New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the U.S. and one of the country’s most diverse. Of New Jersey’s 9 million residents, nearly a quarter are foreign born. While this diversity enriches our state, there are significant disparities in health and health care access that depend on such factors as age, gender, race, and socioeconomic status.
The economic disparities in New Jersey are striking. There are more millionaires per capita here than any other state in the country, but there is also significant urban poverty. In Rutgers’ home cities of New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden, roughly a third of residents live below the poverty line—and these figures predate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, 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. While all communities are suffering, low-income and minority communities—which experience systemic disadvantages in the best of times—are suffering disproportionately.
Equitable Recovery for New Jersey’s Small Businesses
Small businesses are vital to the fabric of their communities, and they are in peril. Minority- and women-owned businesses, which already were facing many obstacles prior to the pandemic, are struggling even more now. Low-income and minority communities also face greater risks of COVID-19 infection and death—a fact that poses a huge threat to our state’s overall recovery.
At Rutgers Global Health Institute, we are addressing these challenges through Equitable Recovery for New Jersey’s Small Businesses. This three-part program offers crucial support to small businesses and local nonprofit organizations, including faith-based organizations, in low-income and minority communities. The Equitable Recovery program includes:
- COVID-19 Health and Safety Training that provides small businesses and nonprofits with knowledge, tools, and guidance pertaining to a safe workplace;
- Individual Consultations that take into account the physical spaces and needs of each organization and provide tailored recommendations for operating safely; and
- Resilience Network, which provides access to an array of support services that can help employers and employees navigate many complex issues related to COVID-19.
The Equitable Recovery program is underway in New Brunswick and will be launching in Greater Newark. Learn more about our efforts, partnerships, sponsors, and impact.
Many people and organizations are working together on Equitable Recovery for New Jersey’s Small Businesses. This list will grow as our program expands.
Johnson & Johnson Foundation
Merck & Co., Inc.
New Jersey Alliance for Clinical and Translational Science
New Brunswick City Center
New Brunswick Tomorrow
Rutgers Occupational Training and Education Consortium
State of New Jersey, Department of Health
Contribute to our efforts in New Jersey
The Equitable Recovery program is underway in Rutgers’ home city of New Brunswick, and we are expanding to Greater Newark. We are in need of additional funds to increase our impact and reach other vulnerable communities throughout New Jersey. To support these efforts, you can make a gift to our Health Equity in New Jersey Fund or contact Denise Gavala, associate vice president for development, for more information.