opportunity-flamaThe new Whole Foods Market to be located at downtown Newark’s Hahne’s Building development is entering the last mile of preparation ahead of its opening in the first quarter of 2017. With an eye toward the supermarket’s unveiling, they have announced a series of updates around opportunities for grants and microloans for local organizations and entrepreneurs, and for jobs in the store.

Whole Cities Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization created by Whole Foods, has announced that it will offer grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 for Newark-based community organizations that are improving health and food access in their neighborhoods. Greater Newark Conservancy has already been awarded one of these grants, which they will use to install an irrigation system in their Court Street Farm. Community-led organizations can apply for the Fresh, Healthy Food Access Grant through the foundation’s website through Wednesday, December 14th. Grant winners will be announced prior to the opening of Whole Foods Market Newark.

Next, Whole Planet Foundation, another nonprofit created by Whole Foods that focuses on community transformation through small loans made to local entrepreneurs, has partnered up with micro-financier Grameen America to offer $250,000 in loans, or $1,500 apiece to about 160 Newark-based entrepreneurs, plus training and ongoing support for their small ventures. Entrepreneurs interested in microcredit lending through the program should contact Grameen America at (718) 205-9080.

Lastly, Whole Foods Newark plans to hire 110 employees, and has posted job opportunities for the Newark location online. Those with questions can also email ne.recruiting@wholefoods.com.

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