Division of Small Business Launches Innovative New Website Service Designed to Support Delaware’s Small Businesses

DOVER, Del. – The Delaware Division of Small Business launched SizeUpDelaware this week, making powerful market research and business intelligence available to small businesses to help them succeed.

Small business owners in Delaware can now access industry-specific and hyperlocal information to help them grow and make smarter decisions using Big Data analysis. The research is individually customized for each company. By using the website service, small businesses are able to:

  1. Rank their business performance compared to industry competitors
  2. Discover potential customers, suppliers, and better understand their competitive landscape
  3. Optimize advertising to target ideal customer segments

“Delaware is home to more than 25,000 small businesses that account for more than 98% of all businesses in the state and more than 55% of the workforce,” said Governor John Carney. “These businesses are the backbone of our state’s economy, and we want to equip them with as many tools and resources as we can to help them succeed. With the launch of SizeUpDelaware, we are empowering our small businesses to be able to make more data-driven decisions to better operate, succeed, and grow.” 

“We are excited to launch this powerful new tool for Delaware’s small businesses during National Small Business Week. In today’s information economy, if you don’t have access to information, your business is at a significant disadvantage,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “The Department of State and Division of Small Business are committed to helping our small and local businesses succeed. They are the foundation of our local economy, employ our residents, create new jobs, and make our communities more prosperous places. Providing this SizeUp business assistance service is another way in which we are partnering with our small businesses for their success.”

SizeUp helps to level the competitive business playing field by providing small businesses with similar market research that typically only large corporations can afford to access by contracting multinational management consulting companies or hiring internal research analysts. SizeUp uses big data, cloud computing, and computer algorithms to deliver custom analysis for local businesses. The data comes from hundreds of public and proprietary data sources covering firmographic, demographic, geographic, labor, wage, cost, consumer spending, transportation, and more.

This new service is free for small businesses and available anytime through the Division of Small Business website at business.delaware.gov/sizeup-delaware or the SizeUpDelaware website.

Secretary of State Jeff Bullock Announces Leadership Changes

Dover, Del.—Secretary of State Jeff Bullock announced on Friday that Jordan Schulties, Director of the Division of Small Business, and Tim Slavin, Director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, will depart from their roles to embark on new journeys at the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) and Fort Dupont Redevelopment & Preservation Corporation, respectively. 

“I am grateful to both Jordan and Tim’s dedication and service to their divisions throughout these past few years,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “Jordan rose through the ranks from Deputy Director to Director of the Division and her steadfast commitment helped so many small businesses in the community receive all types of assistance from grants to resources, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

“Tim’s leadership and passion throughout these past 17 years have transformed the division into what it is today and strengthened how Delawareans connect with all aspects of history. He has served Delawareans well. I wish both Jordan and Tim all the best in their new roles,” said Bullock. 

“It has been a privilege to lead the Division of Small Business, and I am honored to have served in this important role,” said Director Schulties. “In my time with the division, our team has provided millions of dollars in assistance to businesses throughout Delaware, creating and sustaining thousands of jobs and helping to grow our economy. I am incredibly proud of the team we have and the hard work they do every day to support our state’s small businesses.” 

Regina Mitchell, Deputy Director of the Division of Small Business, will serve as Acting Director until a successor is named. 

 “I owe a debt of gratitude to my colleagues at Historical and Cultural Affairs for all that we have accomplished,” said Director Slavin. “Their work continues to improve our lives in Delaware; they are truly dedicated public servants.” 

Slavin will serve until June 30, 2022. A successor will be named to head the division before June 30th.    

The Division of Small Business is a service-focused agency committed to supporting businesses starting and growing in Delaware. Small businesses can reach out to the Division for assistance in connecting to the resources and advice to succeed. To learn more about the Division of Small Business, click here. 

The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs serves the public by identifying, collecting, preserving, and interpreting inclusive Delaware history and engaging diverse cultures. HCA activities foster strong communities, engaged citizens, economic vitality, and a deeper understanding of Delaware’s role in world history. To learn more about the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, click here.   

Council on Development Finance Approves Eight Site Readiness Fund Projects Totaling $6.2 million

NEW CASTLE, DE (March 28, 2022) – The Council on Development Finance (CDF) on Monday approved eight Site Readiness Fund project applications totaling $6.2 million. The projects are located throughout the state with three each in New Castle County and Kent County and two in Sussex County.

Established through Senate Bill 127, the Site Readiness Fund promotes economic growth and stability by investing in the development or improvement of commercial and industrial sites to attract job-creating businesses.

