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.


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.


Division of Small Business awards EDGE Grants to 15 Delaware companies

MIDDLETOWN, Del. (December 16, 2021) – The Delaware Division of Small Business recognized 15 small businesses Thursday as winners of the fourth round of Encouraging Development, Growth and Expansion (EDGE) Grants. Awardees in the latest round of the competition include a company working to alleviate phantom limb pain for amputees, a maker of easy-to-use diagnostic tests for aquaculture, an artisanal popsicle store and a supplier of home brewing materials.

Gov. John Carney and Division of Small Business Director Jordan Schulties announced the companies at an event at CrossFit Petram in Middletown, one of the small businesses awarded an EDGE Grant in this round.

“The EDGE Grant program is helping our state’s newest small businesses expand and innovate by providing much-needed capital assistance that these businesses may not have access to otherwise,” said Governor Carney. “The small businesses awarded a grant in this latest round of EDGE are creating unique solutions and products that set them apart from their competition. They represent the best Delaware has to offer, and we are excited to see how the grant funds help their businesses grow.”

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.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Delaware’s economy, with over 25,000 companies that employ more than half of our state’s workers,” Secretary of State Jeff Bullock said. “The EDGE program assists these creative, driven entrepreneurs in acquiring the capital support they need to reach their full potential.”

Since EDGE launched in 2019, $2.75 million has been awarded to 50 promising Delaware small businesses in industries ranging from wearable technology to agribusiness to craft brewing.

This is the fourth round of funding for the program since it launched in 2019. In this latest round, which opened in April, more than 100 businesses applied for funding. Twenty-three finalists gave public presentations before a panel of expert judges on November 16, 17 and 18 at Delaware Tech in Dover.

“Each round of the EDGE Grants competition demonstrates some of our state’s most innovative and influential new small businesses, and this round was no exception,” Division of Small Business Director Jordan Schulties said. “The winners in this latest round include the most diverse pool of small businesses we have ever had for the competition. All of the STEM awardees and seven out of 10 Entrepreneur awardees are minority or woman-owned businesses. Our division is proud to support these worthy small businesses and help them succeed in their efforts.”

CrossFit Petram received $25,000 in EDGE Grant funds to design & construct two showers inside their gym, purchase and install an infrared sauna and purchase new athlete recovery tools including compression boots and handheld massage guns.

“My business partner and I are honored to be selected as a winner of EDGE grant funding in this round,” said CrossFit Petram co-owner Chris Townsend. “Since we opened in 2017, our customers have expressed an interest in having showers in the gym, and the EDGE Grant funding gives us the opportunity to meet this business need. With this funding, our business can expand, and our membership numbers can grow well into the future.”

 

EDGE Grant Recipients

STEM class 

TheraV (Newark)
TheraV works to transform and innovate post-amputation therapy and rehabilitation through the creation of drug-free solutions that improve the quality of life of amputees. TheraV’s leading product, TheraV ELIX, is a drug-free wearable device that applies customized mechanical stimulation to overcome phantom limb pain. TheraV will use the EDGE grant funds for product development and manufacturing, website development, office space and conference travel.

CM Materials (Wilmington)
CM Materials is a seed-stage advanced materials company paving a more efficient future of electromagnetic components such as transformers, inductors, chokes, and filters. With the funds from the EDGE grant, the company will be able to demonstrate key performance improvements in devices for end-users which will accelerate the commercialization and market adaptation of CM Materials and increase the brand value.

Elyte Energy (Wilmington)
Elyte Energy uses patent-protected hydrogen technology to build a highly efficient power supply for generators and other fixed and portable devices. The EDGE grant will be used for laboratory space and equipment to develop a commercial prototype of its hydrogen-based system to power recreational vehicles.  

Gaskiya Diagnostics (Wilmington)
Gaskiya Diagnostics offers low-cost, paper-based and easy-to-use diagnostic tests for disease detection in aquaculture worldwide. The company will use its grant for research and development of its diagnostic aquaculture test, laboratory space and equipment and other services including a validated prototype to offer investors.

