizations in Newark were awarded $1.262 million from New Jersey’s Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) COVID-19 Relief Grants, most of which will be redistributed to local small businesses. 

The funding is being allocated from the state’s portion of CARES Act relief and was awarded to nonprofits already participating in the NRTC program. La Casa de Don Pedro, Ironbound Community Corporation and the Unified Vailsburg Services Organization are the recipients.  

The NRTC program falls under the Department of Community Affairs. The grants may only be used for eligible costs incurred between March 1, 2020, and December 30, 2020, and must be fully expended by Dec. 30.  

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“The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare many inequalities in our communities, especially in distressed neighborhoods in our state. Because the NRTC Program is one of the best tools we have to positively impact neighborhoods in need, we made it a key part of DCA’s response to this crisis,” DCA  Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver said in a statement.  

La Casa de Don Pedro, which primarily serves the North Ward and will receive $464,000, submitted plans to redistribute their share of funding for the Lower Broadway Small Business Relief Program, grants to impacted small businesses and PPE, sanitizer, and wipes for residents. ICC’s $100,000 portion will go directly to grants to small businesses in the neighborhood for eligible expenses. 

UVSO, which received more than $600,000 in funds, will be applied to assistance for impacted small businesses in the South Orange Avenue corridor for eligible expenses, particularly mortgage and rent relief. 

Eligible expenses, according to the DCA, include:

  • Commercial mortgage, rent, and other bills (utilities, accounts payable);

  • Resources to get a business established online (for example, an upgraded website to make delivery available to customers);

  • Perishable inventory that was lost due to an interruption of business;

  • Procurement of masks, gloves, shield guards, and other personal protective equipment for business owners, staff and customers;

  • Procurement of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes;

  • Social distancing signage and decals;

  • Procurement of tables, chairs, and other furniture for outdoor dining;

  • COVID-19 educational materials, activities, and events aimed at businesses; and

  • Wages for activities substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The selected organizations are also able to use the funding for remote learning and other education-based assistance not related to businesses and for public Internet services for food shopping.