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Business Ecosystem

Our Business Ecosystem is unprecedented. It’s one of the reasons why Sussex County is the fastest growing county in the fastest growing state in the Northeast.

Economic Development organizations across the country promote a skilled workforce, low taxes, unparalleled quality of life and similar targeted industries. In addition to these vitally important metrics, what does Sussex County, Delaware offer to business that you won’t find anywhere.  We call it the Power of “X”  – Susse-X: leadership accessibility, entrepreneur and small business support and economic development advocacy.

Leadership Accessibility

Sussex County is serious about Economic Development. That’s why they hired Melody Booker-Wilkins as their Economic Development Director. She began her career in Delaware after she received a full scholarship to the University of Delaware to pursue her Master of Public Administration Degree. Melody led highly successful sales, marketing, programming and administration teams in the broadcasting industry for over 20 years followed by an opportunity to lead economic development in Sussex County while working for the Delaware Economic Development Office. She has an amazing drive and works tirelessly for companies looking to relocate here, expand here and for entrepreneurs looking to start a business here.

For the past 30 years Melody has developed trusting, key relationships with public and private sector decision-makers throughout Delaware. These relationships, coupled with Melody’s exceptional follow-through skills, will get you the answers you need to expedite your business decision. She’s Sussex County’s #1 advocate for business and we want your business to thrive here!

Melody is a board member of Southern Delaware Tourism, an ex-officio member of the Sussex Economic Development Action Committee and is a board member of Kent-Sussex Industries, Inc. (KSI), a private, not for profit vocational rehabilitation organization.

Sussex County’s leadership accessibility extends to the Governor’s Office, State agencies and our elected legislators, the Federal Delegation as well as our Federal business partners including the Small Business Administration (SBA) and USDA Rural Development. Sussex County works closely with municipal leaders in each of our twenty-five (25) eclectic cities and towns and with every infrastructure supplier in our county.

Entrepreneur and Small Business Support

Sussex County touts agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, retail and healthcare as its major industries, but prides its economic base on workforce, culture and the ability to innovate. We embrace the unhindered entrepreneurial spirit and our community partners proudly boast a myriad of programs that assist small businesses throughout Sussex County.

Sussex Open for Business

We support our local small businesses, and their important role that they play to strengthen the economic performance of Sussex County. The Economic Development Office and our business partners fuel the innovation and creativity of entrepreneurs and small business owners of the area.

Our goal is to give you the tools and resources you need to be Open for Business! We work with you to:

  • Put your innovative ideas into action
  • Support existing small business growth
  • Boost business expertise through customized programs and workshops designed to help small businesses succeed
  • One-on-One business counseling, ranging from best industry practices to marketing and finance
  • Business Wellness Assessments for existing businesses to strategize on improvement and expansion opportunities

No pre-registration is needed. Sussex County Open for Business is held the third Thursday of every month next to Delaware Coastal Airport in Georgetown.

1 Million Cups

1 Million Cups is a free, weekly national program designed to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs. This event is held in Sussex County every Wednesday from 9 – 10 am at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown. Developed by the Kauffman Foundation, 1MC is based on the notion that entrepreneurs discover solutions and network over a million cups of coffee.

1 Million Cups is led by more than 300 volunteers in 35+ states, one U.S. territory, and six time zones. It attracts an estimated national weekly attendance of more than 2,500 people.

Business Retention and Expansion

Our local existing businesses are the strength and vitality of Sussex County’s economy. Our key focus is to retain and grow primary employers in our area. We work closely with businesses, are aware of their challenges, opportunities, and connect them with the appropriate tools and resources to help them grow here, and keep the jobs here.

Our services are focused on the promotion of business growth, we can help directly and/or provide referrals with:

  • Workforce Training
  • Incentive and Financial Assistance Discovery
  • Access to Capital
  • Site Selection
  • Business Acceleration Workshops and Seminars

Contact our business development team to get started on your next project.

Economic Development Advocacy

Sussex County is a tightly woven business community that works together in every aspect of Economic Development: business attraction, retention and expansion. From the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) and Delaware’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) – to the Convention and Visitors Bureau for Sussex County – Southern Delaware Tourism and our dynamic Chambers of Commerce, it’s no wonder why Sussex County is home to almost 10,000 businesses!

Lastly, public and private sector leaders formed an organization called SEDAC – the Sussex Economic Development Action Committee. This committee actively works with the Sussex County Economic Development Office to leverage the experience, intellect, and creativity of the Sussex County community to inform, develop, recommend, and communicate strategies for creating sustainable economic prosperity.

bethany fenwick island delaware chamber logo
delmar chamber of commerce logo
georgetown chamber of commerce logo
millsboro chamber of commerce logo
seaford de chamber of commerce logo
laurel chamber of commerce logo
lewes delaware chamber of commerce logo
milford chamber of commerce logo
milton delaware chamber of commerce logo
rehoboth beach and dewey beach chamber logo
delaware economic office logo
small business development center logo
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