Relief extended to restaurants, bars

State offers no-interest loans
March 20, 2020

No-interest loans are now available to restaurants, bars, hotels and other businesses that have suffered under government-mandated crowd restrictions.

“Restaurants, bars, hotels, and other hospitality-related businesses, and their workers, are among those most seriously impacted by coronavirus COVID-19 in Delaware,” Carney said. “We’ve limited restaurants to takeout and delivery services, and asked all Delawareans to avoid being out in public unnecessarily. Many people from other states have postponed nonessential travel, meaning they are not coming to Delaware for vacations or business. We feel it is crucial that the state step in to assist these businesses and their employees.”

To help businesses impacted by reduced revenue, the Division of Small Business is offering no-interest loans up to $10,000 a month per business. Each loan has a 10-year term with deferred payments for nine months. Eligible businesses must have been in operation for at least a year with annual revenue below $1.5 million. Hospitality-based industries that qualify must provide documentation showing it is current on at least 80 percent of its payments over the past year, and not past due on its most recent payment of any bill for which it is applying for relief. To verify, officials said, proof of payments is needed or a letter from the entity owed money.

Relief under the Hospitality Emergency Loan Program can be used to cover rent, utilities and other bills. However, the loan cannot be used for personnel costs, Carney said in a press release.

For more information on qualifying businesses, call 302-739-4271 or email

Small Business Administration loans

While the state has extended the Hospitality Emergency Loan Program to businesses, officials await word from the U.S. Small Business Administration after Carney requested federal help.

In a letter to the SBA, Carney asked for an Economy Injury Declaration for Delaware businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19.

“We know that the public health restrictions we put in place to reduce the spread of the coronavirus will hit Delaware’s small business community especially hard,” he said. “We will continue to work with the Small Business Administration. and with our congressional delegation and state agencies to provide relief to those small businesses impacted during this time.”

Once the state’s application to the SBA is approved, low-interest loans of up to $2 million per business will be available for many small businesses and nonprofits that have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The loans may be used for working capital expenses such as payroll, fixed debts and accounts payable, as well as other bills the business or nonprofit is currently unable to pay because of the impact of COVID-19.

In addition, Carney has directed the Delaware Division of Small Business and Delaware Department of State to look for additional opportunities to support the state’s 25,000 small businesses.

Delawareans with questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 or 711 for people who are hearing impaired from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or email For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to


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