Kent County to match Delaware small business grants for locals

DOVER — Last week, Kent County Levy Court commissioners agreed unanimously (with one commissioner absent) to match the funds given to Kent County businesses through a state-level grant.

The EDGE grant (Encouraging Development, Growth & Expansion) was established in May by the Delaware Division of Small Business to support “early stage businesses.”

Through the program, STEM-based (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) companies can receive up to $100,000 for eligible expenses. These expenses include product development, capital costs and promotional expenses.

Entrepreneur Class (non-STEM) businesses can get up to $50,000. The funds are provided as a $3 (state) to $1 (business) match and the division can provide up to 10 grants per application round.

The criteria to apply include:

• Being in operation less than five years

• Employing no more than 10 people

• Fifty-one percent of employees/real estate must be in Delaware

• Have net assets totaling less than $500,000

• No previous Delaware strategic fund grant

Championed by Linda Parkowski, executive director of the Kent Economic Partnership, the new Kent County matching grant will match the Division of Small Business’ award dollar for dollar up to a max of $10,000 for STEM-based businesses and $5,000 for entrepreneur class. The award must be given to a business located in Kent County to qualify.

Commissioners agreed to set up the program with an initial pot of $100,000 pulled from the Kent County strategic development fund.

To learn more about the EDGE grant or apply, visit business.delaware.gov/edge-grants/.

Staff writer Ian Gronau can be reached at 741-8272 or igronau@newszap.com

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