Small Business Guide to Resources in Wilmington, DE

Did you know Wilmington is home to over 1,500 small businesses?! Here is a list of resources that can help the success and growth of your small business! 

Photograph from: Downtown Visions
Community Organizations:

1. Wilmington Alliance – Wilmington Alliance is dedicated to the city’s economic revitalization. With a board of Investors they are working on initiatives that promote an inclusive Wilmington economy. Their goal is to leverage their philanthropic assets, organizational assets and business capabilities to drive community economic growth, create more economic opportunities and build a healthier community.

2. Downtown Visions – A non-profit organization, Downtown Visions manages the Business Improvement District. Their Main Street program saves historic buildings and focuses on small business recruitment, business marketing and promotion and creating new jobs. 

3. West Side Grows –  Beginning in 2011 residents and stakeholders worked together to develop a 10 year community strategy known as West Side Revitalization Plan. Their goal was to echo the voices of the community offering grants and resources to small businesses in the community.   

Community Initiatives and Resources

1. WilmingtonMade –  In support of small businesses citywide during and after the pandemic the Wilmington Alliance launched WilmingtonMade. WilmingtonMade promotes local businesses, restaurants, stores, and cafes citywide. It is designed to build on the success of the Wilmington Strong Fund (read below!) by promoting Wilmington residents to shop local. They listen to the needs of small business owners and take immediate action to ensure the success of these businesses. They also have a list of resources for small businesses that can be found here.

2. Wilmington Strong – The Wilmington Strong Fund supports Wilmington’s businesses of color in low to moderate income commercial corridors. To support small businesses Wilmington Strong Fund has a number of grants business owners can apply for, including:

Photograph from: WilmingtonMade – Drop Squad Kitchen
  • Emergency Grants of $1000 to first time applicants
  • Storefront Improvements: Providing up to $5000 to awardees for facade improvements.
  • Equipment & Interior Repairs: Providing up to $5000 to awardees for interior repairs and equipment upgrades.
  • Education: Awardees will receive priority status in an executive education program for established small business owners (partnership with Interise and DE Black Chamber of Commerce)
  • Free Marketing Services: Providing high quality marketing photography and other advertising resources to all awardees (partnership with WilmingtonMade)

3. Economic Injury Disaster Declaration – Assisting small businesses, nonprofits and more, the Economic Injury Disaster Declaration meets existing operational expenses for small businesses in Delaware that cannot be met as a result of a disaster. Within this program you can apply for loans and a $10,000 Grant for assistance. Additional resources for immediate financial assistance include the SBA Express Loan Program and the Paycheck Protection Program

4. Small Businesses by WomenWomensNet helps women find real grants, loans and other funding for your business. Their goal is to help women in business achieve their dreams. They have resources and helpful links for business women in Delaware that you can find here. They also give out the Amber Grant for Women. Women in Delaware are eligible to apply for a $10,000 grant for their small business awarded by a judge every month, and if you win you automatically become a finalist for the $25,000 year-end Amber Grant.

5. Delaware Black Chamber of Commerce – The Chamber is a voice for the Black Business community supporting and meeting the needs of its members. They provide Black owned businesses with economic opportunity and serve as a hub for connecting Black business owners and entrepreneurs with resources needed to assist them in their growth. Becoming a member will benefit your business by gaining access to networking opportunities, forums to promote your product, service or organization, access to requisite resources in all sectors of Delaware’s economy and more.

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