Delaware County Council unanimously voted on June 3 to significantly expand the funding to the Delco Strong Small Business Program.
Recognizing the critical need to provide additional support to Delaware County’s local business community during the COVID-19 pandemic, Delaware County launched the Delco Strong program in April. Administered in partnership with the Delaware County Economic Development Oversight Board, the Delaware County Planning Commission, the Redevelopment Authority of the County of Delaware, and the Delaware Valley Regional Economic Development Fund, eligible applicants could apply for up to $7,500. Grant proceeds may be used for rent, mortgage, utilities, and inventory.
In May, over 1000 business owners applied. Initially, 20% of business owners were expected to be awarded a grant. As a result of Council’s vote to approve additional funds, the total funding of the program has grown to exceed $6.5 million, ensuring all eligible small business owners who submitted a valid application during the grant application window will receive a grant. The Redevelopment Authority of the County of Delaware (RDA) contributed $1.5 million, which allowed the County to greatly expand the number of applicants receiving grants.
“We are very excited to share this news with our small businesses,” said Delaware County Councilwoman Elaine Paul Schaefer. “Our small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we know that this pandemic has caused financial hardships for many of them. “The Delco Strong program will help many small business owners through this challenging time. The County is proud to support them and the community is eager to begin supporting them once again as they reopen.”
Members of the Delco Strong Team are in the process of approving valid and qualifying grant applicants and notifying applicants. They anticipate that over 800 grants will be dispersed to Delaware County small businesses by June 12. To date, over 60 grants have already been issued, providing approximately $450,000 in relief to small business owners.
“We are pleased that Council continues to demonstrate the decisive action required to meet the perils faced by our small businesses,” said Patrick Killian, Director of the Delaware County Commerce Center. “In conjunction with additional monies approved by the RDA, in excess of $6M will be disbursed in direct assistance.”
For the Delaware County businesses that did not benefit from this round of grant funding, there will be another round of the Delco Strong program rolled out in mid-June with fewer restrictions than the first round. Business owners and non-profit organizations are invited to apply for the second round. More information will be posted on here: www.delcostrong.delcopa.org