The federal CARES Act Recovery Assistant Program has awarded Delaware State University College of Business’ University Center for Economic Development and International Trade (UCEDIT) a $300,000 grant to help small businesses increase their e-commerce functionality.
Dr. Michael Casson, dean of the College of Business, said that the grant will enable UCEDIT as well as its Center for Information Technology Services to provide website development and e-commence functionality for 72 small businesses across the state as well as provide an e-commerce platform similar to Amazon.com.
“COVID-19 has shown us that small businesses need to have e-commerce functionality,” Dr. Casson said. “This initiative will enable us to provide small businesses with an optimized website that supports that creation of “shopmainstreetde.com.”
The website will end with a backslash in the URL that identifies individual towns for businesses in their areas, such as shopmainstreetde.com/Middletown.
Dr. Casson said this initiative is another example of how the resources of the University and the College of Business can be leveraged for economic development locally, nationally and internationally.
“DSU is a vital economic engine for the State of Delaware. This initiative, like many others at the University, is emblematic of both our expertise and commitment to advancing our local communities and economies via strategic partnerships and engagement,” Dr. Casson said. “This award to DSU serves as a significant milestone in our mission to empower small businesses with the training and resources necessary to become competitive and resilient in a global economy.”
University President Tony Allen said this initiative from the College of Business is reflective of Delaware State University’s determination to be an economic development resource for Delaware businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
“The development of e-commence infrastructure for small businesses is another validation of the University’s commitment and responsibilities as both a support and economic driver in our State and around the region,” Dr. Allen said.
The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA).
Delaware State University is one of more than 850 colleges and universities in the nation that are EDA’s University Centers, which are designed to marshal its resources to support regional economic development strategies in regions of chronic and acute economic distress. The University Centers use the funding to respond to technical assistance requests from business organizations located in economically challenged areas of their service regions.
Original source: https://www.desu.edu/news/2020/07/cares-act-300000-grant-awarded-cob