Senate Bill 127
151st General Assembly (Present)
Becomes effective upon date of signature of the Governor or upon date specified
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.
The purpose of this legislation is to promote sustained economic growth and stability by establishing 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 opportunities that will create a significant number of direct, permanent, quality, full-time jobs. There is intense competition between the states to attract and to keep vital businesses that create and maintain these direct, quality employment opportunities. Therefore, it is critical to expand and sustain economic growth within the State to consistently maintain readily available commercial, industrial sites to attract new business, or expand existing businesses. The delay in converting completely undeveloped sites into sites that are fully capable of conducting business may result in the loss of significant business opportunities that benefit the public. The site readiness fund will provide economic assistance to qualified businesses or public entities to renovate, construct, or improve commercial, industrial sites that are readily available to new businesses, established businesses that are considering moving to the State or existing businesses within the State that need additional sites to remain or expand within the State. 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 Chapter 87A of Title 29 of the Delaware Code 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.