Deadline approaching for small business owners to apply for downtown Dover program

The deadline to apply for Dover’s Unlock the Block program is fast approaching.

July 9 is the final day to put in an application for the initiative, which seeks tenants for select vacant commercial properties on or adjacent to Loockerman Street in downtown Dover.

Unlock the Block is looking for successful business owners, working from their basement or kitchen table, who want their first brick-and-mortar location or entrepreneurs who already have a location in the region and want to launch a second.

Watch a video on what makes downtown Dover a great place to open a business.

Tenants will be selected through a pitch competition on July 26, with winners announced Aug. 15.

Those selected for the program may receive a combination of financial incentives and technical assistance including fee waivers and free business consulting services.

Unlock the Block is the result of a partnership among several organizations including the Division of Small Business (Downtown Delaware program), the Downtown Dover Partnership, City of Dover, Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce, Kent Economic Partnership, First State Community Loan Fund and NCALL. It is an initiative through Restoring Central Dover, a Comprehensive Neighborhood Revitalization Plan.

For more information on the five properties available for lease through the program, visit

Click here to apply for Unlock the Block.