Seven organizations in New Castle County have been awarded grant money from County Executive Paul Clark's "Sowing Seeds, Growing Jobs" program, which was announced earlier this year.
The community organizations received a combined $50,000 that the county set aside for projects that promote economic development or job growth.
First State Community Loan Fund will receive $15,000 to develop a retail business incubator program to help start-up retail business owners and support existing retail businesses with services and access to loans.
The Historic New Castle Alliance will be awarded $15,000 to install "Historic New Castle" directional signs on major road coming into the town and will buy parking signs to guide visitors to downtown parking lots.
The Wilmington Hope Commission will receive $7,500 to establish its Achievement Center to offer education, training, counseling, and job placement support to former inmates.
Another $7,500 will be awarded to the Claymont Renaissance Development Corporation to establish a sign-and-landscape reimbursement program to encourage commercial property owners and business in Claymont's "hometown overlay" historic preservation district to improve the appearance of their properties and to create a sense of continuity and design.
Theatrical Delights won a $6,500 grant to develop a youth-run dinner theater and training center at the Rose Hill Community Center in New Castle.
The Hockessin Business Association will use its $1,500 to expand its "Destination Hockessin" campaign with the publication in print and online of a map that highlight's the town's shopping, dining, attractions and services.
Lastly, the town of Bellefonte will receive $1,000 to improve the Bellefonte Arts Festival and to make it a showcase for area businesses.
Applications were taken earlier this year from nonprofit charitable organizations, business leagues, and towns or villages with populations of under 10,000 across New Castle County for a chance to win one of these grants.
Each grant will fund up to 50 percent of the estimated cost of the selected projects.
Applicants were required to provide a funding match as part of the competitive application process.