Delaware Times, March 2023
Delaware’s economic decline is a hot topic with Business Leaders, Elected Officials and Advocates across the state. Leaders have lots of opinions. So, the editors of the Delaware Times asked leaders across the state for their opinion.
These top 12 concepts are featured in this month’s edition. These concepts were selected because they are practical, easy to understand, and endorsed by an expert or an organization with a unique perspective.
We believe our readers can make up their own minds on which suggestions are worthy of implementation. We don’t expect anyone to support all twelve, but each will make you think.
Compare these 12 concepts to what Delaware has been doing for the past 20 years. Then ask, what are we doing right or wrong? What can we do to improve the lives of everyone in Delaware? Can we support economic growth and improve the lives of workers?
This is a turning point for Delaware. Let’s discuss these 12 Ideas to make Delaware business friendly and end “Delaware’s Decade of Decline”.
Leaders from across the State have contributed their views on how we end Delaware’s economic decline and add quality jobs, new businesses and economic growth to a once thriving business community:
1. “Delaware is an extraordinary place, but the state can do a better job of attracting employers and entrepreneurs. If we care about great jobs, we have to care about better schools and safer communities.” Ben duPont, Founder of Yet2.Com
2. “The Permitting Processes must be strengthened through streamlined communication between state agencies, transparency, cost predictability, and a fast-track approval program for major projects… as a start. The Ready in 6 Coalition of the Delaware business permitting process needs to be efficient enough to draw those projects looking in, and it’s the critical piece to this.” Bob Perkins, Executive Director of the Delaware Business Round Table
3. “Demand more of the basics from our public schools. Require Public School Graduates can Read and Do Math at 10th Grade Level. Workforce readiness is a minimum requirement of a Public School System and we are failing.” Tanya Hettler, Director of the Center for Education Excellence
4. “Reduce State Sponsored Incentives for Capable People not to work. Jobs in Delaware are simply NOT enticing enough or have such low pay that an increasing number of Delaware’s working-age population would rather stay at home collecting government benefits than hold a job.” Charlie Copeland, Director, Center for Analysis of Delaware’s Economy & Government Spending
5. “Stop the ‘Delaware Climate Change Solutions Act’ that centralizes control of the Economy inside State Government. SB 305 establishes a statutory requirement of greenhouse gas emissions reductions over the medium and long term. SB 305 failed to clear the committee at the end of this term, but sponsors promised to return with “stronger legislation next year.” David Legates, Economist – University of Delaware – retired
6. “The state government needs to be more small-business friendly and develop a program for start-up businesses – our fastest growing segment. We also need to retract the “temporary” tax increases that businesses are paying, including the Gross Receipts Tax.” Bob Older, President, Delaware Small Business Chamber
7. “The Governor and legislature need to create a state “ecosystem” to attract those tech businesses leaving other states, to Delaware. We have very solid tech training programs and extremely capable graduates ready to excel in the tech industry right here in Delaware.” Brandon Brice, Partner, Sarenga Group
8. “Position Delaware as a Diverse Tech Community building on Tech Impact, ZipCode, and other work readiness programs. “Delaware has a real opportunity to sell the employment base in technology – we have one of the top 5 diverse worforces in the tech industry. We can, and should, attract companies to our region. We have a number of strong tech companies providing technical education to a diverse community.” Patrick Callihan, Executive Director, Tech Impact
9. Support Businesses-led Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives. Back employment opportunities for second chance individuals and help solve outdated barriers to re-entry. Top Policy Priorities by Delaware State Chamber of Commerce
10. “We should listen to the business community, both large and small businesses, and hear what they are saying. Three primary roadblocks to business development in Delaware are energy cost, regulatory burdens, and labor issues. We need to implement ideas that will make Delaware’s economy stronger.” Rep Ruth Briggs King
11. “We should emphasize those areas that are the fastest growing sectors such as Technology, healthcare, and logistics, and then focus our academic skills training and business incentive to develop those industries right here in Delaware. ” Mike Harrington, Business Owner/Real Estate Developer
12. “Trust the free market! Enable businesses to compete for workers and reduce interference from the State. Lower taxes, fewer mandates, faster approvals, and a better-educated workforce will spell success.” Jane Brady, Chair of the Delaware GOP
Read the Delaware Times at www.delaware-times.com, and tell us what you think!