No Work in Newark

With its history of violent crime and political corruption, Newark has become a city that is synonymous with urban dysfunction. Despite recent declines, its murder rate remains four times the national average, and the past three mayors before current Mayor Cory Booker have been convicted of committing serious crimes. Newark has lost nearly half its population since 1950, including most of its middle class. Its unemployment rate and other measures of economic health place the city well below average.

“Hostility to entrepreneurship and high taxes are not generally considered a recipe for prosperity, and it shows in cities like Newark.”

Nevertheless, Newark still possesses a community of grassroots entrepreneurs who provide for themselves and their families, employ their neighbors, and ensure that useful goods and services are available in areas that large businesses have frequently shunned. These entrepreneurs are the economic anchor of many Newark neighborhoods.

The purpose of this study is to examine grassroots entrepreneurship in Newark and offer practical recommendations on how Newark could reform its laws and practices to encourage more small business.

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