New grant program aims to create a competitive edge for Del. small businesses


HARRINGTON, Del. –  In Delaware, small businesses will now have a new way to get the money needed to open up shop and stay in business.

“There’s no doubt one of the most difficult things I’ve done in my life was to start a small business,” explains Bill Rohrer, owner of AgroLab.

It’s something that rings true with almost every entrepreneur, people who decided to essentially risk it all to open up shop.

“We see a lot of small businesses who don’t ever get started or get started and have some really difficult times at the beginning because they lack the capital they need to go and so we’ve done a couple initiatives now to try and address that,” explains Damien DeStefano, Director for Delaware’s Division of Small Business.

It’s a challenge Rohrer had to overcome when he first started AgroLab.

“In the beginning when I started this business, I was terrified like so many small business owners. I mean the cash flow does kill a lot of small businesses and it was an issue with me and it just took a little bit of time once the customers and the cash flow equaled out with the expenses before I got comfortable,” explains Rohrer.

In hopes of changing that narrative, Delaware’s Division of Small Business is rolling out a new grant program that will create a competitive edge with big businesses.

“Hopefully what this will enable them to do is pay for some of the things that those companies have the resources to fund themselves and be on a more level playing field with those companies,” explains DeStefano.

$100,000 and $50,000 grants that Rohrer thinks are a great thing.

“A lot of towns would prefer to see 10 small businesses in there are instead of one big business so anything to help the small businesses get through those first difficult one, two, three years, is a good thing,” adds Rohrer.

There are ten edge grants available right now, five $100,000 grants for STEM businesses and five $50,000 grants for any other business.

Businesses must be less than five years old with no more than 10 employees. The money for edge grants comes from a federal grant and grant applications can be found at and are due June 14th.


Categories: Business, Check It Out, Delaware, Local News