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Division of Small Business

DE Relief Grants

Application portal open again

New applicants:

Got questions as you work on your application?

Apply Now

Applied and awaiting a decision:
Now would be a great time to register as a vendor with the State of Delaware. This will allow for processing and payment if/when your grant application is approved.

Previous applicants:

The Division of Small Business is continuing to process applications as quickly as possible.

Rather than rejecting applications that are incomplete, or otherwise don’t meet the rules for the program, Division of Small Business staff is working with applicants to get their applications to the point where they can be approved. They are starting with those applications that need the least help and will move on from there to those applications that need the most work.

This process means some applications may not be processed within the usual two to three week timeline. If you submitted an application close to the original Dec. 4 deadline and have not yet heard a response, it is likely because your application needed additional follow up.


Interest penalty waiver period

From the start of the DE Relief Grants program, one of the requirements has been that recipients needed to have experienced a revenue decline in 2020 compared to 2019. If they claimed the grant, but did not experience a revenue decline, they would have to pay back the grant with interest.

The Division of Small Business is announcing that this interest penalty will be waived if a business returns grant funds prior to Feb. 15.

If a business has experienced a revenue increase in 2020 compared to 2019, they can return the funds prior to Feb. 15 without facing an interest penalty.

After Feb. 15, if a business is seen to have experienced a revenue increase in 2020 compared to 2019, it will be required to repay the grant with interest.

If your business did experience a revenue decline in 2020 compared with 2019, you will not be required to repay the grant.

Question? Email


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

The nearly $200 million program 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).

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

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 revenue decrease relative to 2019. If a decrease 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)
Gov. Carney has announced all recipients will receive bonus payments. Size depends on industry.

  • Bars and restaurants – 150% bonus on original grant amount
  • Other disproportionately impacted industries – 35% bonus on original grant amount
  • All other recipients – 20% bonus on original grant amount
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

DE Relief Grant recipients have until December 31, 2021 to spend bonus funds. As a reminder, the bonus money can be used on valid business expenses, including:

  • Payroll
  • Inventory
  • Lease payments on business location (provided it is NOT a personal residence)
  • Mortgage payments on business location (provided it is NOT a personal residence)
There will be four 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, early November and mid-January.

Apply online. The application is 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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