Small businesses in Delaware that are owned by women, veterans, or minorities have a number of resources available to them. Find where and how to get free grants (from the government, corporations or charities), loans (which can often be deferred), and other capital. There are banks, lenders, corporate foundations, and non-profits near you, listed below, that provide loans, grants, business advice and more.
In almost all cases, the financial assistance is combined with other support. Startups, small businesses, and entrepreneurs can not only get a loan, grant, or other type of financing, but most agencies also give general business advice (for free). It may be help with marketing, business plan development, mentoring, online support and much more. This means a minority or women owned business can both get funds as well as ongoing support. The financial aid and free advice is even more effective for female and minority businesses.
While most of the small business funds are issued in Wilmington Delaware, there will be free grants and loans available statewide too. The list of programs and lenders below is updated daily.
Small business loans and free grants for women or minority companies in Delaware
Any small business owner, sole-proprietor or startup company can apply. However, each organization will be allocating some of their loans or grants funds to women, the disabled, veterans, Black or Latino, Asian, and other minority-disadvantaged businesses.
March and April 2021
United Way of Delaware, Barclays US Consumer Bank and the State of Delaware are offering assistance to women and minority owned businesses in the state. The service known as the Me Minority Small Business program will help businesses by giving them free mentoring, financial coaching, advice, and other support, including referrals to grant and loan programs. Up to $9000 can be provided to each qualified business. The loans and grants can also assist small businesses that have bad credit as well as start up companies. Learn more here. https://uwde.org/
January and February 2021
Businesses that have had a decrease in their revenue due to COVID can apply for state grants. The focus is on helping hard hit businesses, including Black, Latino, women, and veteran owned. State funds can assist restaurants, gyms, beauty parlors, hairdressers, bars, and other small to mid sized businesses that have had a reduction in sales. The office to apply at is 820 N. French Street, Wilmington, DE 19801, Call (302) 577-8477.
Small businesses with less than 10 employees can apply for free grants from the EDGE Grant program. A panel of experts, judges, and state of Delaware representatives selects the winners. As funding allows, and as the program continues to operate, up to $100,000 can be provided to small minority as well as women owned companies in Delaware. Read more here. https://business.delaware.gov/edge-grants/
The Division of Small Business is opening for round 2. The DE Relief Grants program will be issuing free grants (or low cost loans) to both non-profits as well as small businesses that have been impacted by COVID. Funds can be businesses (minority, women, and others) with payroll expenses, rent, inventory, utilities, and other bills. Applicants need to have been hit by the COVID pandemic. Apply here. https://business.delaware.gov/relief/
September and October 2020
DE Relief Grant program will provide grants of up to $100,000 (based on business revenue). Most of the funds will be for small to mid-sized companies. The money can be for advertising, expenses related to COVID, rent or mortgages and other bills. Some of the free grants will be allocated to Black, Latino, Veteran, and women owned small businesses in Delaware. Read more. https://business.delaware.gov/relief/
Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is offering funding to non-profits and advocates that fight and address income inequality as well as social issues. The free grants are for non-profit/charity/advocacy only, and not for-profit businesses. The assistance program is called “Fund for Transparency, Diversity, and Accountability”. It can help people of black and brown color to help them launch a business, get employment, and other social services. Apply here. http://www.delawareforbusiness.org/grant-applications
True Access Capital is a non-profit based in Delaware. They are providing loans of up to $20,000, in which the interest and principal can be deferred for a period of time. Applicants will also be give a $5,000 grant, which does not need to be repaid. The money can cover operating expenses. True Access is part of the Community Development Financial Institution network. To apply, dial 302-652-6774 and request extension 113.
By Jon McNamara