NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — With a growing number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey’s largest city comes the growing concern of the economic impact.

The owner of Black Swan Espresso wants her 5-year-old business to be here for many years to come, but even with adding online sales, the pandemic pushed business down 75%.

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“We’re born and bred in Newark, New Jersey. That really hurts because you have bills to pay and you want to keep your employees working,” Laura Mashtaler told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis on Thursday.

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Mashtaler is fearful of another shutdown in the city, which is again tightening restrictions after its positivity rate soared to 19%.

“Jenna, I’m afraid. I’m afraid of the second wave. Will we have to close down again?” Mashtaler said.


“I think the scary part is, are we going to lose a lot of small businesses here in the city, being a huge driver of employment for local Newark residents,” said Catherine Wilson, the president and CEO of United Way of Greater Newark.

Wilson said she worries about unemployment and the ripple effect.

“It has been as high as 15 or 16% over the course of this pandemic, which means that children and families are obviously affected by this,” Wilson said.

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CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

People are driving up to pick up meals at World Central Kitchen on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and a nearby food pantry is stocking up on supplies.

“Data from our state helpline, New Jersey 211, is that there’s been at least a 50% increase of people calling to find out where they can get food and assistance with food,” Wilson said.

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United Way created the Community COVID-19 Fund, raising about $5 million to help families, other nonprofits, and businesses, but one way everyone can chip in is to, “just make sure that you are doing everything that you can, that you have been told to do, in order to reduce this spread,” Wilson said.

She said the faster Newark does that, the sooner it can turn around the economy.

United Way is urging those who can to donate to nonprofits, saying it’s the safest way to give back.


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