Kent Economic Partnership launches ‘Choose Central Delaware’ website

The landing page of the recently launched Choose Central Delaware website. Submitted photo

DOVER — To coincide with National Economic Development Week (next week), the Kent Economic Partnership (KEP) has launched its new Choose Central Delaware website, the agency announced on Thursday.

Now in its fourth year, National Economic Development Week was created by the International Economic Development Council, the largest professional membership organization for economic developers, in 2016 to recognize the role that economic development has in supporting local economies.

The new website, at ChooseCentralDelaware.com, is intended to provide information and resources to both businesses considering Kent County as a place to locate and existing businesses in the county interested in expanding.

Linda Parkowski, director of the KEP, says the website is an important step in their mission to “tell Kent County’s story” to potential developers and business owners.

“The most important thing for the KEP is to lay the groundwork for positive business ecosystem within Kent County,” she said. “We want to provide a good environment, access to information for businesses who are here or are thinking about moving here. We have a great story to tell — Kent County is a great location with low land costs and really good cooperation from governing bodies. We want to raise awareness about what we have to offer.”

The KEP’s self-stated mission is to spur economic development in central Delaware. Using “business attraction and retention programs” they hope to promote better employment opportunities for the county’s residents by being a “premier economic engine.”

The website will highlight many of the state programs including incentives and loans which are relevant for businesses, say organizers.

KEP board member Gregory Moore feels the website will be an important organizational tool.

“The KEP Board knows how important a comprehensive website is for an economic development organization; in today’s world of instant information we wanted to ensure Central Delaware was noticed and had valuable information to share,” he said in a statement.

‘Choose Central Delaware’ campaign

The Choose Central Delaware campaign was unveiled late last month during the presentation of a glossy 42-page economic profile designed to tout the benefits of doing business in the county.

Though a more hand-held resource that the new website, the Delaware State News-published resource guide highlights robust industries already present, led by expanding access to health care providers and more than 75 manufacturers with a strong, trained workforce.

Assuming her role last June, Ms. Parkowski has aggressively pursuing a rethink of the county’s economic development arm. Her hiring followed a reorganization by the KEP, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit previously directed by Kent County Levy Court employee Jim Waddington.

The KEP re-established board added two member seats from the Greater Kent Committee, which contributed $100,000 to the budget. Taking one of these seat, Mr. Moore said at the time that the committee’s goal was to “double or more than double the budget and resources available.”

Staff writer Ian Gronau can be reached at 741-8272 or igronau@newszap.com

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