Federal Assistance Available for New Castle County Small Businesses Economically Impacted by Hurricane Ida

WILMINGTON, Del. – Small businesses and nonprofit organizations in New Castle County affected by flooding from Hurricane Ida earlier this month are now eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Eligible businesses and nonprofits may qualify for loans up to $2 million.

The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are designed to help with the temporary loss of revenue businesses and nonprofits are experiencing as a result of significant flooding from Hurricane Ida. The loans may be used for working capital expenses such as payroll, fixed debts and accounts payable, as well as other bills the business or nonprofit is currently unable to pay because of the impact of the storm.

“We continue to work alongside the City of Wilmington, agencies and organizations to provide resources for Wilmington residents and businesses with cleanup efforts from flooding from Hurricane Ida,” said Governor John Carney. “We appreciate the U.S. Small Business Administration making this economic injury loan program available for businesses.”   

“The flooding in New Castle County and Wilmington caused by Hurricane Ida was unprecedented, and as a result, many small businesses were forced to close their doors for days and weeks on end,” said Delaware Division of Small Business Director Jordan Schulties. “We know the economic effects of the hurricane can be just as challenging to a small business as property damage, and these loans can provide a lifeline to these business owners who are facing significant revenue loss.”

The SBA determines eligibility for the loans based on the size and type of business and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. The rates on the loans will not exceed three percent, and the term of the loans will not exceed 30 years. The deadline to return economic injury applications is June 10, 2022.

Small businesses in New Castle County who suffered economic injury from Hurricane Ida are encouraged to review the SBA’s applications and program information on the SBA website. New Castle County received a disaster declaration from the SBA as a contiguous county of Delaware County, Pennsylvania. For this reason, small businesses in New Castle County who apply for an EIDL will need to do so under Pennsylvania’s declaration. For assistance applying for an EIDL, businesses should contact the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY/TDD: 1-800-877-8339) or via e-mail at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The SBA has also opened a Business Recovery Center in Philadelphia to provide businesses with one-on-one assistance in submitting an economic injury loan application if they were impacted by Hurricane Ida. The recovery center is located at the Falls of the Schuylkill Library at 3501 Midvale Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19129. Hours for the center are noon to 8 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. The Business Recovery Center is closed on Saturday and Sunday. Customer Service Representatives will be available at the center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and assist business owners in completing their applications. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the SBA has established protocols to help protect the health and safety of the public. All visitors to the recovery center are encouraged to wear a face mask.


EDGE Grants Competition Reopens To Benefit Delaware Small Businesses

DOVER, DE (September 1, 2021) – Young Delaware companies in need of funding to help expand their business can now apply to compete for an Encouraging Development, Growth and Expansion (EDGE) Grant from the Division of Small Business. The division will be accepting EDGE Grant applications until September 30 from promising early-stage businesses throughout Delaware.

Businesses who are less than five years old and employ no more than 10 employees are eligible to apply for an EDGE Grant. The grants are awarded through a competitive selection process. STEM-based companies can receive up to $100,000 for eligible expenses while Entrepreneur Class (non-STEM) businesses can receive up to $25,000.

EDGE is a matching grant program. The Division of Small Business matches a winning business’s investment on a 3-to-1 basis. The business can spend EDGE grant funds on expenses that help improve the company’s long-term chances of success, such as a marketing campaign to help acquire more customers or purchasing a needed piece of equipment that can increase production capacity.

Applications for the competition round will be accepted from September 1 through September 30 at 5 p.m. Finalists will pitch their grant proposals to a panel of expert judges with winners announced in early 2022.

“The EDGE Grants competition provides a unique opportunity for Delaware’s early-stage small businesses to expand and innovate by providing them access to significant capital funding,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “With this funding, these smaller companies can compete with more established, larger businesses and move forward from the pandemic in a big way.”

“Delaware has a vibrant small business community that is consistently finding creative ways to remain competitive and grow their businesses, particularly as the state’s economy recovers from the pandemic,” said Division of Small Business Director Jordan Schulties. “EDGE funds can help many of those businesses continue to expand well into the future. I encourage business owners to reach out to our office to get started on the application process today.”

Since EDGE launched in 2019, more than $2 million has been awarded to 35 promising Delaware small businesses in industries ranging from wearable technology to agribusiness to craft brewing.

One of those businesses is Resonate Forward, a Newark-based company creating technology to benefit patients that suffer from Parkinson’s disease. Resonate Forward was awarded a $100,000 STEM EDGE Grant in the last round of funding. The company is using their grant to develop a manufacturable prototype and design for their RMband device that mitigates tremors in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

“Without the funding from EDGE, this important technology may not have reached the patients who can benefit most from it,” said Theresa Litherland, president of Resonate Forward. “We are grateful that Delaware recognizes small, growing companies like ours and offers programs like the EDGE Grant competition to help them reach their full potential.”

