Carper visits Movies at Midway.jpg (copy)

U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, left, visits the Movies at Midway in Lewes in October of 2020, learning about the ways in which the family-owned business has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.), along with Gov. John Carney, this week announced that the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded a $1.5 million CARES Act Recovery Assistance grant to the Delaware Division of Small Business.

The grant will establish and administer a revolving loan fund (RLF) that they said will provide critical gap financing to businesses adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic across Delaware. It is expected to help create 1,500 jobs and retain 500 jobs.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy in Delaware, and, due to the pandemic, too many small business owners and workers have found themselves in dire circumstances through no fault of their own,” said Carper, chairman of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, which oversees the Economic Development Administration.

“I was proud to fight for funding in the CARES Act to provide much-needed relief for the small businesses on which so many of us rely every day. I’m pleased to see that this EDA grant will be put to good use right here in the First State to keep businesses afloat and workers on payroll until this pandemic is finally in our rearview mirror.”

“EDA is committed to helping communities across the nation fight economic hardships brought on by COVID-19,” said Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dennis Alvord. “This new revolving loan fund will provide critical gap financing to help Delaware’s small businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic.”

“We remain focused on supporting the Delaware small businesses, workers and families most affected by this COVID-19 crisis,” said Carney. “This new program will help us get additional support to more Delaware small businesses, an important step in rebuilding our economy.”

“The Delaware Division of Small Business has worked hard to make sure federal dollars reach small businesses that need financial support due to the pandemic,” Coons said. “The division has acted tirelessly, especially in the last year, to afford flexibility with how small companies can maximize the available capital. This federal investment by the Economic Development Administration of $1.5 million, made possible under the CARES Act, will help create and save jobs and continue support for diverse businesses across the First State.”

“In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, providing small businesses — especially those who are unbanked or underbanked — with relief is a critical priority,” said Blunt Rochester. “I’m pleased that the Economic Development Administration has chosen to invest $1.5 million in Delaware to create a revolving loan fund that can help support our small businesses who need it most.

“I want to thank the EDA, the Delaware Division of Small Business, and all the partners who made this grant possible as we continue to battle to defeat the coronavirus and build back a better and more equitable economy.”

The project will provide access to capital across all three Delaware counties, with an emphasis on the small businesses that were forced to close to protect human health and safety. The RLF will be a crucial resource to help the state’s communities recover and build back stronger, officials said.

This project is funded under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136), which provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.