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City of Newark, Delaware

And indeed it does add up, quite favorably, for this city of 33,000, founded by Scots, Irish and Welsh in 1694. Delaware is located in the Mid-Atlantic region with Newark, New Castle County, situated just twelve miles from Wilmington, Delaware and half way between Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Baltimore, Maryland.

The city is well connected to the region, with excellent access to major roads, such as I-95, as well as freight and passenger rail, sea and air transportation. Being so connected makes it an ideal location for businesses in all fields; whether they need to move goods in and out of the most populous region of the country, or if executives simply need a location where they can attend meetings in New York City and Washington, DC, in the same day, Newark provides a central hub with a unique atmosphere of a walkable, bikeable, small town. “People joke that we’re two hours from everywhere,” shares Carol Houck, City Manager. “We have a small town feel with access to whatever you’d like.”

The influence of education

Newark is home to the University of Delaware, founded in 1743, one of the nation’s top 100 universities and Delaware’s largest. It is best known as a research-intensive institution with a strong presence in the fields of biochemistry, chemical engineering, health and life sciences, IT, and business programs. The University helps to drive Newark’s economy in two ways, most basically as Newark’s largest employer and home to 16,000 students who support Newark’s restaurants, shops and service industry, but also through partnerships with businesses in fields ranging from bioengineering to finance. Since 2011, the University of Delaware has partnered with the City of Newark and the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce to develop the Greater Newark Economic Development Partnership (GNEDP), an effort that strives to highlight the region’s strengths in order to retain and sustainably grow existing businesses, as well as recruit new employers to the area.

Additionally, a branch of Delaware Technical Community College, the Stanton Campus, is a respected state institution, and a public community and technical college also located in Newark. The College offers over 120 programs leading to diplomas, certificates and associate degrees. The College also runs summer camps for children age five to 15 in an atmosphere of exploring and enrichment activities, all while experiencing the college environment.

“Together, our mission is strategic outreach to enable local business growth,” adds Michael. “A well-educated workforce and superb continuing education opportunities help us attract employers to Newark.”

He relates that the GNEDP is a sharing of minds focused on how the city, University and other regional entities can work together to encourage both large businesses and SMEs to the city. “From a regulatory standpoint you have to look at what’s making the small businesses hit or miss from year to year and exactly, from an industry standpoint, how can we help that,” he says.

Newark also partners with the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) which shares a common mission: attracting, promoting and aiding in expansion of existing business, both in the city and state wide. The GNEDP provides a weekly updated location inventory site of available properties to DEDO and says Michael, “A lot of companies need a lot of data before they get here… DEDO gets their inventory from our site and we work directly with them with every business they find in the Greater Newark area based on the property finder.”

Doing business in Newark

Newark’s City government, the GNEDP and DEDO want to see businesses thrive in Newark and have a number of services and resources available to ensure business success. “We have tax breaks for industrial and new commercial buildings,” says Maureen Feeney-Roser, Director of Planning and Development. “One of the beauties of doing business in this community is that we’re a full service city. We provide everything that you need, except cable or gas. All our services are located in one location.”

Resources such as the GNEDP’s Concierge Services provide entrepreneurs and their businesses with a single point of contact to address any concerns and help eliminate the often difficult hurdles of setting up a new business – in essence, making the process as flawless as possible.

The Concierge Services will assist with site selection, incentive packages and the connections with city, county and state officials who will be involved ensuring, “that [businesses] don’t run into difficulties such as startup, construction, expansion or maintaining their operations,” Maureen explains. “We’re very devoted to customer service excellence. I think you’ll find that if you speak to any business that has been here or has looked at our community, that is one of our main benefits.”

Michael concurs that, “People in the Newark area are going to be able to help you find the money you may need to start your business, the networking you’ll need to grow your business, and ways to save money in the process.” Additionally, GNEDP’s eNvoy Program was created in order to connect the city’s business community with prospective business leaders in an atmosphere of information sharing, insight and helpful advice. “We can give you anybody from any industry to come and talk to you about it. We can answer any question you have from a non sales perspective.”

In the Mid-Atlantic region, Newark is a very competitive city and Michael says that, “One thing we have above everybody else is that we have the position and the ability to be creative… we can get creative from a legislative standpoint too, in terms of how you’re going to be here, what type of portfolio you have, exactly where you’re going to be and how many jobs you can have. So we’re very creative compared to the States we compete with.”

Quality of life

Named the number one city in which to live in the State of Delaware, Newark is not only business friendly, but family friendly as well, with numerous activities and access to entertainment, parks, shopping, museums and beaches suitable for all age groups. Big city amenities are only a short drive away in Philadelphia, Wilmington or Baltimore.

“We have a great quality of life for the family environment. There are activities and opportunities for families to be part of our community,” shares Mayor Polly Sierer, and abundant parkland and amenities. “So when we’re creating jobs, we’re creating opportunities for families as well… we have a renewed focus on looking at our community and making decisions based on quality of life.”

City Manager Carol Houck agrees by saying, “We have a very philanthropic attitude here in Newark. You’ll have the chance to give back to your community, to grow through your community, through your business.”

Like any city with an optimistic vision of its future, Newark has challenges to address. Its biggest challenge, explains Carol is, “becoming more efficient and doing more with less… we have a strong focus from our Mayor and Council. We’re moving in the right direction.”

July 20, 2018, 2:59 AM EDT

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