FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor Ted R. Green Joins New Jersey Mayors in Announcing the Launch of the NJ FAM (40 Acres and a Mule) Fund to Support Black and Latinx Businesses in Local Communities
East Orange, NJ (February 18, 2021) – Today, Mayor Ted R. Green joined seven New Jersey mayors to announce the launch of NJ FAM Fund (New Jersey 40 Acres and a Mule Fund). The collective goal of the fund is to provide direct capital for New Jersey’s Black and Latinx business owners and communities, which traditionally suffer from the greatest barriers in access to these resources.
“When the difference in median net worth between White families and Black/Latinx families is nearly 200%, that is much more than a social disparity. That kind of gap is representative of the inequitable financial policies that have kept Black and Latinx businesses and families behind the national curve for decades," said Mayor Green. "This initiative is how we start to bring balance to the communities that have been devastated the most. This is how we make amends and bring generational wealth into our communities."
According to the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, the median net worth of New Jersey’s white families is $309,000, while the median for New Jersey’s Latinx and Black families is just $7,020 and $5,900, respectively—one of the worst racial wealth gaps in the nation. The objective of the NJ FAM fund is to close these gaps by providing Black and Latinx business owners with a more level playing field with their competitors.
The NJ FAM Fund, a private investment vehicle, seeks to raise $100 million to combat and reduce social and economic inequalities resulting from systemic racism. It was created by a partnership of eight mayors from cities in New Jersey, with assistance from New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) and an advisory board. The NJ FAM Fund will operate in collaboration with Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark, Mayor Dwayne D. Warren of Orange, Mayor André Sayegh of Paterson, Mayor Frank Moran of Camden, Mayor Reed Gusciora of Trenton, Mayor Tony Vauss of Irvington, and Mayor Marty Small, Sr. of Atlantic City.
The initiative, which was organized in September 2020 by Mayor Baraka, is a result of the coronavirus pandemic and continued growing needs for minority businesses. Interest in the fund ballooned across New Jersey which led to the expansion of the program into a statewide initiative.
“While the racial wealth gap is a national struggle, it is especially salient in Newark. Minority businesses have always faced more roadblocks than their counterparts and the pandemic has only worsened the issue. The NJ FAM Fund aims to help these businesses reach their full potential in these tumultuous times,” said Mayor Baraka. “These investments will be a tremendous tool for the minority business community in Newark and we are incredibly grateful for this generous support.”
Visit NJFAMFund.org to learn more, sign up for updates and preview the applications.