The State of Delaware and New Castle County rolled out a grant program of at least $100 million to assist Delaware small businesses and nonprofit organizations affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
DE Relief Grants program is a joint initiative of the State of Delaware and New Castle County, and is funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
New Castle County received $300 million in CARES Funding that went to all counties with 500,000 or more residents, usually with their own health and social services departments. The state has been seeking some of the county money since it handles social services.
State officials had indicated that a program was in the works. Small businesses have stated that a loan program alone would simply add to the debt that could not be repaid in the current environment.
The program is expected to reach more than 3,000 small businesses and nonprofit organizations with grants ranging from $30,000 to $100,000. The Division of Small Business is administering the program and will begin accepting applications in early September at delbiz.com/relief.
“Delaware small businesses are the backbone of our economy and they have made considerable sacrifices during the COVID-19 crisis. We owe them our gratitude and support,” said Carney. “These relief grants will help Delaware small businesses begin the process of recovering and will help make investments necessary to create safer spaces for their customers and staff.”
“Small businesses and nonprofits are facing expensive costs as they retrofit their workplaces,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “We’re pleased to be able to join with the State of Delaware in supporting this important program.”
DE Relief Grants can be used for:
- Purchasing equipment to make a workplace suitable for COVID-19 safety (such as PPE, plexiglass, air purifiers, etc.)
- Refinancing of debt incurred due to COVID-19 (including State of Delaware HELP loans)
- Advertising efforts undertaken as a result of COVID-19
- Fixed expenses the applicant accrued during COVID-19
“I’ve seen small businesses across Delaware do some amazing things to adapt and stay afloat under the extraordinary circumstances of the last six months, but so many are hanging by a thread as the pandemic drags on,” said State Rep.Bill Bush, who chairs the House Economic Development, Banking and Insurance Committee. “This grant funding represents a lifeline that will help our small business community overcome the next phase of this crisis.”
“This is about much more than making up for lost revenue,” said Senator Trey Paradee, D-Dover chair of the Senate Banking, Business and Insurance Committee. “It’s about helping keep the doors open at the small businesses in Kent County and across the state that provide Delawareans with the paychecks and health care their families are relying on now more than ever. It’s about making our businesses safe.”
“Delaware small businesses and nonprofits have been remarkably resilient in dealing with this pandemic,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “They are the backbone of Delaware’s economy, and we feel it is imperative that the state continues to support them.”
“Multiple programs are necessary to address the challenges Delaware’s small businesses face,” said Damian DeStefano, Director of the Division of Small Business. “We believe this assistance, coupled with other efforts, including the Hospitality Emergency Loan Program (HELP) and the COVID-19 Customer Protection Standards, help make the difference for some of our small businesses.”
The Division of Small Business will begin accepting applications in early September and will follow with funding rounds in early October and November.
“DE Relief Grants are a welcome commitment by the state to help support our small business community and the valuable jobs they offer to so many Delawareans,” said Carrie Leishman, CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association. “The effects of the pandemic have and continue to hit the food services industry particularly hard. While no single effort is a panacea, this program will certainly help restaurants as they work to stabilize revenues while protecting the health and safety of customers and employees.”
“Enhanced financial support for small businesses was a key recommendation of the business subcommittee of Governor Carney’s Pandemic Resurgence Advisory Committee, and has been advocated for by the state chamber,” said Katie Wilkinson, chair of the PRAC Business Subcommittee and Chair of the Board of Directors for the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce. “These grants can make the difference for the survival of some of our small businesses over the next few months.”
The Division of Small Business’ team of Regional Business Managers is available to help companies prepare their applications. Small businesses can connect with the manager for their part of the state at delbiz.com/contact. For more information on DE Relief Grants, visit delbiz.com/relief.
The size of the relief grant will be based up the business or nonprofit’s 2019 revenue:
- $0-$500,000: Up to $30,000
- $500,000-$1 million: Up to $50,000
- $1 million-$2.5 million: Up to $72,500
- $2.5+ million: Up to $100,000
Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.