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Kent Growth Funds Provide Financing for Longstanding Business

Kent County officials are preparing a revolving loan program in hopes of attracting more businesses to central Delaware. | | Photo courtesy of UNSPLASH/ SCOTT GRAHAM

DOVER — After focusing on attracting new business, Kent County officials have launched a revolving loan program with favorable interest rates to help existing businesses grow and strengthen.

early this summer, Kent Economic Partnership (KEP) announced the Kent County Growth Fund, a loan provided to businesses with between 10 and 500 full-time employees in the county. Loans range from $250,000 to $1 million, depending on underwriting guidelines and availability of funds.

The Kent County Tax Collection Court approved contributions of $750,000 and $250,000 to the fund. discovery bank, and a commitment of $3 million for loan capital. through the involvement of National Development Council (NDC), the program can leverage $1 million to create a $4 million lending capacity with the US Small Business Administration.

Loans provided through the Kent County Growth Fund can be used to purchase machinery, equipment, real estate, renovations, and more. Under the terms of the program, the business must have been in operation for at least two years and real estate investments and development projects are not eligible.

Machinery loans are 10 years, real estate acquisitions and renovations are 25 years. Tenant improvements must be repaid over the lease term.

“No one has formally applied at this time, but we do have candidates,” KEP executive director Linda Parkowski told the Delaware Business Times. “One of the ideas driving this was to target the existing businesses here. See? This is a great tool.”

Parkowski has long been a fan of Discover Bank’s revolving loan program, which is offered through a partnership with the National Development Council, a New York-based nonprofit that raises funds for investment in low-income communities. .

NDC and Discover Bank are working together on similar projects across the state, as well as in Wilmington and Sussex counties. ExciteSussex, Delaware’s southernmost county loan program, is perhaps the most successful. With his $1 million co-investment from Sussex County and Discover Bank, so far he has issued his $5.1 million loan to five businesses, impacting 102 jobs.

Jim Roszkowski, President of Discover Bank, said the bank’s long history in Delaware and its many partnerships with the Center for Small Business Development and NDC, including the Greenwood branch, make it “a place where customers live, work and play. “We are helping to have a positive impact on

“The funds provided, as well as the financial and technical support of Kent County and the financing capacity and expertise of the National Development Council, will allow the Kent County Economic Development Office to grow and open up business opportunities in our backyard. Please support us,” Roszkowski said in a statement.

If approved, applicants for the Kent County Growth Fund will pay a 1% security deposit to commit to the cost of completing the loan. SBA’s closing costs are between 2% and 3% and can be covered by loans.

Interest rates are determined by the market at the time the loan is received.

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