The Senate last week passed Senate Bill 127, which is a bill that establishes a fund to provide grants, loans or other economic assistance to businesses or public entities that invest in constructing, renovating or improving infrastructure for sites that will attract new businesses or expand existing businesses within the State to initiate economic development that will create new jobs.
Like it or not, there is intense competition between the states to attract and to keep vital businesses that create and maintain employment opportunities in Delaware, and we have to invest in companies to bring them here or keep them here. But this is not a giveaway. The funds are used to increase site readiness of under or undeveloped commercial or industrial sites in Delaware so that we can move businesses and industries to those sites.
To ensure fiscal accountability that site readiness funds are expended for their intended purpose, the applications will be administered in accordance with the existing regulations that govern applications made to the Strategic Fund.
The Council on Development Finance will review the applications and supporting financial information to make recommendations to the Director of the Division of Small Business concerning the viability of the proposed project and whether the project meets the criteria established by this legislation to award funding. The Director has the final authority to award funding based on the Council’s recommendations and the requirements imposed by this legislation.
The Director shall administer any such award in accordance with the requirements of Delaware law and the existing Strategic Fund regulations. To protect the assets of the Fund, the Director may require recapture provisions in any contract agreements for grants, loans or other economic assistance that recover for any substantial or complete cessation of operations or failure to reach any employment or other benchmarks. The Director may require the applicant to report financial statements and project progress reports to determine that expenditures on the project are consistent with the purpose of the Fund.
Senator Jack Walsh: “It might not get the most headlines, but I was proud to lead this bill through the Senate last week. This legislation WILL help us attract more jobs, and that’s something to celebrate.
In short, this bill helps make us more attractive to employers looking to set up shop in the First State. Competition between states is fierce, and even a small advantage can be decisive. SB 127 gives us a leg up in one important way: site readiness. By offering grants and loans to help repurpose and redevelop old commercial and industrial sites, we can help speed up the process for new businesses while simultaneously increasing the utility of empty or abandoned properties.
|Senate Bill 127 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Walsh, Pettyjohn, Mantzavinos, Hansen, Hocker, Lawson, Poore, Richardson, Sokola, Sturgeon, Wilson||Senate Passed 21-0. Brown Ennis Gay Hansen Lockman Mantzavinos Paradee Pinkney Poore S.McBride Sokola Sturgeon Townsend Walsh Bonini Hocker Lawson Lopez Pettyjohn Richardson Wilson|
|Bush, Yearick, Briggs King, Gray, Lynn. D.Short, M.Smith, Spiegelman, K.Williams|
|Current Status:||Sent to the House for consideration.|