2019 Sussex Profile puts a focus on county’s entrepreneurs

GEORGETOWN – Entrepreneurs play a significant role in Sussex County’s economy and employment world.

Unveiled Tuesday afternoon, the 2019 Sussex Profile shines the spotlight on that theme.

“This magazine is the major tool we use here in the county to really promote economic development,” Sussex County Economic Development Director William Pfaff said. “What we tried to do is feature the entrepreneurial culture in this county and how alive it is.”

Hot off the press, this year’s Sussex Profile spans the spectrum, with focus on agriculture, banking, business, broadband, chambers of commerce, education, healthcare, manufacturing, tourism and transportation, to name a few.

“This is a documentation we use throughout the year to highlight what Sussex County is doing, what the council’s vision is and what the staff is implementing,” said Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson. “It’s a great tool for us. So, thank you very much to Delaware State News and all of your staff for working with us.”

This is the 23rd edition of the Sussex Profile, produced annually in partnership between Sussex County government and Independent NewsMedia Inc. USA.

Among the success stories featured this year: SPI Pharma, a pharmaceutical company based in Lewes that is celebrating is 50th anniversary this year; Tail Bangers, a dog biscuit/treat factory in Millsboro, and Miller Metal and Vanderwende’s ice cream, both in Bridgeville.

Healthcare highlights include Bayhealth’s Sussex Campus, which opened earlier in February; Beebe Healthcare’s expansion with the November 2018 groundbreaking for the South Coastal Health Campus; and Nanticoke Health Services’ planned affiliation with Peninsula Regional Health System.

Of course, the Profile features agriculture and tourism, both so prevalent in Sussex County that stand as the state Delaware’s top two industries.

“That is the message that we are trying to let everyone know, what’s going in this county,” said Mr. Pfaff, who coincidentally celebrated his birthday on Profile unveiling day.

Mr. Pfaff highlighted progress and incentives on the economic development front.

These include economic development zones – Nanticoke, in western Sussex; Broadkill, in north-central and Indian River, in south-central – identified as ripe for redevelopment. These zones were adopted by Sussex County Council.

Complimenting that is the county’s new loan program, designed to provide low-interest, long-term loans for businesses with at least 10 employees that have been in business in the county for two years or more.

Soon, the county plans to launch Economic Gardening. “That’s for more scaling businesses that are really beyond the startup stage and they are beginning to scale,” Mr. Pfaff said. “So, we will work with five businesses in this county over a year’s period. With a company that we hired, we will help them scale their business to the next level. Again, we won’t work with them personally here at the county but the company that we have contracted will.”

Additionally, the county has implemented a software “start-up” program available for towns to host on their website.

“It’s really demographic information. If you want to learn what your competitors are doing or if you want to understand where your suppliers — your primary and secondary suppliers are — you’re going to be able to find that information. That will help you make informed decisions.,” said Mr. Pfaff.

And recently, the county council gave the green light to seek designation of the county’s Delaware Coastal Airport and county-owned industrial park and new Delaware Coastal Business Park as a foreign trade zone.

“That, too, is another tool in our toolbox, to say to people within the region, within Delaware, ‘It’s a great place to do business,’” Mr. Pfaff said.

Darel LaPrade, publisher of the Sussex Profile, acknowledged the partnership with the county and its staff. He also recognized INI staff for their role in the Sussex Profile.

‘It’s pretty exciting,” Mr. LaPrade said.

The Sussex Profile unveiling was attended by numerous county and local government representatives as well as businesses and others from the Sussex community. It was held at the Sussex County Association of Realtors and catered by Bethany Blues.


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