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Division of Small Business

FY 2018: Division of Small Business Program Reports

Image of the Council on Development Finance having a meeting at Buena Vista Conference Center

Council on Development Finance and Strategic Fund

The Council on Development Finance (CDF) is a panel of nine members, appointed by the Governor, Senate President Pro Tempore and Speaker of the House, to advise the director of the Delaware Division of Small Business. On the fourth Monday of each month the Council hears, evaluates, and recommends approval or disapproval of projects brought to it by the Division and the Delaware Prosperity Partnership. These projects range from companies seeking to establish new facilities in the state, current businesses looking to expand, new companies wishing to grow and the revision of contracts already held with the state. After the review, the council makes a recommendation to the Division Director.

The Delaware Strategic Fund provides customized financial assistance to businesses considering locating or expanding in the state of Delaware. Financial assistance may be provided in the form of grants or low-interest loans to support the attraction and expansion of businesses. Through the Strategic Fund, DSB supports initiatives such as the Brownfield Assistance Program, Delaware Technical Innovation Program, Delaware Capital Access Program, and the Delaware Rural Irrigation Program. The Strategic Fund also provides loans and grants not affiliated with these specific programs.

Since the beginning of FY 18, each dollar from the Strategic Fund spent on grants is matched by more than $8 in private funding. The projects contribute more than $185 million to Delaware’s GDP.

During FY 18 no requests for loans or loan modifications were presented to the Council on Development Finance.

Information on FY 18 DTIP grants funded through the Delaware Strategic Fund is available further down the page.

The Brownfield Assistance Program provides matching grants to encourage redevelopment of environmentally distressed sites in Delaware. There were no Brownfield projects approved during FY 18.

The Delaware Rural Irrigation Program (DRIP) is a revolving loan fund administered collaboratively through the Delaware Department of Agriculture and Division of Small Business. The program provides no-interest loans to allow farmers to irrigate more cropland. The investments have helped these farmers survive droughts. There were no DRIP projects approved during FY 18.


The biopharmaceutical company, founded by Dr. Kris Vaddi, a founding scientist and previous vice president at Incyte, was awarded a performance-based grant of up to $474,491 that will enable it to add 23 new full-time positions and relocate from the University of Delaware STAR campus in Newark to larger quarters elsewhere in Delaware.

The company, which manufactures and installs industrial refrigeration systems, was awarded a performance-based grant of up to $433,500. Of that amount, $195,000 will be used to hire 25 additional employees, and $238,500 will be used to build a new facility in Sussex County.

The student lender was awarded a performance-based grant of up to $2.16 million to add 285 new full-time positions at the company’s customer service center in New Castle County. That will increase the company’s employment in New Castle County to more than 1,000 people. The company held a ribbon-cutting at its New Castle County facility in April.

The Wisconsin-based provider of real-time traffic information to more than three-quarters of all in-dash vehicle navigation systems was awarded a performance-based grant of up to $171,600 that enabled the company to relocate its East Coast Traffic Operations Center from Pennsylvania to The Mill in downtown Wilmington. The new location will employ 85 people.

The company, a subsidiary of W.R. Berkley Corp., one of the largest commercial lines property and casualty insurers in the U.S., was awarded a performance-based grant of up $290,868. Of that amount, the company was awarded $230,868 to add 62 new full-time positions by 2020, up from the current headcount of 118 workers. The new employees will increase the company’s Delaware workforce to 180. The company was also awarded $60,000 to complete the construction of almost 23,000 square feet of office space at the company’s building at 101 Bellevue Parkway in Wilmington.

The company, a contract research organization for industries including pharmaceuticals and biotech and a leader in OLED technology, was awarded a performance-based grant of up to $445,224. Of that amount, the company was awarded $265,224 to hire an additional full-time 62 employees. Adesis, a subsidiary of New Jersey-based Universal Display Corp., was also awarded $180,000 to expand its operations at the Delaware Innovation Space in Wilmington. The Delaware Prosperity Partnership brought the proposal to the Council on Development Finance.

Designed to mirror the success of the Grow Wilmington Fund, The Grow Delaware Fund was established in 2017. It is able to provide a total of up to $5 million in long-term, low-interest loans to small businesses in Delaware including woman-owned and minority-owned small businesses. The Fund is a publicprivate partnership consisting of West End Neighborhood House, the Delaware Division of Small Business, Longwood Foundation, Discover Bank and National Development Council. It was awarded $500,000 from the Delaware Strategic Fund.

First State Community Loan Fund was awarded $500,000 to recapitalize its existing loan programs. All of the funds will be used to support small and diverse businesses in Delaware. The $500,000 will enable the Fund to leverage an additional $1.5 million to $2 million from other sources to support its lending programs in Delaware.

DEMEP was awarded up to $518,380 to continue to provide on-site technical and business assistance to small-to-medium size businesses in manufacturing, health care and services throughout Delaware. The assistance and advice DEMEP provides helps companies implement advanced manufacturing techniques and other strategies to maximize their competitiveness.

