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New fund offers grants to revitalize Wilmington’s West Side

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WILMINGTON – True Access Capital and Cornerstone West Community Development Corporation are collaborating to launch the new West Side Corridor Revitalization Fund (WSCRF), offering grants of up to $10,000 each for eligible small business owners, and developers whose projects contribute to the economic revitalization of Wilmington’s West Side community. The fund is supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation 

Vandell (Van) Hampton, True Access President and CEO. | PHOTO BY RON DUBICK

Vandell Hampton, Jr., president and CEO of True Access Capital said in a statement, “The West Side Corridor Revitalization Fund will be an immediate catalyst for economic revitalization on Wilmington’s West Side, helping lift up not just the West Side, but the entire city at the same time.” 

Sarah Lester, president and CEO of Cornerstone West Community Development Corporation said in a statement to press, “Cornerstone West CDC has worked diligently since the start of COVID-19 to address the emergency needs of small businesses on the West Side. This new corridor program and partnership will build on those efforts and be a spark for sustainable and equitable development along Fourth Street, which is an important West Side cultural and commercial corridor.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for west side entrepreneurs and business owners to receive an extra boost for any new investments they have been considering,” adds Mayor Mike Purzycki in the statement. “If the success of the Market Street Corridor Revitalization Fund is any indication—10 small businesses assisted, and 57 new jobs created—we look for good things to happen from this new funding opportunity. We appreciate the investment of resources, time and talent by JP Morgan Chase, True Access Capital and Cornerstone West.” 

The WSCRF will provide grants of up to $10,000 per applicant to fund eligible projects. Eligible applicants include small businesses, landlords, and developers with properties or businesses located between I-95/Jackson Street to Union Street (east to west), and 7th Street to Lancaster Avenue (north to south). Funding is intended specifically for property or business owners seeking to invest in the revitalization of the West Side community. Applicants must be able to demonstrate a path to site control, such as property ownership or a valid lease, or must be seriously engaged in a lease or purchase discussion regarding the subject property. 

Funding will come in the form of a forgivable loan, which will include certain covenants, and can be used for site acquisition, business expansion, construction, renovations, remodeling of an existing business, working capital, inventory, furniture, or fixtures. Awarded funds will be forgiven in full, as long as the loan covenants are satisfied. 

Interested parties can learn more about the WSCRF program, find an application, and/or register for any one of four virtual WSCRF information sessions here: http://bit.ly/3uVz5Jj

Sessions will be offered in English and Spanish. 

  •       March 24, 2021 – 6:00 PM (English)
  •       March 31, 2021 – 6:00 PM (Spanish)
  •       April 7, 2021 – 10:00 AM (English)
  •       April 14, 2021 – 10:00 AM (Spanish)

The submission window for WSCRF applications opens on March 8, 2021 and closes on June 7, 2021. Applications will NOT be accepted after the closing date. Award announcements will be made no later than July 8, 2021. Applications should be submitted electronically to Delores Lee at [email protected].

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