A New Grow Delaware Fund is Announced to Mirror the Success of the Grow Wilmington Fund in Helping Small Businesses Succeed

The two funds are designed to spur job growth in Delaware

Community and business leaders came together today to celebrate the success of a small business initiative which began in Wilmington a few years ago and to announce a complimentary effort that will support small businesses and job growth throughout Delaware.

Facilitated by West End Neighborhood House, The Longwood Foundation, Discover Bank, Department of State Division of Small Business Development and Tourism and the National Development Council, the Grow Delaware Fund was unveiled today at a ceremony in Wilmington. The Grow Delaware Fund, which seeks to replicate the success of the Grow Wilmington Fund, is a unique partnership that will provide $5 million to support loans to small businesses in Delaware that are seeking to strengthen their operations and grow jobs. The new initiative will offer flexible financing to Delaware-based businesses through long-term fixed rate financing designed to minimize monthly principal and interest payments maximizing a business’ ability to grow. This will allow Delaware businesses to both add and retain jobs.

The Grow Wilmington Fund, established in 2014, is a partnership between Wilmington Office of Economic Development, Discover Bank, Cozen O’Connor and the National Development Council, an SBA 7(a) lender and community development financial institution. It began with $1 million in seed money from Wilmington’s Urban Development Action Grant Corporation (UDAG), a quasi-governmental non-profit development corporation, wholly-owned by the city of Wilmington.  UDAG’s investment leveraged $3 million of private funds to establish a $4 million fund that offers low-interest, long-term loans to small businesses currently operating in Wilmington or looking to relocate to the city.  The fund can be used to acquire real estate, perform leasehold improvements and obtain working capital.  Since its inception the fund has loaned in excess of $3.2 million to support four small businesses which were able to create 17 new and retain 52 existing jobs.

Among the business that have benefitted from the Grow Wilmington Fund are Short Order Production House (formerly, The Kitchen) which used the fund to open its offices at the Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Wilmington) Railroad Station and Paul Campanella’s Auto & Tire Center, which used the Grow Wilmington Fund to move from its former location just outside of the city limits to its new location near the intersection of Concord Avenue and Broom Street. Owner Paul Campanella hosted today’s Grow Delaware announcement ceremony at his new Wilmington location at 1005 West 27th Street which is scheduled to open in November. Campanella said he wanted an opportunity to thank everyone for the assistance his business received from Wilmington’s small business initiative.

Grow Delaware Fund loans range from $150,000 to $4,000,000. The amount a business can borrower is subject to underwriting guidelines and loan fund availability. Once obtained, loan funds may be used for:

  • Working Capital – to be repaid over 10 years
  • Machinery and Equipment – to be repaid over 10 years
  • Real estate acquisitions/renovation of owner-occupied businesses – to be repaid over 25 years
  • Tenant improvements – to be repaid over the life of the lease
  • Refinancing existing debts

Together, the Grow Wilmington and Grow Delaware Funds will leverage over $11 million to assist economic development and job creation.

“This is how we want to see economic development function in Delaware,” said Governor John Carney. “It takes a model that worked well at the local level and expands it statewide, helping businesses to grow and proposer from Claymont to Delmar. Small businesses are a cornerstone element of Delaware’s overall economic strength, and I look forward to seeing the new successes that will come out of assistance from the Grow Delaware Fund.”

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki today thanked Governor Carney, Discover Bank and Longwood Foundation for their $1.5 million commitment to the small business community in Wilmington via the Grow Delaware Fund. “Wilmington is excited to be able to share its successes with a growth fund with small businesses and municipalities throughout the state. In Delaware, we get more done because we work together and freely share programs and ideas that can be leveraged for the greater good.”

“As amazing as it may sound, the Small Business Administration tells us that small businesses account for 99.7 percent of all employers in the United States, and employ over 56 million people. Therefore, the importance of providing growth capital to small businesses is critically important to the economies of Delaware and the nation. NDC is proud to be a partner in the innovative Grow Delaware Fund, which will provide reasonably priced loan capital to growing small businesses throughout the State of Delaware,” said Daniel Marsh, President and CEO of NDC.”

“Discover has been deeply committed to supporting the greater Delaware community for more than 25 years. As we have grown to become one of the leading direct banks, we have remained focused on supporting and promoting job growth in the communities in which our employees live and work,” said James J. Roszkowski, president of Discover Bank. “Whether it’s through innovative financial programs like the Grow Delaware Fund or the thousands of volunteer hours, Discover is focused on making a positive difference in communities around the country.”

Deepa Singh, program manager for the Grow Delaware Fund highlighted the fund’s state-wide approach: “The program’s outreach efforts have helped to catalyze the growth of a network of existing public/private/non-profit resources working collaboratively to support Delaware small businesses. Small businesses in all three counties have started the application process with the Grow Delaware Fund.” Ms. Singh will be available throughout the state to meet with businesses and promote the program.

