Governor Carney Recognizes Small Business Week and National Travel and Tourism Week

Governor to visit Delaware Small Businesses and Tourism locations

WILMINGTON, Del. – In recognition of Small Business Week and National Travel and Tourism Week (May 2-8), Governor John Carney will join the Delaware Tourism Office to visit small businesses and attractions in Kent, New Castle and Sussex counties this week.

Note to media: An advisory is included at the end of the release. Media planning to cover tour, please RSVP to Hailey Valerio ( with which day(s) and locations you will cover. Please prepare to be outdoors.

“We want to take this week to salute the folks who pour their heart and soul into running Delaware’s small businesses,” said Governor Carney. “These have not been easy times for our small business owners, especially those in the tourism and hospitality industry. But they have gone above and beyond for their customers. They understand you can’t have a healthy economy without a healthy community. Aside from buying local, the most important thing Delawareans can do to help our small businesses and economy is to get vaccinated so we can beat COVID-19.”

Each location will share how resilience, creativity and passion, as well as assistance from the State of Delaware’s DE Relief Grant or HELP programs, have supported them through the pandemic.

“The inventiveness of Delaware’s small business owners has never been more on display than during the pandemic,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “While the state provided financial assistance through DE Relief Grants and HELP loans, it was the creativity businesses used to pivot and adjust their models that really helped them make it through these difficult times.”

In addition to the Governor’s visits, the Division of Small Business hosted webinars for small business owners on crowd investing and pitching prospective investors. The Division also will feature on its website and social media three forward thinking small business owners who made improvements to their businesses that will continue long after the pandemic.

“The ways our small business owners have adapted has been tremendous,” said Jordan Schulties, Director of the Division of Small Business. “To better serve their customers, they have added new products and services. They have added outdoor dining or curbside pickup. They have made it easier for their customers to shop online.”

The Delaware Tourism Office will highlight on social media various aspects of Delaware’s tourism industry from what to see in Delaware and how to visit safely, to celebrating the diversity of the state’s culinary scene by ordering food on #TakeoutTuesday and thanking the industry and its frontline workers.

“Tourism is a vital part of Delaware’s economy – contributing billions to the state’s GDP and employing tens of thousands of Delawareans,” said Liz Keller, Director of the Delaware Tourism Office. “After the most difficult year for the industry, the attractions, restaurants, hotels and many other destinations are looking forward to the summer season as visitors explore our state’s discoveries safely and once again help drive Delaware’s economy.”



SMALL BUSINESS & TOURISM TOUR: Dolce Bakery and Coffee Shop 

WHAT: Governor Carney will visit Dolce Bakery and Coffee Shop in Milford. Dolce, a previous EDGE Grant winner, is also a partner to other small businesses and nonprofits in the Milford area. More than half of its products comes from area businesses and its used coffee grounds are recycled to nourish the soil at Milford Community Gardens.


Governor John Carney

Jeff Bullock, Secretary, Delaware Department of State

Jordan Schulties, Director, Division of Small Business

Liz Keller, Director, Delaware Tourism Office

Stephenie Tatman, Co-owner of Dolce Bakery and Coffee


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

3:00-3:15 p.m.


Dolce Bakery and Coffee Shop

36 N. Walnut Street

Milford, DE 19963


SMALL BUSINESS & TOURISM TOUR: Crooked Hammock Craft Brewery

WHAT: Governor Carney will visit Crooked Hammock craft brewery in Middletown. Crooked Hammock’s beINVOLVED program supports local communities through fundraising, outreach and donations of meals that have benefited about 1,000 people in need.


Governor John Carney

Liz Keller, Director, Delaware Tourism Office

Josh Grapski, La Vida Hospitality


Thursday, May 6, 2021

11:30-12:15 p.m.


Crooked Hammock Craft Brewery

316 Auto Park Drive

Middletown, DE 19709


SMALL BUSINESS & TOURISM TOUR: Delaware Botanic Gardens

WHAT: Governor Carney will visit the Delaware Botanic Gardens in Dagsboro. Delaware Botanic Gardens is one of the state’s newest tourist attractions and a recent addition to Delaware Tourism Office’s Delaware Discoveries Trail.


