Economic Development Resources for Delaware Local Governments

State Agencies

Office of State Planning Coordination (OSPC) – Land use decisions in Delaware are made at the local government level. (OSPC) works to improve the coordination and effectiveness of land use decisions made by state, county, and municipal governments while building and maintaining a high quality of life in the State of Delaware. OPSC’s circuit-rider planners and professional staff members of the Institute for Public Administration at the University of Delaware are available to provide local planning assistance.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) – This state agency is responsible for protecting the state’s natural resources, provides communities with vital information on environmental regulation compliance as they grow their economies. DNREC also administers loans and grants related to environmental concerns. The Brownfield Assistance Program, funded through the Delaware Strategic Fund, provides matching grants to owners and developers to encourage the redevelopment of environmentally distressed sites within the state. The program is administered via collaboration by the Delaware Economic Development Office and the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and offers 50% of the costs (up to $100,000) associated with the investigation and remediation of the site.

Delaware Department of State, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs provides resources to help preserve Delaware’s heritage and showcase the historic legacy of the first state. The State Historic Preservation Office encourages the preservation and rehabilitation of historic buildings in Delaware through the Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program.

Economic Development Agencies/Organizations

State, regional, and local economic development organizations provide important partnership opportunities for local governments. The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce (DSCC) promotes an economic climate that strengthens the competitiveness of Delaware businesses and benefits citizens of the state. DSCC has several affiliates that provide business support including the Delaware Manufacturing Association, Delaware Public Policy Institute, Delaware Retail Council, Small Business Alliance, and The Partnership, Inc.

Other regional and local chambers within the state provide an invaluable connection between business leaders and local policy makers. The Delaware Tourism Office provides a list of local chambers of commerce on its website. The Sussex Economic Development Action Committee also provides a list of local chambers of commerce in Sussex County. County-level economic development organizations such as the New Castle County Office of Economic Development can also provide insight and services to communities seeking economic growth. New Castle County offers several business assistance programs, such as bond financing and partial property-tax exemptions, that provide incentives for business investment. In addition, New Castle County’s Redevelopment Ordinance encourages smart growth and revitalization of older communities by offering incentives and accelerated permitting for entities that redevelop brownfields and existing vacant properties.

University-Based Economic Development Assistance

The University of Delaware’s Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships (OEIP) works with the state, Delaware Technology Park, numerous researchers and companies in creating a culture where innovation and entrepreneurship can thrive in Delaware. Through its Technology Transfer Center and Small Business and Technology Development Center, OEIP will provide business development guidance to technology-based businesses within and beyond the UD community. A unit of OEIP, the mission of the Delaware Small Business and Development Center is to develop and support entrepreneurship throughout the State of Delaware.

Delaware State University’s Delaware Center for Enterprise Development (DCED) educates current and prospective entrepreneurs and enterprise managers through training programs, technical and managerial assistance and by providing access to capital.  DCED operates a commercial kitchen incubator, provides specialized classes and workshops for small business owners, offers one-on-one technical assistance to entrepreneurs,and operates a mobile training classroom.

Federal Agencies

USDA’s Rural Development Program offers a variety of programs and opportunities that help rural communities build vital economies.

The EPA’s Economic Development Administration seeks to advance sustainable development by cleaning up brownfields and contaminated communities. The agency offers several programs that provide funds to remediate and redevelop brownfields.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Economic Resilience has many initiatives aimed at helping communities create sustainable, inclusive economic growth.

The Delaware District Office of the U.S. Small Business Association offers resources, loan programs, and has resource partners that provide additional business counseling and training. Its Resource Guide provides information on small business counseling, capital, and contracting.


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