The Grow Delaware Fund is the latest initiative to support the expansion of businesses in Delaware. Earlier this year, West End kicked off the Launcher Entrepreneurship program. Launcher was created to educate aspiring entrepreneurs on the fundamentals of starting their own businesses and help existing businesses expand. West End’s program is based on four primary components, which include: (1) business training, including classroom instruction and one-on-one mentoring focused on the basic elements of starting a business; (2) business support, such as topic-specific workshops taught by local experts; (3) loans/access to credit, provided by a local Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI); (4) business incubators – shared office and workspace to reduce costs and facilitate collaboration.

About Campanella’s Auto & Tire Center, host of today’s news conference
Paul Campanella’s Auto & Tire Center Service was founded in 1986. The locally-based and family-owned company employs 29 people – 25 full time and four part-time—at two locations. Later this month, Campanella’s will move from its current Augustine Cut-Off location to a new Wilmington facility at 1005 West 27th Street behind the Fulton Paper Company. The company’s other location is Paul Campanella’s Pike Creek Automotive at 2379 Limestone Road in Pike Creek. Campanella’s provides customers with high quality automotive services and superior customer service which has won it numerous awards from the Better Business Bureau and the Delaware Business Times. Its reputation has helped build long-term relationships with customers. The mission of the Paul Campanella Auto & Tire Center mission is to be the best provider of quality automotive products and services, while leading the industry in innovative processes.

Visit Delaware Releases New Mobile Application for National American Beer Day

Newport, Del.– Discovering Delaware went digital to celebrate National American Beer Day as the Delaware Tourism Office (Visit Delaware) unveiled Delaware on Tap, the new smartphone application version of the state’s popular Beer, Wine & Spirits Trail.

The office showcased the app, which is available for free download in the App Store and from Google Play, at Bellefonte Brewing Company Friday morning along with Gov. John Carney and Secretary of State Jeff Bullock, State Sen. Anthony Delcollo and Neil Shea, CEO of Bellefonte.

“Delaware’s more than $3-billion tourism industry is a key driver of the state’s economy, and our thriving craft beverage industry is an important element of that,” said Governor Carney. “Finding new and innovative ways to draw Delawareans and visitors into these small businesses helps to ensure the industry’s growth continues.”

“Craft beverage makers are some of our Delaware’s hardest working entrepreneurs,” said Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “An application like this is one of the many inventive ways state government can create a climate and community that helps them succeed.”

Delaware on Tap guides visitors and residents through completing the trail. After a user creates an account, the app uses geo-location to allow them to “check in” at a site.

Once they have checked in at any ten craft beverage makers on the trail, the user will receive a prize from the Delaware Tourism Office – a commemorative glass beer mug. Plus, the first 100 people to complete the trail via the app will get a growler cooler bag.

“As the craft beverage industry evolves, so does the Beer, Wine & Spirits Trail,” said Liz Keller, Delaware Tourism Director. “Visitors wanted a smartphone-friendly way to take the trail. We made it happen. Delaware on Tap follows the tourism office’s philosophy of listening to consumers and providing them what they need to enhance their visit to the state.”

The app provides travelers with the opportunity to find what’s nearby, upcoming events, suggestions for places to dine or stay, deals and transportation offerings, including tours and Uber. An in-app photo booth lets users put fun frames and filters on photos they take along the trail and then helps them post the fun shots on social media using #DEonTap.

“We work hard to attract potential customers and get information to them,” said Neil Shea, CEO of Bellefonte Brewing Company. “We’re appreciative of the Delaware Tourism Office’s efforts to assist us and Delaware’s entire craft beverage community with that mission. We frequently see visitors who stop in as a part of taking the Beer, Wine & Spirits Trail, and the new app will help even more beer lovers find us.”

“I am extremely encouraged to see Delaware proactively promoting one of the First State’s fastest growing and most popular industries,” said Sen. Anthony Delcollo, R-Marshallton. “We must continue highlighting the successes of our local businesses that create jobs and opportunity in our state, and that’s what Delaware on Tap accomplishes for this industry.”

The trail started in 2010 with 12 locations, all breweries and wineries. At the time it was called the Delaware Wine & Ale Trail. Since then the trail has grown to include more than two dozen businesses – breweries, wineries, distilleries, cideries and meaderies. The trail passport has racked up 7,200 downloads in seven years – a rate of three downloads every day.

The Beer, Wine and Spirits Trail is one of the Visit Delaware’s five Trails of Discovery. Each gives tourists a unique and thematic way to see the state. The other four trails are: history, outdoor, geocaching and culinary.

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., part of the Delaware Division of Small Business, Development & Tourism, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at www.visitdelaware.com or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.

Study Gives Delaware A+ for Small Business Friendliness

Division of Small Business, Development & Tourism hosting listening sessions statewide

WILMINGTON, Del. – Delaware received an A+ rating and ranked #2 out of 50 states in the 2017 Small Business Friendliness Survey released on Thursday by Thumbtack, a web and phone application for small businesses.

Thumbtack awarded the state A+ ratings in 9 of 12 categories studied – most importantly in Overall Friendliness.

“Thumbtack’s study confirms what people living and working in Delaware see every day. This state is a great place for entrepreneurs and small business owners to succeed,” said Governor John Carney. “We continue to work to make Delaware an even better home for small business. Since taking office, my team has focused on this area of economic development with the creation of the Division of Small Business, Development & Tourism, which will take Delaware’s support for small businesses and entrepreneurs to the next level.”

