SEDAC continues its Open for Business events Monday, Feb. 27 at Georgetown Public Library

Aquaponics Entrepreneur Finds Food for Growth at Sussex Resource Cluster

Georgetown, DE.  February 17, 2011. It’s always good for Southern Delaware when a dynamic entrepreneur has an advanced idea that fits well into the region’s existing strengths. And Pennsylvanian Robert Weening has exactly that beneficial combination in mind, pairing innovative science with agricultural production. He sees agriculturally strong Sussex County as an excellent place to create his business, which centers around the growing field of “aquaponics.”

 

“Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. In aquaponics, you grow fish and plants together in one integrated, soilless system. The fish waste provides a food source for the plants and the plants provide a natural filter for the water the fish live in,” Weening explained.  “Aquaponics produces safe, fresh, organic vegetables and fish. When aquaponics is combined with a controlled environment greenhouse, premium quality crops can be grown on a year-round basis while producing virtually no waste products.”

 

The exciting aspect of Weening’s business plan is its job creation goals. “My plans are to move from Pennsylvania to Sussex County by the end of the summer and be in production by the end of the year,” said Weening. “I plan to start out small, working as a family business, and expand over time, which will involve hiring several employees.”

 

The challenge for Mr. Weening was navigating a new economic terrain while trying to plant the seeds of his new business. He  needed a comprehensive source of information to help map the plans for his Sussex County venture. Weening found it by attending  one of a series of free resource cluster workshops called “Sussex County is Open For Business,” an event that creates a one-stop experience with a number of financial, educational and consulting resources to help beginning entrepreneurs and existing companies looking to expand.

 

Instead of trying to make individual introductory appointments with these resource providers, Weening could immediately interface with many of the pivotal federal, state and county services and consultants guiding businesses in Sussex County. Then he could make appointments to follow up with the particular providers to help him achieve his goals.

 

Participating organizations and agencies include Delaware Center for Enterprise Development-DSU, Delaware Economic Development Office, Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership (DEMEP), Delaware Small Business & Technology Development Center, Delaware State Treasury, DTCC-Entrepreneur Center, First State Community Action Agency, Job Center of Delaware Libraries, Southern Delaware Tourism, SCORE Delaware, Sussex County Economic Development Office, U.S. Small Business Administration, and YWCA-Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship.

 

“’Sussex County Is Open For Business’ was a great way to meet with the local government,” Weening related. “Working as a team they answered many questions and pointed me toward valuable resources I can use to achieve my goal of opening a profitable business in their community.”

 

The workshop series was developed by Sussex County Economic Development Action Committee (SEDAC), a nonprofit partnership of business people, educators and government officials to further retention, expansion, creation and attraction of better business for Sussex County. SEDAC’s goal is creating resources to support existing businesses, fostering entrepreneurship, facilitating improvements to infrastructure and nurturing a well-trained workforce.

 

The resource cluster events have to date served more than 20 business people, helping them clarify their plans and find ways to accomplish them. However, the participating service providers also benefit from access to prospective entrepreneurs and growing companies. Brenda Whitehurst of YWCA-Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship reported being able to fill her classes on business plan development with “Sussex County Is Open For Business” attendees looking for guidance. That was quite valuable for the Center, which continually seeks individuals to utilize its programs and resources.

 

According the Ms. Whitehurst, “Even if one person shows up at a ‘Sussex County Is Open For Business’ session, it’s worth me being there.”

 

“Sussex County Is Open For Business” is sponsored by Delaware Small Business & Technology Development Center, and made possible through the support of University of Delaware Sustainable Coastal Community Initiative. There is no charge to attend. Regular resource events are held the fourth Monday of each month, excluding December, at the Georgetown Public Library, 123 West Pine Street in Georgetown, 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. To learn more information or to pre-register, call 302-856-1555. Or visit SEDAC’s website.

Business people find solutions at “Sussex County is Open for Business”

Two free events scheduled for October 24 and November 28 in Georgetown

Georgetown, DE.  October 14, 2011. Carolyn Phillips has been making her own specialty soaps for family and friends for years. And lately, she’s been wondering how to turn her hobby into an entrepreneurial venture called Healing Soap, with all the questions that go along with that decision. How can her business plan help her gain an edge with banks? What resources are available to aid her?  Where can she find training to help her have a better chance of success?

