Equitable Recovery

New Program in New Jersey

Rutgers Global Health Institute recently introduced our Resilient New Jersey program, which grew out of our legacy program called Equitable Recovery for New Jersey’s Small Businesses. While we no longer operate our Equitable Recovery program as described on this webpage (below), our community-centered values remain strong!

Equitable Recovery for New Jersey’s Small Businesses

Rutgers Global Health Institute offered the Equitable Recovery program through the spring of 2023. The information below is based on when the program was fully operational. We are now offering a related program: Resilient New Jersey.

Small businesses are facing ongoing challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Minority- and women-owned businesses, which already were facing many obstacles prior to the pandemic, need more support than ever. As the pandemic persists, these businesses are dealing with financial strain, staffing challenges, operational curveballs, and ever-evolving health and safety guidelines.

At Rutgers Global Health Institute, we are addressing these needs 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:

Education and Training


Resilience Network


Education and Training

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, we meet with business owners to learn about each business and its needs. Then, we provide personalized, ongoing support to help overcome obstacles. This support ranges from helping a business owner gain access to the right resources to providing tailored recommendations for operating safely, based on the latest U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration standards.

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 their families, and entire communities. We have a network of local resources ready to respond to these needs. Connecting businesses with these services is part of our program. Current services include:

  • Business planning and strategy
  • COVID-19 testing and education
  • COVID-19 vaccine access
  • Financial management advice
  • Food assistance
  • Housing support
  • Legal advice
  • Loan and grant application guidance
  • Medical and mental health services
  • Minority and/or Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) state certification assistance
  • Spiritual and faith-based services
  • Tax support services


Vaccination and Testing

Local stakeholders in New Brunswick, in Newark’s South and West wards, and in Trenton 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, Newark, and Trenton.



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

Bristol Myers Squibb
Johnson & Johnson Foundation
Merck & Co., Inc.
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 Performing Arts Center
New Brunswick Tomorrow
New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Rutgers University–New Brunswick
REPLENISH (formerly the Middlesex County Food Organization and Outreach Distribution Services)
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Community Health Promotions
Rutgers Cooperative Extension
Rutgers VAX Corps
State of New Jersey, Department of Health
Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey

City of Newark, Newark People’s Assembly
City of Newark, Department of Health and Community Wellness
Family Manor Restaurant
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
Latino Merchants Association


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