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NCC launches $5M pandemic innovation grant program


NEW CASTLE – New Castle County launched a new $5 million grant program backed by federal funds Monday to support solutions to problems spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and reduce the spread of the coronavirus.   

The grant program was developed by New Castle County’s CARES Act: Support Small Business Committee, an ad hoc work group of business owners and public officials who spent July researching ideas to problem solve and support business recovery. The funding comes from the county’s $322 million federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocation.

Grant recipients must be based in New Castle County, and funding will be disbursed to the highest scoring proposals for the implementation of their idea. Innovators interested in this funding opportunity should visit caresact.nccde.org for more information. 

Examples of competitive proposals include unique ideas to contract trace positive cases, commercial cleaning technology and solving problems stemming from the coronavirus. Groups encouraged to apply include small businesses, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and health and science organizations.

“This horrific disruption to our community, to our health and safety and to our economy also creates opportunities to innovate, to redefine our community,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer in a statement announcing the program. “This grant is a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs, scientists and social entrepreneurs to create an exciting new future for Delawareans.” 

Denita L. Henderson, associate state director of the Small Business Development Center, which is aiding applicants in the process, said in a statement that she was excited to see the program progress and “witness the positive impact it will have on the innovation community and local economy.”

“Programs like this underscore the importance of our shared goal of advancing entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the county, the state, and the Delaware Valley region,” she said.

By Jacob Owens

[email protected]


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