SUSSEX CO., Del. – Leaders in the community and in politics met on Thursday to map out the future of lower Delaware by discussing jobs, internet access and investing in the area.
“Sometimes I think we get a bit lost and people think well what’s going on over there,” says Terry Carson, the Executive Director of the Western Sussex Chamber of Commerce.
Cities and towns in Western Sussex County are making sure they aren’t forgotten about. On Thursday, the area’s chamber of commerce hosted its first ever Economic Development Luncheon to discuss progress as well as future plans and priorities. “We need to make sure that we don’t have rules and regulations and taxes that can get in the way of small businesses being successful and that we support small businesses,” says Governor John Carney.
In order for the county to be business friendly, elected officials say they have to improve one major thing: internet access. “I’ll be honest with you, broadband is really holding us back,” says Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf. “No major company will come here if we don’t have access to the internet, good strong broadband service.”
While there are several other things to improve in the county, officials are confident that progress is being made in areas like infrastructure and education. “Make sure that we have infrastructure being improved, making sure we have an educated work force and the bottom line is we are putting more money in Sussex County right now that we’ve ever seen coming in for road work to build up our infrastructure,” says Schwartzkopf. Even with all these plans, leaders say they’re making sure that agriculture is not forgotten because it’s the State’s backbone. They’re only hoping these changes will in turn boost that industry as well so that the county’s growth and momentum continues.
Officials tell 47 ABC they’re trying to attract businesses like small scale manufacturing as well as incubator or co-working spaces to the area. They also believe that health care will continue to grow in the area to support the number of retirees and families that are moving to Sussex County.