Local entrepreneurs and small business owners participated in a free Business Fair in Newark’s South Ward with the goal of gaining knowledge and access to supportive programs and financing options. The event, along with a second Business Fair held recently in the West Ward, was presented by the City of Newark’s Department of Economic & Housing Development, the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC) and the South Ward Special Improvement District (SID).
Event participants interacted with representatives of the Small Business Administration (SBA), Rising Tide Capital, City National Bank, Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation and the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership who provided valuable information and access to resources to help small businesses succeed and grow.
Phillip Gilmore, South Ward SID President and Pastor of St. John’s Baptist Church on Bergen Street where the event was held, said the Business Fair provided a great opportunity to advance the organization’s mission to generate economic activity and investment in the district which includes Bergen Street between Lyons and Clinton Avenues and both of those streets to the Irvington border.
South Ward resident Patricia Price, who runs a consulting business providing teaching, coaching, speaking, self-discovery and leadership training, attended the Business Fair to network and brainstorm with other local business owners and speak with city officials.
Councilman John Sharpe James, who serves on the South Ward SID’s board of trustees, welcomed the attendees, and noted the importance of the business fairs in helping grow prosperity throughout Newark in all of the city’s wards, not just the downtown business district. “Events like this are important to continued economic development citywide,” said Councilman James. “We need more participation and the help of motivated individuals to get the word out that we are involved, engaged and invested in the South Ward.”
NCEDC representatives underscored their role as a liaison with City representatives, the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ), banks and micro-lenders, helping local entrepreneurs formulate business plans, obtain financing, identify good storefront locations and cultivate and grow economic activity.
Charles Mitchell, Sr., a Newark resident and a member of the Newark Fire Department, attended the Business Fair as he looked ahead to his future, hoping to identify local revenue generating opportunities in business and property ownership to consider in his retirement years, stating he would definitely pass along the information he gained to other motivated entrepreneurs.
“Events like this are absolutely ideal for individuals who want to start or grow small businesses,” concluded Marilyn Harris, Vice President of Community Relations at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and also a South Ward SID board member. “People have great ideas, but often can benefit from a template or structure or even the opportunity to ask important questions that can help them translate those dreams into reality.”
For more information about upcoming events, programs and services to support Newark’s business community, contact the Newark CEDC at 973.273.1040. For more information about programs, services and opportunities to support and contribute to the initiatives of the South Ward SID, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow news from the South Ward SID at southwardsid.com and through social media at Facebook.com/SouthWardSID.
(left to right) Phillip Gilmore, Pastor of St. John’s Baptist Church and President of the South Ward SID, welcomed Newark residents Patricia Price and Charles Mitchell, Sr. to the South Ward Business Fair.