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Relief funding boosted for small businesses, arts

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Gov. John Carney announced a new $26 million round of relief funding to support small businesses most affected by COVID-19 restrictions and $10 million to support arts organizations. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

WILMINGTON – Gov. John Carney and the Delaware Division of Small Business on Monday announced a new round of relief funding – $26 million to support small businesses most affected by COVID-19 restrictions.

The DE Relief Grant program – funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – has supported roughly 3,000 Delaware businesses throughout the COVID-19 crisis with more than $180 million in grants.

Also on Monday, Carney and the Delaware Department of State announced $10 million in relief funding for Delaware arts organizations. The state of Delaware will provide $5 million, with another $5 million in matching contributions.

“Small businesses continue to make sacrifices that will help get us through this crisis, and beat COVID-19. We owe them our support,” Carney said in a statement. “Hope is on the way with the vaccine. But we continue to face a difficult winter. Let’s do what works. Wear a mask. Don’t gather with friends or family outside your household. Stay vigilant and we’ll get through this.”

The additional funding announced on Monday will provide a bonus of 20% for all DE Relief Grant recipients. Hospitality businesses, including restaurants and bars, will receive an additional 30% bonus, bringing their total bonus award to 50% of the value of their original grant. This is the third time that a bonus award has been given to grant recipients, though this is the first award that has gone to all recipients; previous bonuses focused on particularly hard hit industries.

Relief funding for not-for-profit arts organizations will cover 35% of those organizations’ 2019 operating expenses, up to $300,000.  

“The arts are a critical sector of the Delaware economy, and one we can’t replace. Arts organizations have been very hard hit by the pandemic. This funding will help them survive through the winter,” Carney said. “I want to thank Delaware’s philanthropic community, particularly Tatiana and Gerret Copeland and the Longwood Foundation, for leading the way in matching these CARES Act funds.”

The federal government is currently discussing a new stimulus package that may lead to changes in the states assistance programs for businesses, allowing assistance to be provided into the new year. Businesses that want to stay updated on this can visit delbiz.com/relief, where any updates to the DE Relief Grant program will be announced.

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