County Executive Thomas P. Gordon and New Castle County’s Economic Development Office have worked behind the scenes to protect existing resources in the county as well as attract and develop new business throughout the county.
Gordon provided vital funding of $3 million – roughly the cost of a public park pavilion – to help establish the Delaware Board of Trade, a market for small and mid-size companies not wanted by larger markets. Now progressing in the regulatory process, the board signed a 15-year lease for about 10,000 square feet overlooking the Brandywine at 1313 N. Market St. The board is expected to start with 50 employees averaging $136,000 a year, then grow to 100-150 averaging $86,000 a year. Beyond creating new and well-paying jobs, the board expected to have a multi-million-dollar ripple economic effect from food service to office supplies, while returning 6 percent interest for the five-year term of the county loan.
Whether they are getting established or maintaining their success, business of all sizes get help through the county’s Economic Development Office, including help navigating regulations and the permit process, also in cooperation with the county’s Department of Land Use.
Some recently assisted businesses include Federal Express, Ashland, Incyte and Zacros America.
The county’s Economic Development Office also co-sponsored a grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery or TIGER Grant Program for redevelopment of the Claymont Train Station.
The office’s New Castle County Economic Development Strategic Plan, commissioned in 2014, provides a detailed assessment of our highly competitive marketplace to attract new businesses, identifying growth areas, demographic shifts, best practices and new program initiatives.
Another significant economic development success resulted from county-state cooperation to keep the Du Pont Co. in Delaware after announcement of its merger with Dow Inc. Gov. Jack Markell’s leadership was the key to the success, said Gordon, who added additional county incentive to the state package offered to avert the historic business icon from leaving the state.
County Council unanimously approved Gordon’s proposal to create the New Castle County Strategic Economic Development Fund and provide $7.5 million from the Tax Stabilization Reserve account to Du Pont over a five-year period, provided the company remains in the county and continues to meet employment benchmarks. Meanwhile, those funds remain in the county account, accruing interest.