Governor John Carney

Liz Keller, Director, Delaware Tourism Office

Raymond Sander, Delaware Botanic Gardens, President

Sheryl Swed, Delaware Botanic Gardens, Executive Director

Stephen Pryce Lea, Delaware Botanic Gardens, Head of Horticulture


Friday, May 7, 2021

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.


Delaware Botanic Gardens

30220 Piney Neck Road

Dagsboro, DE 19939


The Delaware Bayshore Byway National Scenic Byway Designation Sign Unveiling

As part of this week’s Earth Day celebration, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), the Delaware Tourism Office, Delaware Greenways, and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) are excited to announce the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has designated the Delaware Bayshore Byway as a National Scenic Byway.

Governor John Carney, DelDOT Secretary Nicole Majeski, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Director of the Delaware Tourism Office Liz Keller and representatives from Delaware Greenways and tourism groups celebrated the designation with a gathering today to unveil a special sign recognizing the Byway as a National Scenic Byway at the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve’s St. Jones Reserve in Dover.

The FHWA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation, approved 49 new designations to the America’s Byways® collection, including the Delaware Bayshore Byway. In total, 15 new All-American Roads and 34 new National Scenic Byways in 28 states were accepted into the National Scenic Byways Program.

“Delaware’s Bayshore Byway encompasses so much of our state’s unique natural and cultural heritage,” said Governor John Carney. “We are proud to announce on Earth Day this national recognition of its beauty and importance, and we look forward to drawing new visitors to discover its uniquely all-American, all-natural waterways, landscapes and towns.”

Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski added, “This designation is quite an honor. There is so much to experience when traveling this scenic route. Whether you’re a history lover, wildlife enthusiast or perhaps you just want to slow down and enjoy the view, enrich your next trip by taking the Delaware Bayshore Byway. You won’t be disappointed.”

“DNREC’s Delaware Bayshore Initiative runs the coastline from New Castle to Lewes and has laid a foundation to focus our efforts on conservation and preservation, provide recreational and educational opportunities, and support Bayshore communities,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “This new designation builds on and broadens our commitment to care for and share Delaware’s wild side with residents and visitors of today and tomorrow.”

The Delaware Bayshore Byway, now a National Scenic Byway, is a series of two-lane roads that travel along the Delaware River and Bay Estuary. From New Castle to Lewes, the byway corridor with 19 Discovery Zones offers visitors and locals an intimate experience featuring coastal marshlands, abundant wildlife, rich hunting, fishing, and farming heritage and historic river and bay towns and communities.

While traveling this 157-mile route spanning 100 miles of the Delaware coastline, the Delaware Bayshore Byway provides a connection to all that is Delaware: history, wild open space, horseshoe crabs and shorebirds, fresh and saltwater marshes, small communities, fishing villages and large farms, coastal rivers, the bay and its beaches, lighthouses and dark skies, historic mansions and migrant shacks, and waterfowl and watermen.

“The Delaware Bayshore is a special place that must be preserved for its world class birding and unique coastal marshes that benefits both Delaware residents and visitors,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “The Delaware Bayshore is a treasure of national and global significance; recognition of the Byway at the federal level is an honor the area richly deserves.”

U.S. Senator Chris Coons said, “Delaware’s Bayshore Byway is a treasure and one of the most beautiful roads in the busy and populated Mid-Atlantic, some lucky few from outside of Delaware already know about the corridor as the best way to get to the beach or to visit one of our many small coastal towns.”

“Delaware’s Bayshore Byway is a Delaware treasure, encompassing so much of our rich history, culture, and, of course, Delaware’s natural scenery,” added Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester. “The byway has so much to offer as it runs through all three counties with incredible Discovery Zones along the way. I was pleased to hear about its new designation as a National Scenic Byway and hope that it brings new visitors to see the wonders of our state.”

“Outdoor activities are among the most popular reasons more than 9.2 million people visit Delaware each year,” said Liz Keller, director of the Delaware Tourism Office. “Whether it’s world-class birding at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge or the quiet beauty of southern Delaware, the Delaware Bayshore Byway is an ideal way for visitors and residents to explore Delaware’s natural wonders.”

