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Wilmington wins SBA grant for start-ups

Tom Byrne/Delaware Public Media

The city of Wilmington Wednesday was selected as a winner in President Obama’s “Startup in a Day" competition.

Mayor Dennis Williams (D) announced that the city had been chosen as a winner by the U.S. Small Business Administration in the inaugural edition of initiative..

That means the city will receive a $50,000 grant to streamline the process of setting up businesses for entrepreneurs. The program tries to accelerate cumbersome processes like licensing and obtaining required permits, with the idea that entrepreneurs can apply for everything they need to start a business in a single day.

Williams called it “an honor” to be among the winners of the competition, adding that some of the grant money would be used to develop online tools to support entrepreneurs.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware) said the award can only help small businesses in the state's largest city.

“Businesses younger than five years old are a critical driver of our economy, creating the majority of our new jobs in recent years,” said Coons in a statement. “However, too many startups don’t have access to the resources or support they need to get off the ground. That’s why I’m thrilled Wilmington won the Startup in a Day grant from the Small Business Administration to help business just starting out build the foundation and fulfill the requirements needed to grow a successful small business that will contribute to Delaware's economy for years to come.”

Last month, Coons and Senator Tom Carper (D-Delaware) led Small Business Administration Secretary Maria Contreras-Sweet on a walking tour of small business in downtown Wilmington.

Carper calls the program "an innovative approach" that allows the SBA reach more people and help drive the small business economy.

Wilmington is one of 25 cities to win a grant, joining a group that also includes Long Beach, California and Burlington, Vermont.

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