Kindwell (Wilmington)
Kindwell is a group of scientists, engineers and business executives dedicated to the improvement of chemical analysis to positively impact climate change, environmental justice and air quality. The company is using highly innovative and impactful technology to create compact gas chromatography devices and multi-pollutant monitors to measure organic and inorganic chemicals in the air. Kindwell will use its grant to make engineering and software upgrades to their devices and on marketing and commercialization of their products.

Entrepreneur class

How Do You Brew (Smyrna)
How Do You Brew is a retailer of supplies for home brewers currently based in Newark. The company will use EDGE funding to build and market a new retail space in Smyrna that will double as a warehouse and distribution center for the growing business, expanding their reach into Kent and Sussex counties.

Key to Life Juice Bar (Dover)
The Key to Life Juice Bar strives to promote and educate young people and members of the minority community on the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and the benefits of healthy eating. EDGE grant funds will be used for three months of rent at a location in downtown Dover, build-out needs, marketing and ingredients.

Lean On Me Caregiving (Dover)
Lean On Me Caregiving is a non-medical in-home care agency that services the entire state of Delaware. Services include, but are not limited to, personal care and hygiene, companionship, socialization, homemaking and organization, nutrition and hydration assistance, mental stimulation, dementia care and medication reminders. EDGE funding will be used to develop an advanced educational employee training program on a web-based platform and to purchase equipment needed for the program.

CrossFit Petram (Middletown)
CrossFit Petram is a brick-and-mortar gym strategically located in the heart of the MOT community, right on Main Street in downtown Middletown. Grant funds will be used to design & construct two showers inside the gym, purchase and install an infrared sauna and purchase new athlete recovery tools including compression boots and handheld massage guns.

One Way Insurance Group (Seaford)
One Way Insurance Group is a multilingual independent insurance agency specializing in auto, home, business and life and employee benefits. The company will use its EDGE grant to purchase a van and convert it into a mobile office to reach more clients and provide financial literacy to the communities it serves.

ONTrac (Middletown)
ONTrac is a self-improvement content publishing and accountability platform that aims to improve goal achievement outcomes by empowering self-improvement content creators and other accountability partners to create content utilizing their innovative, proprietary new content medium called SMARTracs™. Securing the EDGE Grant will allow ONTrac to differentiate itself from its competitors by launching a pilot opportunity with a well-known coach and social media influencer.

Pop In Artisan Pops (Middletown)
Pop In Artisan Pops is a manufacturer of custom frozen treats with a small fleet of vintage ice cream tricycles used at events. To grow their business, they need the ability to accommodate larger catering events, provide broader delivery options and expand distribution reach. They will use the EDGE grant funds to purchase a cargo van to expand their catering business.

Sweets & Treats (Dover)
Sweets & Treats is a dessert shop located in Dover’s historic downtown development district. The shop offers gourmet desserts and custom cakes and has served over 30,000 customers since opening in May 2019. EDGE grant funds will be used to expand the shop’s menu, purchase kitchen equipment and renovate the shop in order to add indoor seating.

The Berry Patch (Lincoln)
The family of Rodney and Yolonda Messick, including their sons Joshua and Jacob, are diversifying their grain farm operation to incorporate a U-Pick Berry Farm. The Berry Patch will utilize a growing system that is ideal for easy picking and handicap accessibility. The family plans to begin operating in the fall of 2022 and will use EDGE grant funds to purchase an IBEX strawberry growing system, which protects plants from frost, mold and pests, by using raised single containers and coconut husks as growing matter.

The Center for Grief and Trauma Therapy (Newark)
The Center for Grief and Trauma Therapy provides mental health services for those experiencing grief or trauma. The business will use grant funds for technology upgrades, including improved internet access for its clinicians and staff to provide telehealth and in-person therapy, and additional marketing efforts.


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.