“The ranking reflects Delaware’s previous and continuing efforts to have a direct and immediate impact on small businesses through close working relationships with owners and entrepreneurs,” said Cerron Cade, Director of the Division of Small Business, Development & Tourism. “This is gratifying feedback from the community, and we are looking for even more as we continue to improve our approach to economic development.”

The Division is hosting three listening sessions Tuesday through Thursday – one in each county – to allow the public to share how the state can further support small business development.

Tuesday’s study release also comes on the heels of the state launching its new #OptionsInDE campaign, which is highlighting the many reasons Delaware is an appealing location for business of any size to grow and thrive.

Between July and September of this year, Thumbtack surveyed more than 13,000 small business owners across 50 states and 80 cities to determine how easy government makes it to start, run and expand a small business. This is the sixth year the company has produced the nationwide survey.



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Delaware Submits Proposal for Amazon’s Second North American Headquarters

Governor Carney releases video, highlights Delaware’s competitiveness, low tax burden, educated workforce

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Thursday announced three sites that Delaware has proposed to Amazon as the home for the company’s second North American headquarters. Governor Carney made the announcement at The Delaware Contemporary on Thursday afternoon on the Wilmington Riverfront, joined by Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester, Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, and New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer.

Also on Thursday, Governor Carney released a video highlighting what makes Delaware an attractive place for businesses to grow and create good-paying jobs. The video is available at OptionsInDE.com.

“Delaware is extremely well-positioned to be the home of Amazon’s second North American headquarters, and we believe that Delaware has submitted an aggressive, competitive proposal worthy of Amazon’s consideration,” said Governor Carney. “Delaware has great communities to live and raise a family, low taxes, responsive leadership, and a central location that has long been a great place for businesses to grow and create good-paying jobs. We look forward to talking more to Amazon about their options in Delaware.”

Delaware’s HQ2 site options are:

  • First State Crossing – Claymont
    • 425 acres at the former Evraz Steel Mill with utilities in place
    • Future home to Claymont Train Stationo 1/3 of a mile to I-95 and I-495
    • 20 miles to Philadelphia City Hall, 13 miles to PHL Airport
  •  Riverfront – Wilmington
    • A combination of properties on South Market Street along the Christina River
    • 82+ acres on the beautiful Wilmington Riverfront with utilities in place
    • 1/4 of a mile to I-95 and I-495
    • 1/3 of a mile to Wilmington Train Station
    • 27 miles to Center-City Philadelphia
  • 1800 Concord Pike – Fairfax
    •  82 acres with utilities in place that is already home to AstraZeneca and a large JP Morgan Chase facility
    • 1 mile to I-95o 500,000 sq. ft. of existing office space available
    • 26 miles to Center-City Philadelphia

Delaware’s HQ2 sites meet the major requirements of Amazon’s RFP, which called for a second headquarters site within 30 miles of a population center of at least 1 million people, with proximity to an international airport with daily flights to Seattle, San Francisco, New York City and Washington, D.C., and easy access to mass transit, and major highways. Amazon also sought initial space of 500,000 square feet, with possible total space up to 8 million square feet, which Delaware’s site options would accommodate.

“Delaware and New Castle County are uniquely positioned to welcome Amazon’s second North American headquarters,” said New Castle County Executive Matthew Meyer. “Delaware has made a compelling case to Amazon – and to other job creators looking to expand – that demonstrates the exceptional value of our productive and skilled workforce, high quality of life, reasonable cost of living and responsive and responsible public sector. New Castle County is where they should build for their future.”

“The process of crafting the Amazon proposal has actually been quite uplifting. It’s given us the opportunity to collectively reflect on what’s been accomplished over the years to make our city, county and state wonderful places to live, work, enjoy life and raise our families,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “This effort has also confirmed a fact that makes Delaware a tremendous place to live and conduct business, and that is the ease with which government, community and business representatives can come together on a moment’s notice to meet, collaborate and make progress. We certainly know why Wilmington and Delaware are excellent locations for the new Amazon headquarters, and hopefully Amazon will agree after reviewing our proposal.”

In addition to the strength of the sites, Delaware’s application focused on the state’s low tax burden, central location, comparatively affordable cost of living, highly trained and educated workforce, transportation flexibility, connectivity speed, and significant cultural and recreational opportunities.

Part of the state’s response to Amazon’s request for proposals is an attractive and competitive package of incentives. Companies considering expanding in Delaware have access to a number of programs designed to encourage growth, including the New Economy Jobs Tax Credit, Business Facility Tax Credit and grants or loans through the Delaware Strategic Fund. Amazon – which is incorporated in Delaware and has fulfillment centers in New Castle and Middletown – has said it will make a selection for HQ2 in 2018 but has not announced a specific timeline for announcing that decision. The company issued a nationwide RFP last month as it sought to add a new headquarters to its existing one in Seattle.

Letters of support for Delaware’s HQ2 application:




Delaware Will Compete for Amazon Headquarters