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Delaware Wants To Level The Playing Field For Black Business Owners And Landlords With Grants Up To $25K

Minority small business owners and landlords in low to moderate-income areas can apply for energy grants.

Spark Grants up to $25,000 are made possible thanks to a partnership between Wilmington City Councilwoman Shané Darby and Energize Delaware. Specifically, landlords qualify for up to $20,000, and minority business owners can get up to $25,000 in grants.

Delaware Public Media reported 20 minority business owners will be awarded Spark Grants. Councilwoman Darby said, according to the media outlet, “There are some landlords who cannot get access to capital, right, and when you have that issue where there’s lack of access to capital, there’s even some landlords who are not able to fix up their property [sic].”

Minority business owner grant recipients will also become members of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, according to the media outlet. The membership will last for one year. According to Delaware Public Media, Darby also said, “So I think this balances out the playing field for landlords who are low-income, who don’t have access to capital because of the area that they have their residential unit in.”

The Councilwoman told the outlet the grants will benefit the entire city of Wilmington. “So I think this is a game changer for the city. I hope that landlords in the city apply for it, and that just means better housing stock for renters. So it’s a win-win for everybody in the city, and to also help small minority business owners is a win-win for the city.”

Housing reform is at the top of Councilwoman Darby’s mind. According to Wilmington City Council’s page, she said, “Like most of us today, the need for housing reform, criminal justice reform, and protection for the working class and Wilmington’s poor families are the most pressing concerns on my mind. I realized I needed to take a more direct approach to community activism, transforming my ability as a community organizer into a tangible leadership position within my hometown.”

Grant applications will be open until July 31. Landlords and minority business owners are encouraged to visit for more information.