Delaware offering incentives to vaccine-friendly businesses

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DOVER — The state continued to roll out its COVID-19 vaccination incentive program Wednesday with information on how Delaware small businesses can earn grants of up to $5,000 on those that offer promotions to customers who have been vaccinated.

The grants are part of Delaware’s “DE Wins!” the state’s incentive program, which was announced by Gov. John Carney Tuesday and aims to help the state reach a goal of 70% individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by July 4.

The Division of Small Business will select businesses across the state to receive one-time grants to defray the cost of their promotions.

“This program encourages Delawareans to roll up their sleeves and provides much needed support to our small business community,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock in a statement. “Those businesses are such an important part of Delaware’s economy. We are glad to have another way to support them as they continue to recover from the impact of the pandemic and turn their attention to the future.”

The application for a Small Business Incentive Grant is available here. Once a business has an idea for a promotion, it should take less than five minutes to complete the application, according to the DSB.

“The application asks businesses to come up with an offer that works well for them,” said Jordan Schulties, director of the DSB. “Delaware small business owners have boundless creativity that we are hoping they will put toward developing promotions that will be most appealing to their customers.”

The submission deadline is Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. Decisions on grantees will be announced on or before June 7.

The DSB said it will also announce an initial, small group of grantees and their promotions on Friday, to build excitement for the program over the Memorial Day weekend.

The grant opportunity is open to businesses that:

• meet the U.S. Small Business Administration definition for a small business in their industry

• have a physical location within the state of Delaware that is open to the public

Preference will be given to applicants in sectors that had to shut down at least partially at some point between March and June 2020 (including, but not limited to, retail, hospitality, food and beverage, fitness and personal care), the DSB said.

In addition to receiving the grant money, businesses selected to participate will be highlighted on the DE Wins! website along with other state websites and social media pages.

More information about DE Wins! can be found here.

There have been 889,500 doses of vaccine administered in Delaware as of Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. and 58.7% of Delawareans 16 years old or older have received at least one dose of vaccine.

The state recorded 49 new positive cases of COVID-19, according to the Delaware Division of Public Health’s daily update on Wednesday, which reflects data as of Tuesday at 6 p.m. Delaware’s all-time total of positive cases is up to 108,532.

One new COVID-19-related death was reported by the DPH, bringing the state’s total to 1,660. Hospitalizations increased by 16 compared to the day prior, up to 67.

Delaware’s seven-day rolling average for percentage of positive tests fell to 2.9%, under 3% for the first time since Oct. 21, 2020. For reference, the World Health Organization recommends a mark of 5% or below.