“The Site Readiness Fund was created to help fund development or redevelopment of commercial and industrial sites across Delaware to spur economic growth and new business investment. With the funding approved today, these properties can be quickly converted to meet the needs of employers who will create quality jobs for Delawareans,” said Governor John Carney.

“By investing in these projects, we can ensure that Delaware remains competitive in attracting and retaining vital businesses that create opportunities for employment,” said Jordan Schulties, Director of the Division of Small Business. “In today’s competitive economy, it is more important than ever that we have tools like the Site Readiness Fund to help expand and sustain economic growth in our state.”

“The Site Readiness Fund allows us to be proactive in developing a ready supply of sites available to companies who choose to locate or expand in Delaware,” said Kurt Foreman, President and CEO of the Delaware Prosperity Partnership. “We are excited to see the projects receiving funding today develop over the coming months and look forward to the new jobs they will bring to Delaware.”

The Site Readiness Fund provides grants, loans or other economic assistance to qualified businesses or local governments that invest in constructing, renovating or improving commercial, industrial sites that are readily available to new businesses, established businesses that are considering moving to the state, or existing businesses within the state that need additional sites to remain or expand in Delaware.

The FY 2022 Bond Bill included $10 million to support the Site Readiness Fund. This is the first round of funding for the program.

The project applications approved for funding by the CDF on Monday include:

  • $1 million to the Chestnut Run Innovation and Science Park partners to modernize campus infrastructure of the Chestnut Run Innovation and Science Park, which was designed to combine research, advanced manufacturing operations and business incubation while cultivating relationships with local universities. Funding will be used to improve site lighting and utilities, paving and concrete, and for selective building demolition.
  • $1 million to the City of Harrington for proposed redevelopment of an industrial park on three properties on U.S. Route 13 totaling 131 acres. Funding will be used for engineering and planning of the project and roadway and utility work.
  • $1 million to Drawbridge Claymont to support the development of an industrial site on 58 acres at 6300 Philadelphia Pike in Claymont. Funding will be used for demolition and engineering services.
  • $1 million to E & D Holdings to support continued development of the Wyoming Business Center at 140 and 146 Southern Boulevard in Wyoming. Funding will be used to prepare the site, install infrastructure and utilities, and construct two new warehouse buildings.
  • $1 million to Martin Property Development to support development of 112,000 square feet of flexible industrial warehouse space on 10.9 acres of commercial property in the Frankford Business Park. Funding will be used for civil engineering, earthwork, sitework, and utilities.
  • $1 million to Sussex County to create new shovel-ready sites at the Delaware Coastal Business Park near Georgetown. Funding will be used for road improvements, utilities, and supporting infrastructure.
  • $100,000 to the City of Milford to support planning for the development of an industrial/business park on a recently purchased 182-acre lot on Milford Harrington Highway. Funding will be used to develop a master plan, conduct a traffic impact study, and complete engineering design.
  • $100,000 to Shanlan Corporation to support planning for the development of the St. Georges Logistics Center at 1870 Dupont Parkway in Middletown, which is conceptually designed to include three buildings totaling more than 2.5 million square feet of warehouse facilities. Funding will be used for engineering fees and transition surveying.

Three additional Site Readiness Fund project applications requesting a total of $3 million will be considered at the next CDF meeting on April 25. If those projects are approved, the first round of Site Readiness funding will support 11 projects at a total of $9.2 million.

EDGE Grants Competition Reopens To Benefit Promising Early-Stage Delaware Small Businesses

DOVER, DE (March 1, 2022) – 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 March 31 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. Five STEM-based companies can receive up to $100,000 for eligible expenses while five Entrepreneur Class (non-STEM) businesses can receive up to $50,000.

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 March 1 through March 31 at 5 p.m. Finalists will pitch their grant proposals to a panel of expert judges with winners announced in the summer.

“Delaware has an amazing community of entrepreneurs who stake their future on following their passion and starting their own business,” Secretary of State Jeff Bullock said. “By providing significant capital to these early-stage companies, the state of Delaware is able to help them reach their potential and show their owners that we value their efforts in starting and growing their businesses here in Delaware.”

“The EDGE Grant program has been very popular with Delaware small business owners because these grants have helped promising small companies in a variety of industries reach the next level and compete with larger companies,” Division of Small Business Director Jordan Schulties said. “I urge eligible small business owners interested in the program to reach out today to one of our Regional Business Managers for help with the application process.”

Since EDGE launched in 2019, $2.75 million has been awarded to 50 promising Delaware small businesses in industries ranging from renewable energy technology to fitness centers to restaurants. This will be the fifth round of the program since its launch.

