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Small businesses in New Castle County commercial corridors eligible for grants up to $10,000

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media

Some New Castle County business owners are eligible for new grants of up to $10,000.

The community development financial institution True Access Capital is offering small businesses in three defined commercial corridors small grants up to $5,000 and larger matching grants up to $10,000 for various interior and exterior improvements like facades, landscaping/streetscape improvements, and signage.

Those corridors are on or near North Market Street in Wilmington, two sections of Philadelphia Pike, and Route 9/Route 13.

Claymont Renaissance Development Corporation Executive Director Brett Saddler says these areas have been identified as potentially disproportionately affected by the pandemic that may still need a little help getting back on their feet.

“Exterior work especially is sort of down on your list of things to do when you’re getting inventory and payroll and paying your taxes and things like that," Saddler says. "And what we’re trying to achieve here is to create a sense of place on these corridors.”

True Access Capital CEO Van Hampton says grant recipients will also receive free technical assistance from them.

“And that’s the business planning, that’s help accounting, marketing, that’s bringing resources to the table to help businesses grow," Hampton says.

Grants are on a first-come first serve basis. Applications will close when the total funding – up to $440,000 in ARPA funds from New Castle County – is exhausted.

True Access Capital is hosting four public information sessions over the next two weeks to explain the program and application process:

· March 20, 6 p.m. to – 8 p.m. at Wilmington Public Library, 3400 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE

· March 21, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Claymont Fire Company, 3223 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont DE

· March 27, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Route 9 Wilmington, 3022 New Castle Ave., New Castle DE

· March 28, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Brandywine Hundred Fire Company, 1006 Brandywine Blvd, Wilmington DE

Applications should be submitted to David Ortiz at Award announcements will be made on a rolling basis as the applicants are approved.

Hampton notes bars, liquor and tobacco stores are not eligible for the grants.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.