The Delaware Capital Access Program (DCAP) gives banks a flexible, transparent tool to expand small business lending. By using a small amount of public resources to generate a large amount of private bank financing, the program provides more small businesses access to capital, which stimulates economic growth in Delaware. During FY 18 there were 14 Delaware Capital Access Program projects approved, and each Strategic Fund dollar spent through DCAP generated approximately $16 in private funding.

The federally funded State Small Business Credit Initiative enables the Division of Small Business to create a loan participation program. The program is a partnership between the Division and lending institutions designed to increase access to capital at lower interest rates. No SSBCI loans were approved in FY 18.

New or expanding businesses, governmental units and certain organizations exempt from federal income taxation can be eligible for statewide financial assistance in the form of tax-exempt bonds, which are not backed by the full faith and credit of the state, through the Division of Small Business. Tax-exempt financing may be cost-effective for projects involving the issuance of more than $750,000. All applications are reviewed for their impact on Delaware’s economy. During FY 18, two projects were approved by CDF.

Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act

There was no such economic activity in FY 2018 as DNREC’s Coastal Zone Conversion Permit Act Regulatory
Advisory Committee and Work Groups continue to develop regulations for the issuance of conversion permits under the Act. DNREC has until October 1, 2019 to promulgate these regulations. The CZA Permit Act allows for responsible redevelopment of 14 legacy industrial sites in the coastal zone with the intention of creating new jobs and providing environmental clean-up of those coastal Delaware sites.

Angel Investor Tax Credit

The Division of Small Business administers the Angel Investor Tax Credit signed into law in May. The law requires that qualified businesses and investors be able to register for the program through the Division website. The Division’s Business Finance and Communications Units worked with the Department of Technology and Information to create this web portal to begin accepting applications on Nov. 1, 2018. Businesses can start applying for the credits Jan. 1, 2019. A list of approved investors and businesses will be included in the Division’s FY 2019 annual report.

Blue Collar Training Fund

The Blue Collar Training Fund provides financial assistance to Delaware entities for customized training initiatives. Financial assistance under the program is in the form of a grant to train Delaware workers. Through the fund, the Division of Small Business administers the Workforce Training Grant Program, and supports the State Employee Training Program.

Workforce Training grants are specifically for Delaware businesses. DSB conducts training observations to ensure training takes place as outlined in the contract and proposal, and completed training contracts are closed upon the successful completion of training. Follow-up is conducted six months later to see if the business met its training goals.

During FY18 there were 19 new contracts awarded to 18 companies, including 14 small businesses . Each $1 awarded generated more than $2 in private investment.

The return on investment (ROI) is evaluated in three ways – training observation, completion of training, and a six-month review after the completion of the training. Training observations were conducted on 15 contracts. A retention survey showed22 companies reported 90-100% retention, and 3 companies reported 80-90% retention.

Demographic information on the next page is obtained through voluntary participant surveys. In some cases, participants chose not to complete the survey; in other cases, participants did not complete the entire questionnaire.

Delaware Technical Innovation Program (SBIR/STTR Transition Grants)

The Delaware Division of Small Business’s Delaware Technical Innovation Program (DTIP) offers transitional grants for research initiatives. Using the Delaware Strategic Fund, the program focuses on highly competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) projects and provides financing bridging a company’s receipt of Phase I and Phase II awards. Eligible companies conduct high-risk, early stage research. SBIR/STTR research has three phases. During Phase I and II, entrepreneurs, working to prove their ideas have technical merit and economic feasibility, seek funding from the federal government, state government, and private-sector partnerships as their efforts are costly and do not yet generate revenue. In Phase III commercialization, less federal funding is available, meaning entrepreneurs must rely on private investors.

Approximately a dozen federal agencies provide significant SBIR/STTR funding for enterprises in Phase I (awards up to $163,592) and Phase II (awards up to $1,093,015). However, despite earning a Phase I federal award, the costs associated with completing a Phase II concept may be beyond some entrepreneurs’ means. DTIP grants serve as gap financing for entities that have received a federal Phase I grant and have applied for Phase II. The Division of Small Business can award a matching grant of up to $50,000 (from the Delaware Strategic Fund) per application, with a limit of five awards per company within a ten-year rolling period. The following companies received Delaware Technical Innovation Program grants in FY 18: Advanced Materials Technology Inc. ($50,000), STF Technologies ($50,000) and Talos Tech, LLC ($50,000)

The tables below summarize funding awarded to Delaware entities from January 1, 2009 through June 30, 2018 (end of FY 18).



Of the 38 awards made to Delaware entities in the form of a transitional grant from the Division of Small Business, 40% successfully were awarded federal Phase II funding. And22% of Delaware entities that received federal Phase II funding utilized Division of Small Business assistance. Without transitional funding from the DTIP program, the research and development necessary to achieve Phase II status would have been compromised.


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