When she and her husband attended the first “Sussex County Is Open For Business” event on September 26, she found exactly what she sought—a room full of County, State, Federal and professional resources in one place to encourage business growth. The well-attended event was aimed at providing new entrepreneurs and expanding businesses tools and information to help them succeed.

After receiving consultations with representatives from a number of different agencies and business development organizations, Ms. Phillips felt she walked away with plenty of answers. “This experience has broadened my thinking and I have many more ideas as to how I can expand and grow my business.”

The “Sussex County Is Open For Business” event series creates a one-stop resource for beginning entrepreneurs and existing companies looking to expand. Participating organizations and agencies include Delaware Center for Enterprise Development-DSU, Delaware Economic Development Office, Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership (DEMEP), Delaware Small Business & Technology Development Center, Delaware State Treasury, DTCC-Entrepreneur Center, First State Community Action Agency, Job Center of Delaware Libraries, Southern Delaware Tourism, SCORE Delaware, Sussex County Economic Development Office, U.S. Small Business Administration, and YWCA-Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship.

Ordinarily, business people would have to collect contact information for each organization, make appointments and travel many miles to consult with this many individual agencies. “Sussex County Is Open For Business” puts all of these resources at business people’s fingertips at one time.

“Sussex County Is Open For Business” was developed by Sussex County Economic Development Committee (SEDAC), a nonprofit partnership of business people, educators and government officials to further retention, expansion, creation and attraction of better business for Sussex County. SEDAC’s goal is creating resources to support existing businesses, fostering entrepreneurship, facilitating improvements to infrastructure and nurturing a well-trained workforce.

“Sussex County Is Open For Business” is sponsored by Delaware Small Business & Technology Development Center. The next events will be held October 24 and November 28 at the Georgetown Public Library, 123 West Pine Street in Georgetown, 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. To learn more information or to pre-register, call 302-856-1555. Or visit SEDAC’s Website, www.sedac-de.org.

“SEDAC’s goal is to bring jobs and increased prosperity to Sussex County,” explains Chairperson Patti Grimes. “This series of events, bringing together county-wide business resources, is just one of the ways we’re seeking to galvanize economic development.”

SEDAC (www.sedac-de.org)  is a nonprofit organization comprised of  business, education, Sussex County Cooperative Extension and government representatives who are committed to attracting, expanding and retaining business in Sussex County. It seeks to support existing businesses, foster entrepreneurship, facilitate improvements to the county’s infrastructure and build a well-trained workforce.

Sussex County is “Open for Business” at Sept. 26 development fair, Georgetown

Sussex County Is Open for Business

Free Business Development Fair Assembles County-Wide Experts

Sussex County, DE, (August 25, 2011)–“Sussex County is Open for Business,” the first in a series of free monthly business development fairs, will be held on Monday, Sept. 26, 8:30-10:30 a.m., at the Sussex County West Complex Building, Georgetown. The event will be sponsored by the Sussex Economic Development Action Committee (SEDAC) and hosted by the Sussex County Council. Call 302-856-1555 for a reservation.

“Sussex County is Open for Business” is a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs wishing to identify financial and business coaching resources, brainstorm with experts and obtain advice on business fundamentals. The event is also useful for existing business owners looking to improve and expand their companies to learn of County, State and Federal programs to support business growth.

Participants will include:

  • Delaware Center for Enterprise Development-DSU
  • Delaware Economic Development Office
  • Delaware Small Business & Technology Development Center
  • DEMEP (Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership)
  • DTCC-Entrepreneur Center
  • Southern Delaware Tourism
  • SCORE Delaware
  • Sussex County Economic Development Office
  • U.S. Small Business Administration
  • YWCA-Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship

“SEDAC’s goal is to bring jobs and increased prosperity to Sussex County,” explains Chairperson Patti Grimes. “This series of events, bringing together county-wide business resources, is just one of the ways we’re seeking to galvanize economic development.”

SEDAC (www.sedac-de.org)  is a nonprofit organization comprised of  business, education, Sussex County Cooperative Extension and government representatives who are committed to attracting, expanding and retaining business in Sussex County. It seeks to support existing businesses, foster entrepreneurship, facilitate improvements to the county’s infrastructure and build a well-trained workforce.

Media Contact: Mark Reeve  302-841-8379 mreeve4@verizon.net