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Delaware obtains millions in federal funding to support small businesses


Delaware’s plan for $60.9 million in federal funding from the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) was approved, bringing 2 new programs to the state aimed at supporting small businesses.

These programs join 2 other SSBCI-funded programs in the First State: the Loan Participation Program and the Delaware Access Capital Program.

Regina Mitchell, Director of the Delaware Division of Small Business, says those two programs will continue. The new programs will focus more on venture capital.

“We’ll be doing an Early Stage VC Program which is a venture development program to provide seed and early stage venture capital to Delaware-based companies,” said Mitchell.

That program will have a focus on investments in underserved startups.

And the second new program, the Delaware Accelerator and Seed Capital Program, invests in idea-stage startup companies, which typically have less than 10 employees.

Mitchell says focusing on venture capital is key in addressing the full range of needs that small businesses in the state have.

“We have a focus on getting it to the traditionally underserved businesses, but I think that the first iteration also did a good job of addressing that,” she said. “A lot of the businesses that we saw in our existing programs tended to be women owned, veteran owned, minority owned, in areas where they don’t have the same access to banking and lending services. So I think that’s really key and hope to continue that moving forward.”

The first implementation of the SSBCI began in 2010.

This new round was authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act and works to specifically support small businesses and expand access to capital in traditionally underserved communities that may have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Requests for proposals for the venture programs will go out later this month.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and a graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021