Sallie Mae and pharma start-up get OK for state gants

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The Delaware Council for Development Finance approved a $2.16 million Strategic Fund Grant to expand its customer service operation in New Castle.

The student lender plans to hire former employers of operations of Barclays and HSBC. The two banks are slated to phase out centers in the Newark and New Castle areas. The hiring of 285 staffers is expected to boost total employment of Sallie Mae operations in Delaware to 1,000.

A presentation on Sallie Mae’s project was held last month. However, a vote was delayed.

Sallie Mae has its headquarters in the Stanton-Christiana area.

In other action, the council:

– Approved $7 million in revenue bonds for Independence School. The private school will use proceeds to refinance existing debt that was used to build various facilities on the Newark-area campus. A portion of the proceeds will also be used for capital improvements. The bonds are issued in the name of the state. However, it has no financial liabilities.

– General Refrigeration Company was approved for $433,500 to increase manufacturing capacity through employment expansion, infrastructure costs, equipment and construction of a new facility in Sussex County.

– Prelude Therapeutics Incorporated was approved for a Delaware Strategic Fund Grant not to exceed $474,491 related to their planned expansion in New Castle County. Prelude is currently located at the University of Delaware STAR Campus, Newark. Kris Vaddi is the founder and CEO of Prelude Therapeutics and the founding scientist of Incyte in Delaware serving as a Group Vice President until recently.

– CD Diagnostics was recommended for a modification of a Delaware Strategic Fund Grant Agreement related to an existing $500,000 Performance Grant Agreement. CD Diagnostics is currently located in Claymont and was recently sold.

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