On Rutgers Giving Day, March 24, Rutgers Global Health Institute will seek support for its new Health Equity in New Jersey Fund. The first $7,500 raised will be matched by members of the Rutgers Global Health Institute Impact Council and friends of Rutgers Global Health Institute. The institute will use these funds to confront health disparities in New Jersey, which have worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pandemic-related economic hardships are resulting in business closures and loss of jobs, lack of access to health care, loss of housing, and food insecurity. Businesses in low-income communities, and particularly minority- and women-owned businesses, are facing dire economic circumstances.

Through a new program, Equitable Recovery for New Jersey’s Small Businesses, the institute offers these underserved communities free training and consultations pertaining to a safe workplace, as well as access to a variety of supportive services. The goal is to keep infections down, keep workers employed, and increase the chances that these businesses can survive over the long term.

Philanthropic support makes it possible to offer the Equitable Recovery program at no cost to small businesses and nonprofit organizations that are facing enormous obstacles during this pandemic. These businesses are vital to their communities’ livelihoods and well-being. The program has received funding and is underway in New Brunswick, with a rollout in Newark coming soon. The institute needs additional funding to expand the program’s impact and to reach other vulnerable communities in New Jersey. Gifts to the Health Equity in New Jersey Fund will support this effort.