One of the businesses who previously received funding is Elyte Energy, which uses patent-protected hydrogen technology to build a highly efficient power supply for generators and other fixed and portable devices. Elyte Energy was awarded a $100,000 STEM EDGE grant in the last round of funding. The company is using its grant to acquire laboratory space and equipment to develop a commercial prototype of its hydrogen-based system to power generators for the outdoor industry.  

“Startup companies like ours need funding if they are going to grow,” Dr. Jalaal A. Hayes, PhD, Elyte Energy’s founder and CEO said. “The $100,000 EDGE grant we received from the Delaware Division of Small Business will be crucial in helping us expand operations and build a commercial prototype to help meet our goal of making green energy available for the recreational vehicle (RV) market.”

Businesses should visit the Division of Small Business website for eligibility requirements, to download the grant application and to connect with a Regional Business Manager for application assistance.

Governor Carney and Division of Small Business Announce Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation Funding Awards

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney and the Delaware Division of Small Business announced Thursday more than $7.7 million in funding awards to seven organizations as part of the recovery effort for the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries. 

The funds are part of the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) $750 million American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation program, which provided $510 million in State Tourism grants and $240 million in Competitive Tourism grants to be awarded to advance the economic recovery and resiliency of communities where the travel, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries were hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Delaware received over $7 million of those funds and announced a request for proposals (RFPs) in November.

“Delaware’s tourism industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to face challenges as it rebuilds,” said Governor Carney. “The organizations receiving funding today will provide a boost to the industry by maintaining quality jobs and encouraging travelers to visit our state’s many destinations.”

“The $3.2 billion tourism industry in Delaware employs more than 44,000 people and is an important part of our state’s workforce and economy. It is critical that we do everything we can to support the industry,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “The organizations receiving the funds today have found creative solutions to help our state’s tourism industry recover from the pandemic and prepare for future challenges.”

“A robust arts and culture industry is directly linked to Delaware’s tourism industry and to our state’s overall economic recovery from COVID-19,” said Delaware Arts Alliance interim executive director Lorraine Poling. “Our team has created a comprehensive and thoughtful plan to use these funds to engage our communities and assist the tourism industry in rebuilding and remaining sustainable into the future.”

The funding announced on Thursday will provide:

  • $1 million to the Delaware Arts Alliance to produce an interactive, publicly available map of Delaware’s creative economy; create comprehensive recovery plans for Delaware’s Opportunity Zones; and perform an economic impact study.
  • $1.7 million to Delaware State University in collaboration with the University of Delaware to expand current programs, including DSU’s Hospitality & Tourism Management degree, to support the rebuilding of the travel and tourism industry in Delaware. Funds will also be used to create familiarization tours for a targeted audience of national as well as international admission officers and other officials who make recommendations to students and parents regarding colleges or universities in the U.S. Tours will target those students interested in tourism-related industries, including hotel and restaurant management, facilities management, museum studies, and culinary arts.
  • $751,262 to the Greater Wilmington Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for a multi-faceted “Welcome All” regional campaign targeting travelers along the eastern corridor from New York to Virginia. The campaign will highlight the many diverse treasures of New Castle County, the City of Wilmington, and the region’s unique neighborhoods.
  • $334,999 to Kent County Tourism for a comprehensive advertising and marketing program to increase awareness and promote unique Kent County offerings. Marketing and advertising efforts will also focus on growing the group market, particularly military reunions tied to the AMC museum and Dover Air Force Base. In addition, marketing efforts will also include website upgrades.
  • $400,000 to Southern Delaware Tourism for a comprehensive advertising and marketing plan to promote overnight visitation to Sussex County as well as a publicity program to promote Southern Delaware’s Culinary Coast™.
  • $300,000 to the Joshua M. Freeman Foundation for a comprehensive marketing campaign to draw even greater tourism activity from out-of-state visitors to Freeman Arts Pavilion in Selbyville. Marketing efforts will include but are not limited to television, radio, social media and billboard and signage enhancements. The project also proposes updating the foundation’s economic impact study, which was last updated in 2018.
  • $3.25 million to the Riverfront Development Corporation (RDC) to “Light Up the Riverfront” by painting and installing LED lights along the railroad bridges surrounding the Wilmington Riverfront and installing lighting on trees, bushes and structures along the Riverwalk, with themed displays and projection art throughout the year. The RDC will also use the funds to create a regional marketing plan and visitor incentives for the new light installations utilizing its existing Riverfront Wilmington app.