With many small businesses in Wilmington receiving little to no federal small business emergency aid — such as Payroll Protection Program loans — to sustain them through the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of community organizations have gotten together to offer approximately $1,000 grants to businesses in the city, to be used for rent, mortgage, utility bills and/or supplies (but not payroll).
The Wilmington Strong Fund, as it’s called, was started with a partnership between West Side Grows Together and Wilmington Alliance, with leadership from the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, True Access Capital, Cinnaire, the Delaware Division of Small Business, Central Baptist Community Development Corporation, Latin American Community Center, WIN Factory, Wilmington Community Advisory Council and Collaborate Northeast.
The initiative launched on the West Side in early June, backed by Capital One. It has since expanded to serve businesses throughout the city. As part of that expansion, Barclays (which recently announced that it will be bringing 323 new call center jobs to Wilmington) is matching donations to the fund up to $100,000. Grants will be awarded on a two-week rolling basis until the funds run out.
This week, a promo video by Wilmington’s King Creative launched to help spread the word about the fund:
Here’s what you need to know if you’re interested in applying:
- Your business must be located within the administrative boundaries of the City of Wilmington.
- Small, for-profit businesses (no more than $1 million in annual revenue) are eligible, with the exceptions of Airbnbs, corporate or franchised businesses, insurance companies, property management companies and check-cashing businesses.
- Only one business per address is permitted to apply.
- You can apply for a maximum of two separate business locations.
- To apply you will need your current business license, W9 form and documentation regarding your proposed bill payment.
- Small businesses that have been open for less than a year do qualify.
Application deadlines are every two weeks; the next deadline is July 6. After that, the deadlines are:
- July 20
- Aug. 3
- Aug. 17
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