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Division of Small Business

DE Relief Grants

November 17, 2020 Update

Governor Carney has announced an expansion of the DE Relief Grants program for businesses hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions.

The expansion will provide up to $25 million in additional relief for hundreds of businesses most significantly impacted by these changes. Qualifying businesses, including restaurants and taprooms, will receive double their original grant allocation.

Eligible businesses will receive direct outreach from the Division of Small Business about the added funds (no need to reach out).


During the Division of Small Business webinar on applying for the second round of DE Relief Grants, more than 700 participants asked more than 500 questions in the chat box and Q&A. While they could not all be addressed during the session, DSB staff has compiled answers to all the questions* asked in both areas as a tool for those in attendance and those not able to be part of the event. (*note: some answers may not reflect changes for Round 3 of grant applications)


*Many questions were the same and have been combined into one

ALERT: Be wary of unsolicited phone calls claiming to be from Division of Small Business about your grant. More info here.


The portal is open for Round 3 of DE Relief Grant applications.
Got questions as you work on your application?
Email (best option for technological issues)
Speak with a Regional Business Manager from 8:30 am to 4 pm weekdays by calling the helpline at (302) 672-6816.


Become part of Delaware’s COVID-19 Customer Protection Standards.


DE Relief Grants give Delaware small businesses and nonprofits access to funds to cover expenses and provide relief related to COVID-19 .

The program, which has $150 million in funds available, is a joint initiative  from the State and New Castle County.

Find more information on DE Relief Grants below.

When the grant application is live, you will find it on this web page. So, check back frequently, sign up above for email updates and follow the Division of Small Business on social media (Facebook and Twitter).


Missed a webinar? Want to see a portal demonstration? Watch them here.

Webinar: Round 1 preparation (starts at 3:30 mark)

Application portal demonstration

Webinar: Preparing for Round 2, lessons from Round 1

Short version: Preparing for Round 2, lessons from Round 1



Frequently Asked Questions


The grants are a joint effort between the State and New Castle County to assist Delaware small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds for the program come from the federal CARES Act.
If you’re a business, you must meet the U.S. Small Business Administration’s definition of a small business for your industry. If you’re a nonprofit, you must be a registered 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) organization.

At least 51 percent of the business or nonprofit’s operations must be physically located in the state of Delaware. Businesses and nonprofits whose sole connection to Delaware is that they are incorporated here, are not eligible.

Businesses that have received previous grants or loans from the State (EDGE, HELP, DTIP, etc.) are eligible to apply for DE Relief Grants.

Again, all small businesses, based on the SBA definition, and many non-profits are eligible for a DE Relief Grant (see the previous question/answer for more).

Additionally, disproportionately impacted industries qualify for the following:

  • If your business started in 2019, meaning you cannot show a full year of revenue history, it is still eligible for a grant
  • Any fixed cost incurred or planned to occur from April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 is an eligible expense for the grant

The below industries are designated as disproportionately impacted.

Businesses with NAICS code on their 2019 tax returns starting with the following sets of two numbers:

  • 44 (Retail Trade)
  • 45 (Retail Trade)
  • 71 (Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation)
  • 72 (Food Services & Drinking Places)

Businesses with NAICS code on their 2019 tax returns starting with the following sets of four numbers:

  • 4855 (Charter Bus Industry)
  • 6116 (Private Instruction)
  • 6212 (Offices of Dentists)
  • 6244 (Child Care Services)
  • 8121 (Personal Care Services)
  • 8129 (Other Personal Services)
A disproportionately impacted industry is one in which many businesses within it had their operations significantly restricted by pandemic containment measures during at least the months of April and May and also experienced significant job losses from January to May and/or had an average industry profit margin below 10% prior to COVID-19. Delaware specific data was used whenever possible to make these determinations, but when it was not available national data was substituted.

  • 501(c)3 organizations that are not in a disproportionately impacted industry
All grants issued to for-profit businesses must be closed out in 2021. In order to close out the grant, a business must submit proof of all relevant expenditures along with federal tax returns for calendar year 2020 that show a 7.5 revenue decrease relative to 2019. If a decrease in this amount is not shown, the grant must be paid back to the state with interest applied.
The amount a business or nonprofit can receive is based upon 2019 revenue and could be up to $100,000.

  • $0-$500,000 in revenue: Up to $30,000 (6 percent of 2019 revenue)
  • $500,000-$1 million: Up to $50,000 ($30,000 + 4 percent of 2019 revenue in excess of $500,000)
  • $1 million-$2.5 million: Up to $72,500 ($50,000 + 1.5% of 2019 revenue in excess of $1 million)
  • $2.5+ million: Up to $100,000 ($72,500 plus 1 percent of 2019 revenue in excess of $2.5 million)
Here is a complete list of eligible expenses. Broadly, the grant can be used for the following:

  • Equipment purchased to make business suitable for COVID-19 safety (PPE, plexiglass, air purifiers, etc)
  • Refinancing of debt incurred due to COVID-19 (including state of Delaware HELP loans)
  • Technological enhancements undertaken in order to adapt business model for COVID-19
  • Advertising efforts undertaken as a result of COVID-19
  • Fixed expenses (e.g. rent, mortgage, utilities, insurance, etc.) deferred for payment the applicant accrued during COVID-19*

*If you are unsure if an expense would eligible, connect with a regional business manager for assistance

There will be three rounds of funding. The application period for the first round of grants opens in early September. Applications will open for other rounds in early October and early November.

Apply online. The application will be available above when a funding period is open.

Follow the Division of Small Business on social media (Facebook and Twitter) for updates on timing for an application period to start.

Gather the following documents, which you will need to submit as part of your grant application:

  • Complete 2019 tax return
  • State of Delaware Business License (must submit unless in an industry with a legal exemption from this requirement)
  • Receipts for qualifying expenses (carefully check what qualifies as an eligible expenses)

A business can petition the Delaware Division of Small Business for an accommodation for a special circumstance that would render it otherwise ineligible to apply for or to take full advantage of a grant. 

Email with the name of the applicant and a brief explanation of why an accommodation is being sought.

Decisions will be made within 10 business days of receiving an such, unless additional follow up or information is needed. Decisions are final, and the ability for a business to then apply is contingent on funding availability.

Application rejections appeals – for incomplete application information or for clearly ineligible expenses or for other reasons that go against the intent grant program – will not be considered.

The Division of Small Business’s team of Regional Business Managers is available to help companies prepare their applications. Small businesses should connect with the manager for their part of the state.

Contact a member of the Division of Small Business Regional Business Manager team. Or send an email to


En Español  


Read the press release from Gov. Carney’s office on the new grant program

DE relief slide

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