§ 5027 Findings and purpose; creation of the Fund.
(a) The General Assembly finds that Delaware's development finance programs are necessary to compete for new and existing businesses. Furthermore, the General Assembly finds the number and limited previous funding of finance programs of the Delaware Economic Development Office do not maximize efficiency of administration by the State or the business community. It is the intent of the General Assembly to solve this problem by consolidating the existing development finance programs of the Delaware Economic Development Office into a Delaware Strategic Fund.
(b) A special fund to be known as the "Delaware Strategic Fund" ("Fund") shall be created.
(1) The Fund shall initially consist of $2,250,000 as authorized in 69 Del. Laws, c. 77 to the Delaware Economic Development Office ("Office") on behalf of the Delaware Economic Development Authority ("Authority"). Funds appropriated pursuant to this or subsequent acts are to be used for Fund activities as defined in the following paragraphs. The Fund shall also consist of present balances and future payments of moneys transferred from discontinued programs.
(2) The Fund shall be invested by the State Treasurer in securities consistent with the policies established by the Cash Management Policy Board. All moneys generated by the Fund shall be deposited in the Fund.
§ 5028 Fund purposes.
(a) Moneys appropriated to the Fund may be loaned, granted or used in other financing mechanisms by the Authority within the State. The Fund may be used for the following purposes:
(1) Retention and expansion of existing firms;
(2) Recruitment of new firms;
(3) Formation of new businesses; and
(4) To the extent provided in subsection (c) of this section, and for 1 or more of the purposes set forth in paragraphs (a)(1) through (3) of this section, environmental assessment and remediation of certified brownfields.
For purposes other than stated above, the Co-Chairs of the Joint Legislative Committee-Capital Improvement Program, Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Controller General shall be informed prior to any action by the Delaware Economic Development Office.
(b) Moneys appropriated to the Fund may be used for the following activities:
(1) Working capital;
(2) Renovation, construction or any other type of improvements to roads, utilities and related infrastructure and public facilities;
(3) Assistance for equipment, machinery, land and building acquisition and development;
(4) Assistance with relocation expenses;
(5) Loans or loan guarantees;
(6) Assistance for the development of startup strategies such as seed capital and incubator programs;
(7) Assistance for the development of re-use strategies and implementation plans for sites located in the State and targeted for development by the Office;
(8) Assistance for the development and implementation of modernization strategies for existing manufacturing firms to strengthen their competitive position in regional, national and international markets; and
(9) To develop and implement strategies to maintain or enhance important economic sectors in the State.
(c) During any fiscal year of the State, up to $1,000,000, in aggregate, of the moneys appropriated to the Fund may be used to provide matching grants for the costs of environmental assessment and remediation at certified brownfields. The amount of a matching grant with respect to a certified brownfield shall not exceed the lesser of $100,000 or 50 percent of environmental assessment and remediation costs with respect to such certified brownfield. For purposes of this subsection, a "certified brownfield" is a brownfield, as defined in § 9103 of Title 7, that the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has certified as a brownfield pursuant to regulations promulgated under § 9104(b)(2)p of Title 7. The Chairperson of the Authority may at any time suspend the making of grants under this subsection if the Chairperson finds that moneys in the Fund would be better used for other Fund purposes consistent with this subchapter, and may resume the making of grants under this subsection at any time after previously suspending the making of such grants.
§ 5029 Findings and determinations for assistance.
(a) The Authority shall draft rules and regulations pertaining to the Fund eligibility, and establish criteria to administer the Fund.
(b) By December 1 of each year, the Office shall report the Fund's previous year's uses to the General Assembly. The Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office shall notify the Co-Chairs of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Capital Improvement Program by March 15, June 15, September 15, and December 15 of each year on the remaining Strategic Fund balance available for commitment as of the end of the month preceding the required reporting date. The Director shall also notify the Co-Chairs of the Joint Legislative Committee on the Capital Improvement Program of their intent to make a commitment of funds from the Strategic Fund prior to the commitment being communicated to the intended recipient of those funds.
(c) In order that the Agriculture/Aquaculture Business Program continue as a revolving fund, any and all balance of and future payments to the Agriculture/Aquaculture Business line as authorized in § 5 of 68 Del. Laws, c. 156 shall be disbursed to the Delaware Strategic Fund.
(d) The amount and type of assistance provided by Delaware Economic Development Office to a firm through the Strategic Fund will be based upon the following criteria:
(1) Consistency with state economic development strategies;
(2) Number of jobs created or retained;
(3) Competitiveness of Delaware versus other locations under consideration as measured by tax comparison and relative site location factors;
(4) Quality of jobs using measures such as the average wage and benefits of the jobs to be created or retained as compared to labor force characteristics of the county and community in which the project will be located;
(5) Comparative overall economic impact of the project at the state, county and local levels as measured by job creation and retention, private investment leverage and revenue generation;
(6) Feasibility of the project as determined by the applicant's business plan, business history and collateral or other financial resources available to adequately secure assistance; and
(7) Any environmental consideration related to siting decisions, manufacturing processes or byproducts.