Businesses should visit www.delbiz.com/edge for eligibility requirements, to download the grant application and to connect with a Regional Business Manager for assistance.


Division of Small Business awards EDGE Grants to 15 Delaware companies

SMYRNA, Del. (August 11, 2021) – A company working to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, a maker of wearable cooling protective gear, a specialty running store, and a meadery were among the 15 Delaware small businesses recognized Wednesday as awardees of the third round of Encouraging Development, Growth and Expansion (EDGE) Grants from the state Division of Small Business.

Gov. John Carney and Division of Small Business Director Jordan Schulties announced the companies at an event at Painted Stave Distilling in Smyrna, where EDGE grant recipient Taco Jardin currently has a food truck located.

“We need to make it easy for businesses to start and stay here in Delaware,” said Governor Carney. “That’s why we created the EDGE Grant program to encourage even more small businesses to expand and innovate. The grant recipients in this round span a wide range of industries, but each owner has the drive and determination necessary to start then grow their business. After an incredibly challenging year, we remain committed to rebuilding our economy and supporting Delaware small businesses.”

Businesses who are less than five years old and employ no more than 10 employees are eligible to apply for an EDGE Grant. The grants are awarded through a competitive selection process. STEM-based companies can receive up to $100,000 for eligible expenses while Entrepreneur Class (non-STEM) businesses can receive up to $25,000.

EDGE is a matching grant program. The Division of Small Business matches a winning business’s investment on a 3-to-1 basis. The business can spend EDGE grant funds on expenses that help improve the company’s long-term chances of success, such as a marketing campaign to help acquire more customers or purchasing a needed piece of equipment that can increase production capacity.

“EDGE Grants are helping to level the playing field for promising Delaware small companies as they compete with more established, larger businesses and as they recover from the coronavirus pandemic,” Secretary of State Jeff Bullock said. “Small businesses are the backbone of Delaware’s economy, and this program is just one of the many ways the Division of Small Business has made a strong, positive impact on the state’s economy by assisting hardworking business owners.”

Since EDGE launched in 2019, more than $2 million has been awarded to 35 promising Delaware small businesses in industries ranging from wearable technology to agribusiness to craft brewing.

“Despite the challenges of the last year, Delaware’s entrepreneurs continue to find innovative ways to ensure the success of their businesses by developing new products, changing how they interact with their customers, or thinking creatively about their future goals,” Division Director Jordan Schulties said. “The EDGE Grant offers us the opportunity to recognize this innovation by providing much-needed capital assistance at a time when our state’s small businesses need it most.”

This is the third round of funding for the program since it launched in 2019. In this latest round, which opened in April, 282 businesses applied for funding. Twenty-three finalists gave public presentations before a panel of expert judges on June 22, 23 and 24 at Delaware Tech in Dover.

Taco Jardin received $25,000 in EDGE Grant funds to purchase a second food truck to expand their reach throughout Kent County.

“This funding from the EDGE Grant program is significant for a small business like ours and will create opportunities for our business that would not be possible without it,” said chef and co-owner Charles Kelchner. “My business partners and I are honored to be selected as a winner of the grant funding. I know it will go a long way in helping our business grow and thrive in the months and years to come.”

EDGE Grant Recipients

STEM class

Desikant (Wilmington)
Founded in late 2019 by Kwaku Temeng, Desikant Technologies created technology that incorporates electronics into protective gear to actively exchange warm, humid interior air with cooler, drier ambient air. The company’s current project is developing and testing a cooling vest that surgeons can wear to prevent heat exhaustion during long surgeries. Desikant will use its grant to add new capabilities (intelligent, automatic operation) to its technology toolkit and pave the way for developing products for demanding, high value, and profitable applications.

Curative Sciences (Newark)
Curative Sciences is an early-stage life science start-up developing a comprehensive treatment platform for Oral Mucositis, tissue swelling in the mouth often caused by cancer treatment. The platform includes light-based therapy as well as oral care products for the management of intermediate to long-term oral side effects of cancer therapy. The grant will allow Curative Sciences to develop the next generation of their light-based therapy device.

Resonate Forward (Newark)
This company was established to commercialize technology to help mitigate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The grant will make it possible for Resonate Forward to develop a manufacturable prototype and design for their RMband device that mitigates tremors in patients with Parkinson’s disease. In addition, grant funds will also be used to help the company secure research/office space at the University of Delaware’s STAR campus.

