Gov. John Carney, on May 24, signed into law House Bill 170, the Angel Investor Job Creation and Innovation Act, at the Delaware Technology Park at the University of Delaware’s STAR Campus.

The act establishes a refundable tax credit for qualified investors in Delaware small businesses to spur job creation and innovation. The law establishes guidelines for awarding a tax credit worth up to 25 percent of the investment in a qualified, Delaware-based small business. Businesses receiving the investment must pay decent wages, employ fewer than 25 employees and engage in innovation in one of several areas as its primary business activity.

“We should do everything we can to support Delaware’s innovators and entrepreneurs who are leading Delaware’s new economy, and this law will help connect our most talented entrepreneurs with the resources they need to be successful,” said Carney. “Delaware is already a hub of innovation, and this tax credit will help to encourage investments in innovative, Delaware-based small businesses.”

Carney called for passage of the Angel Investor Job Creation and Innovation Act in his 2018 State of the State address. The bipartisan legislation was sponsored by Reps. Michael Ramone, Bryon Short, Melanie George Smith and Dave Wilson. Senate sponsors included President Pro Tem Sen. David McBride and Sen. Cathy Cloutier.

By statute, the Delaware Division of Small Business will have until Nov. 1 to create and publish an application for small businesses looking to participate in the program in calendar year 2019.

Qualified business activities include:

— Using proprietary technology to add value to a product, process or service in a qualified high-technology field.

— Researching or developing a proprietary product, process or service in a qualified high-technology field.

— Researching, developing, or producing a proprietary product, process or service in the fields of agriculture, manufacturing, wildlife preservation, environmental science, financial technology or transportation.

— Researching, developing, or producing a new proprietary technology for use in the fields of agriculture, manufacturing, financial technology or transportation.