Since the start of the pandemic, NJ Advance Media Cares provided more than $1.6 million in marketing support to help New Jersey businesses through one of the most economically devastating times residents and the business communities have ever experienced. At the same time, the NJ Advance Media newsroom launched N.J. is Open* to connect businesses with their customers.
Continuing the corporate mission to “strengthen and empower the communities we serve,” NJ Advance Media, which publishes NJ.com, The Star-Ledger, The Times of Trenton and other affiliated papers, will add a focus on minority-owned businesses, which historically face more economic and systemic challenges to achieving success. NJ Advance Media’s inaugural effort is launching in two counties this year.
The Mosaic Empowerment Program is currently open to minority-owned businesses located in Essex County and Mercer County. The free application period is open through April 17.
Qualifying businesses selected into the program will receive:
- A free 6-month long advertising campaign valued at $25,000
- Free marketing consultation
- Marketing education materials
- Access to other support from program sponsors.
Qualified Essex and Mercer county businesses should apply here.
“Knowing that BIPOC small business owners have struggled particularly hard during the pandemic, we wanted to use our marketing know-how to offer something tangible to the community,” said Michele Hayes, VP of Marketing at NJ Advance Media. “In collaboration with NJ Advance Media’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, we asked for insights from the state’s business leaders serving minority entrepreneurs. We used their guidance to shape the program.”
Development of the Mosaic Empowerment Program began by connecting with local business resources, including the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, Newark Regional Business Partnership, and the New Jersey Department of Economic Development.
Lack of access to business capital, business networks and support are among the key issues affecting minority-owned small businesses.
“We know firsthand the uphill battle that minority-owned businesses face, particularly those which are small and mid-sized,” said Maya Curry, vice president of Communications and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Newark Regional Business Partnership. “Visibility is critical to their success and this program provides important resources which will allow these businesses to attract new customers and maintain their often tight budgets. We look forward to being a resource for the Mosaic Empowerment Program and its participants.”
Sharing the mission to empower and sustain communities and businesses, the African American Chamber of Commerce champions entrepreneurship and capitalistic initiatives throughout the state.
“We are thrilled to partner with NJ Advance Media on this important initiative which has the potential to elevate the profiles of business owners and position them for future growth and sustainability. This is an opportunity with tremendous value.” said chamber president and CEO John E. Harmon.
The Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, one of the largest chambers of commerce in the state, provides education, mentorship and advocacy for Hispanic-owned businesses and entrepreneurs.
President and CEO Carlos Medina sees parallels in these efforts.
“Both of our organizations are committed to providing New Jersey entrepreneurs with the latest knowledge, tools, expert advice and encouragement to take immediate action towards their business growth and success,” Medina said. “We’re proud to partner with NJ Advance Media on the Mosaic Empowerment Program.”
How to apply: Minority-owned businesses located in Essex and Mercer counties are encouraged to apply online here. Application period ends April 17.
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