Neggster (Wilmington)
Always looking to solve problems, Newark’s Kasai Guthrie will be utilizing his EDGE funding to enable young adults to learn how to responsibly manage money and eventually hopes to transform his clients into entrepreneurs. Neggster, Guthrie’s new banking app, will teach its users how to better oversee their funds and to guide them to a more prosperous future.

Aqua Science (Newark)
Aqua Science LLC is a biotechnology start-up that supplies high-quality testing solutions for the water quality testing market, including biosensor-based products, lab services, or complementary products sourced from others. The company created a BioLight product line used for toxicity testing of water and soil by municipalities, industrial companies, and utilities who demand high-quality results and adherence to regulation. They will use the grant funding to develop a luminometer to be used with the BioLight kits.

Entrepreneur class

Doña Maria’s Pupuseria (Seaford)
Making Seaford a better place, one storefront at a time is exactly what Craig de Mariana Aleman and his family are all about. With their EDGE funding, Doña Maria will be expanding their restaurant outside and offering hand-dipped ice cream services to locals. While dining outside, customers will also be able to enjoy a beautiful new mural that Craig will commission, highlighting a local artist.

Elite Feet (Middletown)
Elite Feet is a local, family-owned and operated retail specialty running store that sells high quality footwear and apparel for the entire family. The company will use grant funds to create a mobile retail store in a climate-controlled trailer. The mobile trailer will allow customers to be fitted for and purchase athletic shoes while attending races or other events, increasing the company’s profits and return on investment.

Taco Jardin (Smyrna)
Charles “Cheeks” Kelchner and his business partners are passionate about great things – specifically, street tacos served from their food truck, Taco Jardin, located at the Painted Stave Distilling in Smyrna. Chef Cheeks will be utilizing his newly obtained EDGE funding to purchase another food truck to take his fare on the road throughout Kent County.

Paragon Life and Fitness (Wilmington)
Vickie George, co-founder of Paragon Life and Fitness, believes that engaging in exercise should not be just for the elite or the able-bodied, and inclusiveness should have a place in the fitness industry. Paragon Life and Fitness plans to use its EDGE grant funding to open a fitness facility for adults and people with physical disabilities that will include wheelchair/dual accessible equipment.

Grail Sports (Elsmere)
Founder Eugene Delle Donne launched Grail Sports LLC during the summer of 2018 with aspirations to penetrate the sports media world. After evolving from specializing in online blogging and podcasts, in January 2021, Grail Sports entered into a lease agreement to acquire a 24,000 square foot gymnasium to create an elite training facility for youth programs called the Grail Sports Complex. EDGE grant funding will be used to renovate the lower level of the sports complex to allow Grail Sports the opportunity to offer indoor training in multiple sports.

1440 Film (Wilmington)

1440 Film Co. is a full-service video production company located in Wilmington that specializes in commercials, documentaries, and branded content. The company will use grant funding to purchase a cargo van and various grip filmmaking equipment in order to continue delivering high-quality work that is creative, engaging, and makes an impact on its clients.  

Tempest Risk Management (Wilmington)

Tempest Risk Management provides world class business continuity and disaster recovery solutions to businesses and communities enabling them to survive and thrive. EDGE grant funding will be used to build and launch the Tempest Risk Management Portal giving Delaware’s small and medium business owners instant access to critical resources when they are needed during a business emergency or disruption.

Brimming Horn Meadery (Milton)

When Jon Talkington and JR Walker opened the Brimming Horn Meadery in Milton, Delaware in 2017 they had no idea how quickly their niche corner of the market would grow. Fast forward to 2021 and now the meadery is yet again expanding their horizons into the food truck industry. With their newly acquired EDGE funding, Jon and JR will be opening a Viking-themed food truck to complement their meads and serve their hungry clientele.

Gingham + Grace Clothing (Harbeson)

Jami Jackson has grown her once small online boutique shop to a brick-and-mortar storefront in Harbeson, Delaware where her clients receive excellent customer service and one-of-a-kind pieces. With her EDGE funding, Jackson plans on investing in new inventory to grow sales, with hopes to bring on a new employee who can help her better serve her patrons in Delaware and the 29 other states that she ships to currently.

Delaware Tool Exchange (Newark)

This veteran-owned company acquires tools and equipment on a consignment basis and offers them for sale at fair market prices from a brick-and-mortar industrial facility in Newark. The company will use its grant to lease, build out, and open a second location in or near Newark, and equip their existing location with an integrated system to receive, inspect, clean, and repair tools more efficiently.


