Grow Delaware Fund announcement

Gov. John Carney, Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki, and a host of officials and delegates announced the launching of the Grow Delaware Fund benefitting small businesses looking to relocate to or expand within the state. 

Looking to recreate the success of the Grow Wilmington Fund campaign, the state is joining forces with the city for a statewide effort to help small businesses succeed with the Grow Delaware Fund. 

Governor John Carney joined Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki to announce the expansion to the job growth initiatives Monday, now with a broader focus. The West End Neighborhood House, The Longwood Foundation, Discover Bank, Department of State Division of Small Business Development and Tourism and the National Development Council all played a role in getting the fund off the ground. 

“This is how we want to see economic development function in Delaware,” said Gov. John Carney in a written statement. “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.”

The Grow Delaware Fund will provide $5 million in support loans to small businesses seeking to strengthen operations of expand jobs throughout Delaware.

"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 city announced in a release issued November 6, 2017. 

The Grow Wilmington Fund was established in 2014 as a partnership between the Wilmington Office of Economic Development, Discover Bank, Cozen O’Connor and the National Development Council, and with $1 million in seed money from the Wilmington’s Urban Development Action Grant Corporation--owned by the city of Wilmington--and $3 million in private funds, low-interest, long-term loans were offered to small businesses looking to relocate to the city. 

"Wilmington is excited to be able to share its successes with a growth fund with small businesses and municipalities throughout the state," said Purzycki in the release. "In Delaware, we get more done because we work together and freely share programs and ideas that can be leveraged for the greater good.”

Funds were used by businesses to acquire real estate, perform leaseholder improvements, and obtain working capital, the release detailed, and has loaned more than $3.2 million to four businesses to create 17 new and retain 52 existing jobs. Those benefiting businesses included Short Order Production House and Paul Campanella’s Auto & Tire Center, 

The new program, the Grow Delaware Fund, will offer loans from $150,000 to $4 million, subject to guidelines and loan fund availability. Loans can be used for things like: 

  • 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