Collage of NJBIA employees working from home during COVID-19 crisisAs New Jersey businesses face unprecedented challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, NJBIA is highlighting some of the unique and uplifting ways NJBIA members are responding across the state. Share your good news story with us on social media at #NJBIAtogether or email us at communications@njbia.org.


Investors Foundation Awards Over $1 Million for COVID-19 Relief

Investors Bank, through its charitable foundation, is releasing more than $1.13 million in financial grants to not-for-profit organizations in New Jersey and New York that are facing increased demand for services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Investors Foundation is making the grants to not-for-profit organizations that supply people and families with healthcare services, food, shelter, and the basics that are needed to survive through the pandemic and severe economic downturn. Over 170 local and regional organizations are receiving grants, including food pantries, feeding programs, rescue squads, EMT and EMS teams, hospitals, and not-for-profit economic development corporations that assist small businesses.

“Nonprofits are responding to the unprecedented needs of so many in our communities,” said Investors Bank Chairman and CEO Kevin Cummings in a statement announcing the grants. “We believe in the value of forming alliances that bring our company and not-for-profit organizations together, and we are seeking to identify how we may assist the organizations that are providing essential services to our neighbors.”

The Investors Foundation, which has made more than $41 million in grants since 2006, supports nonprofit organizations that enrich the diverse communities served by Investors Bank. Not-for-profits may apply for grants by going to the Foundation’s website.

Additionally, the bank is providing $50,000 to UCEDC (United Counties Economic Development Corporation), which aids small businesses that may be unable to borrow capital from conventional lending sources. The UCEDC is originating low-cost, cash-infusion loans that enable small companies to bridge the cash flow gap created by the loss of revenue due the current pandemic.

The UCEDC COVID-19 relief loans are granted in amounts up to $15,000 with a five-year term, a 0% fixed interest rate, a personal guarantee and no collateral.

NJM Insurance Group Commits $400,000 to COVID-19 Relief Efforts

NJM Insurance Group has committed over $400,000 to COVID-19 relief efforts to assist families, businesses, and communities impacted by the pandemic.

The funding will go toward nonprofits serving essential needs, healthcare providers, emergency responders and coordinated statewide efforts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“Community support and corporate giving are essential in times of challenge and uncertainty,” NJM President &CEO Mitch Livingston said in a statement. “Our commitment to these relief efforts is rooted in NJM’s core principles. During this very difficult time we will remain true to our pledge to support the communities we are privileged to serve.”

As part of its commitment, NJM will provide support to nonprofits in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that bridge gaps in essential areas, including technology needs, and food and shelter for children and families. The funds will also go to small business relief and recovery efforts, including to the statewide New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, to support efforts to address the complex medical, social, and economic impact of COVID-19.

In addition to financial contributions, NJM has donated 15,000 personal protective equipment items to area frontline health care providers and emergency responders, and is providing warehouse space to Mercer Street Friends, enabling the expansion of the nonprofit’s essential food bank operations in Mercer County, New Jersey.

Audible Helps Newark Respond to COVID-19

During this pandemic, Audible has doubled down on its commitment to Newark, the city where it has been headquartered since 2007, and leveraged its resources to help where the need is greatest.

Audible recently launched a mentorship program with Newark Venture Partners (NVP) and Invest Newark to provide restaurant owners and other small businesses free guidance on how best to navigate available federal, state and local funding in response to COVID-19 and government quarantine, shutdown, and social distancing orders affecting their operations. Volunteers also advise small businesses on financial and legal issues and marketing and communications.

Supporting local businesses, including restaurants, has always been a priority for Audible since it launched a program to subsidize hundreds of employees’ meals each week from Newark restaurants. Now during the pandemic, the company has redirected its catering operation and expanded its local restaurant funding to feed as many local residents as possible through Newark Working Kitchens (NWK), which is providing free daily meal service to Newark residents in need.

NWK was launched last month in collaboration with José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen and Marcus Samuelsson. Audible seeded the NWK initiative with a $1.5M commitment, providing 150,000 meals at $10 each (paid directly to participating restaurants).  Donations to NWK can be made here.

To support Newark and communities around the world while schools are closed, Audible also created Stories.Audible.com— a place where anyone, anywhere, can enjoy unlimited streaming of hundreds of titles for kids and families for free. Titles were handpicked by Audible editors with the goal of helping to keep young minds engaged and recognizing the needs of educators teaching remotely and parents with children at home.

Stories features selections in eight languages and listeners can access the collection from their computers, tablets and smartphones. There’s no log in and no need to be an Audible member to participate.