Equitable Recovery

Equitable Recovery for New Jersey’s Small Businesses

Small businesses are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Minority- and women-owned businesses, which already were facing many obstacles prior to the pandemic, are struggling disproportionately.

At Rutgers Global Health Institute, we are addressing these challenges through Equitable Recovery for New Jersey’s Small Businesses. This 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 has three parts:



Resilience Network


Our live, web-based training is available in multiple languages for small businesses and nonprofits participating in the Equitable Recovery program. The training provides participants with the most up-to-date information about:


  • COVID-19 symptoms and how infections spread
  • Safety precautions needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace
  • Health and safety standards mandated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • COVID-19 vaccination
  • Local resources for COVID-19 testing and other support services


Also as part of the Equitable Recovery program, business owners and employers can request a virtual or on-site consultation. This includes an initial assessment via phone to determine the risk of COVID-19 transmission in each workplace setting. Following this phone call, we visit the workplace (virtually or in person, according to employer preference) to take into account the physical environment and further explore specific needs and risks. Then, we provide tailored recommendations for how to operate safely.


Resilience Network

As we engage with small businesses and other local stakeholders, we are able to obtain a deeper understanding of the needs of employers, employees, and entire communities.

These needs might include business support such as advice on business strategy, taxes, or legal matters. Employers, employees, and their families might need services such as food or housing assistance or help accessing medical or mental health services.

We have a network of local resources ready to respond to these needs, and connecting businesses with these services is part of our program.


Vaccination and Testing

Local stakeholders in New Brunswick and in Newark’s South and West wards helped us identify COVID-19 vaccination as a critical community need. With significant support from trusted community messengers, and through the help of familiar community organizations that continue to volunteer their sites, we host regular COVID-19 vaccine information sessions and pop-up vaccination clinics that provide free COVID-19 vaccination in underserved neighborhoods.

Easily accessible COVID-19 testing also has emerged as a critical need for local businesses. Employees of these businesses tell us they would be more likely to get tested for COVID-19 if they could access the testing sites more readily, and especially on foot. Together with community partners, we offer free, conveniently located testing clinics in New Brunswick and Newark.

Free vaccination and testing opportunities are coming soon to Trenton, in collaboration with local partners.



The following organizations provide crucial funding support for the Equitable Recovery program.

Bristol Myers Squibb
Johnson & Johnson Foundation
Merck & Co., Inc.
New Jersey Alliance for Clinical and Translational Science
State of New Jersey, Department of Health


Community Partners

These partners are essential to implementing the Equitable Recovery program at the community level in New Brunswick, Newark, and Trenton.

New Brunswick
Elijah’s Promise
New Brunswick City Center
New Brunswick Tomorrow
New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Community Health Promotions
Rutgers Cooperative Extension
Rutgers VAX Corps
State of New Jersey, Department of Health

City of Newark, Newark People’s Assembly
City of Newark, Department of Health and Community Wellness
Family Manor Restaurant
Greater Abyssinian Baptist Church
North Jersey Community Research Initiative
Office of University-Community Partnerships, Rutgers University–Newark
Partnership West, Inc.
Rutgers Business School–Newark and New Brunswick
New Jersey Small Business Development Center, Rutgers University–Newark
South Ward Special Improvement District
State of New Jersey, Department of Health

Greater Trenton
Trenton Health Team
State of New Jersey, Department of Health


Learn more about why we started the Equitable Recovery program and how you can help.