First round of DE Relief Grants provides $25.7 million to small businesses, nonprofits

DOVER — Hundreds of Delaware small businesses and nonprofit organizations have been approved for the first round of DE Relief Grants, the largest cumulative grant award ever made by the state of Delaware to small businesses.

A total of 741 applicants will share $25.7 million in funding through the first round of the program. DE Relief Grants is a joint effort between the state of Delaware and New Castle County that is administered by the Delaware Division of Small Business.

The median grant award will be $20,000. The typical recipient in the first round had a median annual 2019 gross revenue of just under $325,000.

“This program represents an unprecedented effort to assist small businesses and nonprofits that are vital to Delaware’s economy and to our quality of life,” Secretary of State Jeff Bullock said. “The applicants for these grants employ thousands of people in Delaware. Getting them the resources they need is critical to their ability to successfully navigate this difficult period.”

Among the DE Relief Grants:

  • 40% of funding went to businesses with fewer than 10 full-time employees ($10.4 million).
  • More than half of that went to businesses with fewer than five full-time employees ($5.6 million).
  • 79% of funding went to businesses in disproportionately impacted industries, including restaurants, retail, personal care, child care, etc. ($20.3 million).
  • Nearly a quarter of funding went to women-owned businesses ($6.5 million).
  • 14% of funding went to minority-owned businesses ($3.5 million).
  • Grant recipients come from each of Delaware’s three counties: New Castle businesses received 56% of the grants (has 62% of small businesses in the state); Sussex County received 33% of the grants (22% of small businesses in the state); and Kent County businesses were awarded 11% of the grant funding (14% of small businesses in the state).

The Division of Small Business began accepting applications for the second round of DE Relief Grants today at

Three rounds of grants totaling at least $100 million are planned, with the third round scheduled for early November. Funding not awarded in the first round is being rolled into future rounds.

“We hope businesses and nonprofits that did not receive funding in Round 1, or did not apply, will apply in Round 2,” Division of Small Business Director Damian DeStefano said. “We are pleased so many of the Round 1 applications came from businesses we know have been hit hardest by the pandemic, such as those in hospitality and retail, minority- and women-owned businesses and very small, family-owned firms. This grant will make a substantial difference during these challenging economic times.”

Businesses applying for a DE Relief Grant in Round 2 should make sure to:

• Provide their entire federal 2019 tax return (including all schedules and attachments).
• Submit their current state of Delaware business license (make sure it is not an expired license nor a municipal license).
• Confirm their expenses are eligible.
• Triple-check their application for accuracy before submitting.

Numerous resources for applicants can be found at, including an extensive Q&A document, demonstration videos and a full explanation of eligible expenses. Plus, new for Round 2, businesses can call the division’s helpline at 672-6816 to reach a regional business manager both today and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for assistance with their applications.

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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