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Site readiness fund hopes to make Delaware attractive for businesses

Roman Battaglia
Delaware Public Media

The state will now offer more support — and more importantly funding — to businesses looking for a spot to build in Delaware.


Gov. John Carney signed another bill addressing one of his priorities, boosting Delaware’s ability to compete with neighboring states to attract businesses.


The new law creates a $10 million fund to help developers prepare new land for large businesses to come in.


Carney says it’s another tool to help make Delaware more attractive to manufacturing, logistics, and other companies.


“So we get a lot of competition right now with the Navy Yard in Pennsylvania. So that’s an old industrial site — they’ve got a lot of infrastructure right there, they got pads that are ready to go,” Carney said. “And so we need to be in the same place because otherwise they’ll just say we’re gonna go to Philadelphia Navy Yard.”


$10 million can either go a long way, or help just a few sites, depending on their size and the scale of the development, says Carney.


State Sen. Jack Walsh spearheaded the effort this year to create the $10 million fund for developers seeking to prepare land for larger businesses.


“Hopefully the $10 million goes a long way to get some of these sites — in all three counties, not just New Castle County,  but it’ll be New Castle, Kent and Sussex — for these businesses to come and relocate to Delaware,” Walsh said.


Walsh adds not all of this work will not be on the state.  The fund will provide additional assistance to developers to encourage them to ready  sites in Delaware.


Carney says it's about creating job opportunities for Delawareans. And coupling this with a focus on education will ensure the state’s offers both an attractive workforce and infrastructure for businesses.


The Council on Development Finance will review applications to decide which will have the most impact and create the most jobs.


But it could take some time to see the fund’s full impact, and whether more money would be useful in future years to help build out more sites.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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