Must-see destinations along the Bayshore Byway:
• Historic City of New Castle
• First State National Historical Park
• New Castle Court House Museum
• George Read II House and Gardens
• Historic Delaware City
• Fort Delaware, Pea Patch Island
• Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Area
• Thousand Acre Marsh
• Augustine Wildlife Area
• Port Penn Interpretive Center
• Historic Town of Odessa
• Cedar Swamp Wildlife Area
• Blackbird Creek Reserve
• Woodland Beach Wildlife Area
• DE Aquatic Resources Education Center
• Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
• Town of Leipsic
• Town of Little Creek
• Community of Pickering Beach
• Air Mobility Command Museum
• Community of Pickering Beach
• John Dickinson Plantation
• St. Jones Reserve
• Community of Kitts Hummock
• Historic Town of Bowers Beach
• Bowers Beach Maritime Museum
• Historic Town of Magnolia
• Historic Town of Frederica
• Community of South Bowers
• Milford Neck Wildlife Area
• Milford Historic District and Riverwalk
• DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor
• Town of Slaughter Beach
• Marvel Salt Marsh Preserve
• Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge
• Community of Broadkill Beach
• Historic Town of Milton
• Historic Lewes Byway: Gateway to the Bayshore

“Delaware Greenways on behalf of DelDOT, the Delaware Tourism Office and DNREC would like to thank the Byway Management Team for their hard work, dedication and for their input during the completion of the Corridor Management Plan Update 2020 and National Scenic Byway application,” said Chair of the Byway Management Team Steve Borleske.

Discover more about the Delaware Bayshore Byway, other Delaware Byways and the Corridor Management Plan at Encounter more adventures throughout the state at

For more information on how Delaware Greenways is linking and building communities while winding through some of the most beautiful scenery in the state, visit

To learn more about DNREC’s work to preserve our outdoor heritage and open spaces, visit

For a list of all the 2021 Designations to America’s Byways® visit the FHWA’s National Scenic Byways Program website.

Report: Delaware tourism sets new records

Dover, Del. – Delaware tourism experienced a record-breaking year as the state welcomed 9.2 million visitors who accounted for $3.5 billion in economic impact.

Gov. John Carney highlighted those impressive numbers in discussing Delaware’s thriving tourism industry as part of his State of the State address on Thursday.

According to data for 2018 released today by the Delaware Tourism Office, visitors paid $545.1 million in state and local taxes and fees, without which each Delaware household would have had to pay an additional $1,562 in taxes.

“Tourism is a multibillion-dollar industry in Delaware, our fourth-largest private employment sector and a vital part of the state economy,” Gov. Carney said. “By supporting tourism, we also enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans by offering recreational and cultural activities and making sure there’s even more cool stuff to do in Delaware.”

“Delaware benefits from a strong tourism industry,” Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock said. “More than 44,000 people work in the industry in Delaware, which includes hundreds of small businesses and nonprofit organizations.”

For visitors to Delaware, the most popular activities in 2018 were, in order, tax-free shopping, dining and beaches. Visitors spent an average of $346 during their stay in 2018.

More than two-thirds of visitors came from nearby metropolitan areas in the mid-Atlantic and northeast with Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York and Washington, D.C., being among the most popular origination markets.

“At the Delaware Tourism Office, we share Delaware’s ‘Endless Discoveries’ with out-of-state travelers each year,” Delaware Tourism Office Director Liz Keller said. “From launching award-winning marketing campaigns to embracing innovative technology, we are proud to share what makes Delaware an ideal destination and help create a positive economic impact for our state.”

In 2018, the Delaware Tourism Office launched several initiatives to drive visitation, including a national, multimedia ad campaign, a 360-degree virtual reality tour of Delaware attractions and attendance at national consumer and travel industry trade shows where DTO highlighted Delaware’s “Endless Discoveries” in conversations with potential travelers.

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., is part of the Delaware Division of Small Business. DTO promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.

