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Stories of Impact



The Grow Wilmington Fund

The City of Wilmington’s Office of Economic Development and Grow America are proud to partner on the Grow Wilmington Fund.

Together, we are working to help small and medium size companies grow their businesses in Wilmington. With longer loan terms and below-market interest rates, the Grow Wilmington Fund can help businesses stretch their cash flow and save thousands of dollars through lower monthly payments.

Success stories

Short Order Production House is a full-service video production company that specializes in commercial, documentary, and branded content for both large multi-national companies, but also local nonprofits. The company started from a co-working space in Wilmington, DE. That said, as demand for the company’s services grew, Short Order approached Grow Wilmington Fund for funding to both buildout a new space and for permanent working capital.

The Grow Wilmington Fund was able provide a $200,000 loan with a long-term fixed interest rate of 3.85% for 10 years. As a result, Short Order Production House was able to expand operations and create 11 full-time jobs. As for working with Grow Wilmington Fund, owner Zach Phillips remarked, “When we discovered the Grow Wilmington Fund, not only were they able to get us the loan that we needed, but it was actually at the lowest rate that I had ever seen anywhere.”


O’Connor Belting International, also known as Derco USA, is a veteran-owned manufacturer of customized lightweight conveyor belting, supplying belts to a wide range of industries and for numerous applications. Derco USA was founded when it merged with Fabreeka in 2007. Fabreeka built its reputation over its 90-year history by combining high-quality European style belting with a focus on customer service and technical advice.

As the company grew, management decided to purchase a new facility; however, doing so was costly and put a stretch on the company’s cash flow. The Grow Delaware Fund provided a loan of $250,000, of which $119,000 was for refinancing, and the remainder for additional working capital. O’Connor Belting International was able to lock in a final fixed rate of 6.04% for the lifetime of the loan (10 years). Refinancing alone helped the company save $8,605 in monthly principal and interest payments. Furthermore, the company retained 27 manufacturing jobs, with three new positions to be added in the next two years. The Grow Delaware Fund is proud to have played a role in the company’s success.

“It would have taken five or six months to get loan through conventional banking. However, Grow Delaware Fund was able to process the loan within a short period of time. Now, we are back to a pretty strong cash flow again,” said, Paul O,Connor Sr., CEO and President.


This program is open to qualified, existing businesses in operation for at least 2 full years with 2-500 employees and revenues generally between $500,000 and $20 million. Real estate investment or development projects and financing entities are not eligible.

How much can I borrow?

Our loans typically range from $150,000-$2,500,000. The amount a business and its affiliates can borrow is subject ot underwriting guidelines and availability of loan funds.

More information
What is the Grow America Fund (GAF)? Grow America Fund is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) licensed under the U.S. SBA Preferred Lenders Program (PLP). We focus on providing flexible and patient expansion loans to established small businesses, manufacturers and distributors.
Who is eligible? This program is open to qualified, existing businesses in operation for at least 2 full years with 2 – 500 employees and revenues generally between $500,000 and $20 milion (subject to the SBA size standards by industry). Real estate investment or development projects and financing entities are not eligible.
How much can I borrow? Our loans typically range from $150,000 – $2,500,000. However, the amount a business and its affiliates can borrow is subject to underwriting guidelines and availability of loan funds.
How can loan funds be used and what are repayment terms?
  • Working Capital – to be repaid over 10 years
  • Machinery & Equipment – to be repaid over 10 years
  • Real Estate Acquisition and/or Renovation – to be repaid over 25 years
  • Tenant Improvements – to be repaid over the life of the lease
Is there an application fee? There is no application fee to apply.
Are there closing fees?
  • Once the loan is approved, the applicant pays a 1% deposit paid at commitment letter signing for appraisal, legal, and other costs incurred prior to closing
  • SBA guarantee fee of 2-3%
  • All closing costs may be financed into the loan
What are the interest rates?
  • Fixed at 1.67% + 4.32% = 5.99%
  • Interest-only periods are possible
What guarantees and collateral is required?
  • Personal guarantees are required from any individual with > 20% of the business
  • Security interest in all available collateral
  • For real estate: Flexible Loan-to-Value, depending on underwriting
Is any reporting required? As relationship lenders, GAF meets with every business in our portfolio annually. We also expect the business to provide us with financial statements and/or tax returns on at least an annual basis.
Public Benefits

As a mission-driven non-profit, GAF must meet at least ONE of the following public benefits:

  • Creation and retention of permanent jobs
  • Serve businesses located in Low or Moderate Income (LMI) census tracts
  • Serve businesses located in redevelopment areas and Enterprise Zones
  • Serve minority and/or woman-owned businesses


Apply now


In accordance with federal laws and U.S. Department of the Treasury policy, this organization is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to: U.S. Department of the Treasury, Director, Office of Civil Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20220; call (202) 622-1160; or send an e-mail to: crcomplaints@treasury.gov. Learn more.


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