Newark CEDC

Media Contacts:

Cheryl McCants,, 646.872.2377

Dreena Whitfield,, 908.913.0638

The Newark Community Economic Development Corporation Graduates the First Class of its

Community Storefront Program

16 South Ward residents learn how to start and grow a business

August 27, 2015, Newark, N.J. — The Newark Community Economic Development Corporation, Newark CEDC, will host its first graduation ceremony for the Community Storefront Program (CSP) at City Hall at 6:00 p.m. today, August 27. Councilman John Sharpe James will join Otis Rolley, president & CEO of Newark CEDC and Scott Blow, EVP & Chief Business Development Officer of Newark CEDC as they celebrate with graduates and their families from the city’s south ward.

The Community Storefront Program is a 16-week program led by the Newark CEDC where aspiring entrepreneurs participate in over 40 hours of business training and consulting with instructors from the Institute for Entrepreneurship Leadership (IFEL) with the end goal of launching a new business.  The program reduces the barriers to entry that most solopreneurs and entrepreneurs face when starting a new business by placing graduates in a retail incubator. Phase I of the program focused on Newark’s South Ward whose population of approximately 50,000 is about the same size as that of lower Manhattan.

We are thrilled to bring this program to the residents of the South Ward and look forward to implementing it citywide,” said Otis Rolley, president & CEO of Newark CEDC. “We expect the Community Storefront Program to help build the economy of the South Ward and expand the retail choices for its residents.”

After today’s ceremony, graduates will gain first-hand experience in running their own retail operations — business transactions, inventory management, customer relations, store leasing, etc. right in their own neighborhood. The incubator storefront will open in late September at 790 Clinton Avenue in Newark. The Newark CEDC will renovate the space, retrofit it for retail kiosks, pay the first six months of rent for each graduate, and continue to provide complimentary business consulting support.

Participants studied IFEL’s newly-created Workshop in Business Opportunity curriculum, which teaches entrepreneurs with varying levels of experience how to start and grow a profitable business; the emphasis is on getting started with the resources that they currently have available. This initial round of the program featured 16 small business owners from Newark’ South Ward. The West Ward initiative is slated to begin after September’s incubator opening. The Prudential Foundation was one of the program’s funders.

About the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC)

Founded in 2007 and reorganized in 2014, the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (Newark CEDC), is the primary economic development catalyst for Newark – New Jersey’s largest city. It is organized to retain, attract and grow businesses, enhance small and minority business capacity, and spur real estate development throughout the City’s 20 diverse neighborhoods. As a business development company whose sole client is the City of Newark, Newark CEDC collaborates with the Newark Department of Economic & Housing Development to initiate and execute economic development activities that produce and sustain economic growth, generate jobs and create wealth for the citizens of Newark.


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