Sources: D.K. Shifflet & Associates and Rockport Analytics. For the 2018 Delaware tourism industry report, visit

Media Contact
Michael Chesney
Director of Communications
Division of Small Business
(302) 577- 8472 (office)
(302) 943-9508 (cell)

DE on Tap expands with new breweries & geonotification

Dover, DE – Just in time for the holidays, the happiest season of all will now also be the “hoppiest” with the addition of four new craft breweries to the Delaware on Tap mobile app.

Each location offers a unique atmosphere and special take on the brewmaster’s art. They bring the number of craft breweries, wineries, cideries and meaderies included on DE on Tap to 36.

And now, planning an adventure using DE on Tap is even easier with the addition of geonotifications that let you know about nearby restaurants, attractions and other craft beverage spots.

The new breweries are:

  • Autumn Arch Beer Project (Newark)
  • Brick Works Long Neck (Millsboro)
  • Crooked Hammock Brewery (Middletown)
  • Thompson Island Brewing Company (Rehoboth Beach)

They are part of a growing craft beer scene in Delaware that ranks second in the number of gallons of craft beer produced per adult resident over age 21 and ninth in economic impact per capita, according to the Brewers Association.

In addition to helping you plan your visit, the DE on Tap app also provides tips on events, tours and transportation options.

The app even lets you keep track of the number of places you’ve visited through a virtual pint glass that fills as you check in at each location.

Visit 10 stops, and you’ll get a free, commemorative pint glass.

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., is a division of the Delaware Division of Small Business. The DTO promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.

Winter WonderFEST Returns to Lewes for Third Year

LEWES – Winter WonderFEST returns to Lewes for its third year starting this Friday.

The Delaware Tourism Office (Visit Delaware) joined Festival of Cheer, the organizer of Winter WonderFEST, along with Sen. Ernie Lopez and Rep. Steve Smyk, on Wednesday at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal to kick off the event and highlight the power of partnerships working to grow southern Delaware as a year-round destination for out-of-state visitors.

“Tourism plays a valuable role in Delaware, contributing $3.3 billion annually to the state’s economy,” said Delaware Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “Events like Winter WonderFEST and next month’s Slam Dunk to the Beach offer even more reasons for people to explore the endless discoveries in the state’s beach region long after summer has ended.”

“Winter WonderFEST not only brings wintery cheer to the region but also drove 60,000 attendees from 31 states to the Delaware Beaches during the off-season in 2017,” said Liz Keller, Delaware Tourism Director. “That is so important to the area’s many hotels, restaurants and shops. It is a testament to the significance of partnerships between organizations that see value in driving visitation at this time of year.”

Festival of Cheer Wednesday also unveiled exciting new additions to the 2018 Winter WonderFEST, including new events, a larger Visit Delaware ice rink, new light displays and an expanded Christmas Village.

The Visit Delaware ice rink is about 2,000 square feet larger than it was in 2017, allowing more skaters to enjoy the beauty of this outdoor venue with the picture perfect setting of the ferry terminal and bay as a backdrop. The ice rink is a centerpiece of the six-week Winter WonderFEST celebration that takes place at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Terminal and Cape Henlopen State Park from November 17 to December 31, 2018.

“We have worked with our partners to make the third year of Winter WonderFEST the best one yet,” said John Snow, president of Festival of Cheer. “We’ve grown the ice rink, light display and Christmas Village. We’re confident that will also lead to growth in attendance, meaning we will raise even more money for Sussex County charities.”

The Visit Delaware ice rink is open Tuesday through Sunday except for Thanksgiving and Christmas (times vary). Admission on weekends is $10 for adults or $8 for children. Weekday admission is $6 for adults and children. The price includes skate rental. For more information on public skating session times and skating lessons, visit

The Delaware Tourism Office, 99 Kings Highway in Dover, Del., part of the Delaware Division of Small Business, promotes tourism and economic growth in Delaware. For more information, visit the official Delaware Tourism website at or call toll-free (866) 284-7483.

Festival of Cheer, a non-profit producing organization for Winter WonderFEST, was formed by community leaders with the mission to enrich lives by creating cultural events and health-related activities throughout the Cape region, and to increase philanthropic support of organizations supporting those residing in, and visiting, Sussex County, Delaware.


Media Contact:
Michael Chesney
Communications Director
(302) 943-9508 (cell)
(302) 577-8472 (office)