Funding / Municipal government / Small businesses / Startups

The expanded EDGE Grant program reopens on April 1

The state-backed program is back for its third round with twice as many grants for non-STEM startups.

The first 10 EDGE Grant recipients of 2020. (Courtesy photo)

Delaware Division of Small Businesses’ two-year-old EDGE Grant program has expanded for its third round, increasing the number of grants of up to $25,000 available for non-STEM companies to 10. Five grants of up to $100,000 are also available for science and tech companies.

EDGE — an acronym for Encouraging Development, Growth and Expansion — matches the investment of promising early-stage businesses less than five years old, with the goal to level the playing field with their larger, established competitors.

“Re-launching EDGE at this time is part of the State’s effort to help small businesses as they again focus on the future, not just making it through the challenges of COVID-19,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock in a statement. “Small businesses are the backbone of Delaware’s economy, and an EDGE Grant will help them move forward in a big way.”

For selected businesses, the state will match $3 for per $1 spent by small businesses that do a minimum of 51% of their business in Delaware, up to the limits for its category, for various growth necessities. That includes advertising, marketing analysis, construction or renovation, equipment, web design, lab space and rent.

Applications for the grant round will be accepted starting April 1 through April 30. The selected finalists will pitch their grant proposals to a panel of expert judges, and winners will be announced in the early summer.

EDGE has awarded nearly $1.5 million to 20 small businesses since it launched in 2019. Recipients of the STEM award have included Versogen (formerly W7Energy), Avkin and Napigen; non-STEM recipients have included WilmInvest, Fur Baby Tracker and Volunteer Brewing Company.

The application period for the third round of EDGE originally ended in March 2020 and was postponed so the Division of Small Business could focus on helping businesses that experienced a significant decrease in revenue due to COVID-19.

For a full list of eligibility requirements, and to download the grant application, go to Regional business managers are available to assist with the process.

Companies: State of Delaware

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