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Dear Hugo Neu Family, Colleagues, and Friends, We draw many things from being a community. We do things collaboratively. We define and share our values. We take collective joy in our successes. We commiserate when there are reasons for sadness. And we come together in times of crisis and danger. Currently, there is more of a need to embrace our community than ever before, especially as we are all working remote, with the casual interactions that build our connections to each other no longer taking place.
There is of course great sadness sweeping across our world and our country because of the pandemic. Many have lost friends and family members. Many more are living in isolation and under constant threat of danger to their health. Tens of millions have lost their jobs and collectively our country is facing a level of unemployment and financial distress we have not seen in 90 years. And these burdens have fallen unequally on different communities.
And yet, amidst all of that, there is now a deep level of pain that’s been sweeping across America that cries out for recognition which demands that our voices be heard. Just three weeks ago, the horrific shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed while jogging in the coastal city of Brunswick, Georgia, in late February. In mid-March, Breonna Taylor, a young emergency medical technician in Louisville was killed in her apartment when police entered. And on Monday of last week George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis when an arresting officer kneeled on his throat for over eight minutes. That same day, we also saw the video of a white woman in Central Park calling the police on a Black man who was bird watching and asked her to put her dog on a leash, which was the law. The video captures her telling him that she was going to call the police and say that “an African American man was threatening her.”
What these recent cases, and others, have in common is that they all involved victims who were Black Americans. Black Americans who were treated as a threat when they were not. Black Americans who were treated as if they did not belong in a place when they did. Black Americans who were incarcerated for crimes that they did not commit. Black Americans who were disregarded as a vital part of the fabric of this nation for which they have fought and died and sacrificed for it as much as any others. Black Americans who were killed when the circumstances provided no justification. Black Americans economically disenfranchised given their households have only 10 cents in wealth for every dollar held by White American households. Black Americans who lead the death toll for COVID-19 because they could not “shelter-in-place” as their jobs and overly compromised life circumstances made them instant victims to this dreadful contagion.
There is anger and pain and fear across America, not because these are new things to deal with, but because they aren’t. The names of these victims are seared in our memories. These disturbing events, whether nearby or far away, are such that they reach deeply into our community and especially affect a valued part of our community. We must acknowledge that these events cause pain and fear to a vital part of our community. It is a pain and fear that many of us know all too well, and yet some in our community may have trouble even imagining. Even in the middle of a global pandemic, it is a deep and enduring pain and fear that deserves acknowledgment and caring, and recognition that we must do better.
We must therefore join together in our own expressions of concern, sympathy, and outrage to denounce racism, in its many forms, against Black and Hispanic Americans – who make up larger percentages of the U.S. prison population (56%) than their total share of the U.S. population (28%), against Bigotry and Hatred, against Anti-immigration and Xenophobia – as we acknowledge that the history and strength of this Nation is directly linked to its robust diversity. We must work to build an inclusive environment, one that respects and values people from different backgrounds. We must take part in efforts to reduce and halt the deadly discrimination and racism that is an open and seething wound in our national fabric.
And so, I write today to convey on behalf of our colleagues of color, many with whom I’ve deeply engaged on these issues, to all of our community, and most especially to the beleaguered Black members of our community, that we acknowledge the sorrow and the fear and the pain. As an organization and as individuals we must contribute to healing that wound. We need to treat racism like the systemic pandemic it is, and come together to mobilize, support one another as allies and speak up for justice and equality, enabling all of us to breathe freely. We need to fight racism and discrimination wherever and however it exists.
To this end, Hugo Neu, its businesses and related philanthropies will be re-evaluating all protocols, processes, supply chains, funding and partnership related activities in light of diversity, inclusion and equity practices, along with pursuing better ways through which to systematically fight racism, while enabling diversity, fairness and inclusion to better the lives of those who have been marginalized, yet are important to the current and future prosperity of this country. Be well, be safe and please join us in this mission!
Wendy Kelman Neu, President & CEO
Hugo Neu & Kearny Point
As the news about COVID-19 continues to unfold, the Hugo Neu Realty Management team would like to offer some practical guidance for our small businesses that have made Kearny Point what it is today. We’re continuing to follow the guidance of the CDC, along with various local, state, and national public health officials. Know that our team is taking the necessary steps to ensure the cleanliness of Building 78, while instituting some new restrictions on building access and common area usage throughout the building.
These uncertain times can have ripple effects for small businesses, and the Hugo Neu team is here to help our community navigate these uncharted waters. We don’t know what the future holds in terms of business assistance programs, but please refer to these existing resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs:
SBA Coronavirus Resources: The U.S. Small Business Association has compiled helpful information for small business owners, including guidance on how to prevent or address issues related to COVID-19, along with links to important programs that may be able to help some small businesses that are in need during this time.
For more information on the process for establishing the EIDL (Economic Impact Disaster Loan) program in NJ please review this document.
If you do not have access to credit, you may be eligible for a low-interest loan from the SBA. Currently, rates start at 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non profits.
As NJ Governor Murphy prepares to assess the need for assistance programs, the SBA is asking our small business community to participate in a very brief survey regarding the economic impact experienced as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) to better define and expedite the need for the SBA to provide an Economic Impact Disaster Loan.
This information will be sent directly to the SBA Representatives of our State.
If your business has been directly affected by this crisis and if you feel a low cost loan is needed to keep your business operating please take this first step and help us let our Governor know.
Coronavirus FAQ for New Jersey Businesses: Business.NJ.gov has created a running list of FAQ’s regarding the virus’ impact on businesses throughout the state. This list is being updated daily, and provides specific insight into how to address the growing impact that COVID-19 has had on New Jersey’s business community. Bookmark this page to follow the latest updates regarding economic assistance available to local businesses, benefits for impacted individuals, and best practices for employers.
We will continue to keep the Kearny Point community up-to-date with additional information surrounding public and private assistance programs.
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