By: 1808Delaware Staff

It’s still the consensus of Delaware City Council that the new Business Assistance Grant Program is a great idea.

They just need a bit more time to put all of the pieces in place.

During Council’s Virtual Work Session held on Monday evening, the measure was up for consideration on a second reading. Assistant City Manager Kyle Kridler that the wording of the ordinance has not changed since its first reading on May 26, and that it is clear that the word is getting out about the new program. City Economic Development Director Sean Hughes shared with Council that eight applications have been received to date.

1808Delaware’s coverage of that first reading can be accessed here.

When asked if any member had questions, Councilman Drew Farrell referenced a conversation he had had on Saturday with a business owner who was also a sole proprietor. Farrell asked whether or not they qualify as they do not have the required “employee.”

Hughes responded that there had been a small issue when a sentence was inadvertently left off of the website that defined “employee” in the context of the program. Anyone hired by that sole proprietor, Hughes said, could conceivably be considered an employee, such as hiring a CPA to do taxes, a cleaner, or having investors or partners. The bottom line, he added, was that “…it would be hard to be excluded.”

City Attorney Darren Shulman added that the key is “full time equivalents,” or FTEs, and that a handful of part-time employees might qualify.

Mayor Carolyn Riggle continued the line of questions, asking why the employee requirement was present. Hughes emphasized that the program had worked well to date in Union County, and that issue had not been a problem there. The eight current local applications, he said, included sole proprietors, and none had been rejected for that reason. Instead, the primary question at the moment was about eligible costs.

City Manager Tom Homan noted that Council would need to appoint a member of the loan review committee. With that in mind, Mayor Riggle indicated that the ordinance, with appointment included, would be considered at Council’s June 8 meeting.

Photo: 1808Delaware

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