Governor Carney Signs Senate Bill 127

Legislation creates Site Readiness Fund to promote job creation, economic growth

MIDDLETOWN, Del. – Governor John Carney on Tuesday signed Senate Bill 127 alongside members of the General Assembly, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, business owners, and local elected officials. This legislation was laid out in the Governor’s 2021 State of the State Address.

Senate Bill 127 creates a Site Readiness Fund that will promote economic growth and stability by investing in the development or improvement of commercial and industrial sites to attract job-creating businesses. The Fund will provide grants, loans or other economic assistance to qualified businesses or local governments that invest in constructing, renovating or improving infrastructure for sites that will attract new businesses or expand existing businesses within the State.

“We are competing for jobs every day, and we are working hard to ensure Delaware’s future and ongoing economic success,” said Governor Carney. “This legislation will allow us to quickly convert existing properties to meet the needs of prospective employers, spurring growth and new business investment. It’s just another way we are makingDelaware a top choice for businesses to start here and stay here. Thank you to all the members of the General Assembly, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, and the Division of Small Business for their work on this legislation.”

“A good-paying job can change lives,” said Senator Jack Walsh. “But in today’s highly competitive environment, you can’t just sit back and hope your state will attract major employers. You got to work at it every day. Thankfully, Governor Carney, the Delaware Prosperity Partnership and the Division of Small Business are doing exactly that, and this legislation gives them another tool in their tool belt to help attract the kinds of companies and construction projects that will put our neighbors to work for years to come.”

“To ensure Delaware’s future and ongoing economic success, we need sites that can accommodate businesses and expedite the start-up time for new companies,” said Representative Bill Bush. “By taking this proactive approach in developing a ready supply of sites, we’re keeping Delaware competitive with surrounding states by attracting and retaining businesses with high-quality jobs.”

“Businesses who are considering locating in Delaware often need to make significant infrastructure investments, whether by constructing a new site or renovating an existing one. The Site Readiness Fund provides us the opportunity to offer those businesses an added incentive that can give us an advantage over other states,” said Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock. “In today’s economic climate where competition among states and globally is heavy, this fund is a critical piece in expanding and sustaining economic growth in Delaware.”

“At a time when there is significant competition from other states, the Site Readiness Fund is an important tool in our economic development toolbox that we can use to stay competitive and incentivize businesses to locate in Delaware,” said Jordan Schulties, Director of the Division of Small Business. “The fund will go a long way in helping our state attract and retain businesses that will create quality jobs for Delawareans.” 

“This measure furthers the efforts of Delaware Prosperity Partnership and its many statewide partners because the improvements it will fund will help businesses choose Delaware for their location or expansion,” said Kurt Forman, President and CEO of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership. “DPP is grateful to the General Assembly for its support of this legislation and for its investment in ensuring that sites throughout the state are ready for the kinds of investment and job growth we all value.”

Photos from today’s bill signing can be found here.

Rewatch the bill signing ceremony here.

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Division of Small Business Announces Market Pressure Relief Fund Available for State Contractors

Dover, Del. (July 15, 2021) – The Delaware Division of Small Business and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced today the launch of a Market Pressure Relief Fund designed to assist state contractors facing increased costs for construction materials due to the pandemic.

The fund will provide adjustment reimbursements for non-transportation construction materials purchased from January 1 through July 31, 2021. General contractors who have a contract with the state resulting from a formal procurement can apply for assistance from the fund.

“While we have made significant strides against COVID-19 thanks to the availability of the vaccines, we know many of our state’s businesses continue to face financial challenges as a result of the pandemic, including many of the vendors who do business with the State of Delaware who were forced to acquire construction materials at significantly higher prices earlier this year,” said Gov. John Carney. “We are hopeful this fund will provide some much-needed relief to our state contractors.”

“Throughout the pandemic, the Division of Small Business has looked for ways to help our small businesses recover financially by listening to their concerns and creating valuable solutions,” said Division Director Jordan Schulties. “We are pleased to launch the Market Pressure Relief Fund with OMB to provide another tool our state contractors can use to help offset the increase in costs for construction materials experienced during the health crisis.”

“Our office has heard concerns from state contractors about the increased cost of construction materials throughout the pandemic,” said Dean Stotler, Director of Government Support Services at OMB. “Working closely with the Division of Small Business, we were able to create this new fund to help take some of the burden off those businesses. I encourage contractors to take advantage of this opportunity and apply for assistance from the relief fund.”

Beginning Monday July 19, contractors can download the application for the Market Pressure Relief Fund on the Division of Small Business’ website at www.delbiz.com. Completed applications can be emailed to business_finance@delaware.gov. The deadline to apply for funding is September 30, 2021. Additional information and eligibility requirements for the relief fund can be found at www.delbiz.com.