Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Strengthening Communities By Supporting Small Businesses

The idea that you can start and build a business in this country is the promise and hope of America.

This week, we sustain that promise by celebrating the opening of three new small business “pop-ups” – each getting special help to launch their dreams in a unique and new way.

These entrepreneurs will have the chance to test their start-up for three months, with an eye toward establishing longer term success. This gives small business owners a chance to target new customers in downtown areas that might otherwise be vacant.

I am here at Yo-Yo Joe’s in the 700-block of Market Street in Wilmington, which begins selling toys and fun this week, just in time for holiday shopping. You can find two more business pop-ups on Front Street in Milford …… and on West Main Street, Middletown in the old Everett Theatre.

While the holiday season may jump-start these businesses, the hope of our Delaware Economic Development office is that they will keep their doors open beyond the New Year. When these small businesses draw customers, it’s a win for the business, for the people who patronize them and for the properties that might otherwise go vacant. It takes creative cooperation to make it happen. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, the dream of many Americans and part of the fabric of our towns and cities. Helping to start, sustain, and strengthen them is one way we keep our communities, our state and our great nation alive and moving forward.

11 Arrested For DUI Last Weekend

Dover – Delaware law enforcement officers statewide arrested 11 individuals for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of alcohol and/or drugs last weekend (Nov. 9 & 10). The arrests were the result of three sobriety checkpoints conducted in Seaford, Harrington, and Wilmington.  This brings the total of DUI arrests under the 2012 Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign to 261.    There have been over 4,200 DUI arrests made statewide since January.

In addition to the 11 DUI arrests, officers apprehended 3 wanted individuals, made 6 drug arrests, issued 19 seat belt citations, 11 child restraint citations, and 53 citations for various other traffic violations.

Three sobriety checkpoint are scheduled to occur the third weekend of November.  They are as follows:

Friday November 16th             North Wilmington (NcCo DUI Task Force)- checkpoint

Dover (multi-jurisdictional effort)- checkpoint

Saturday November 17th Smyrna (multi-jurisdictional effort)- checkpoint

Checkpoint Strikeforce is a regional sobriety checkpoint campaign aimed at arresting DUI offenders, and using high visibility enforcement to deter those who would otherwise choose to drink and drive.  The campaign, a six month long effort running through New Year’s Eve, involves setting up weekly DUI checkpoints statewide.

For more information on Checkpoint Strikeforce visit or and follow regular campaign updates on Twitter at and Facebook

Website Launched for New Unclaimed Property Voluntary Disclosure Agreement (VDA) Program

As part of Delaware’s new unclaimed property voluntary disclosure agreement (VDA) program signed into law by Governor Jack Markell in July, the Delaware Secretary of State, Jeffrey W. Bullock, launched a new website today designed to make it easier for Delaware registered companies to come into compliance with their past due unclaimed and abandoned property obligations. The new website,, describes who is eligible for the program and how Delaware companies can participate. It also provides companies with the program’s implementing guidelines and has a detailed “How it Works” section explaining the restructured voluntary compliance process.

The new unclaimed property voluntary compliance program will be administered through the Secretary of State’s Office and offers Delaware registered business entities a unique, but narrow-window to come into compliance with Delaware’s unclaimed property laws. Instead of a multi-year audit, the program is designed so that companies can receive a full release of all past due unclaimed property liability in nine months. In addition, for companies who enroll before June 30, 2013, the program will examine the books and records of companies only back to 1996, instead of 1981.

Companies who successfully participate in the new VDA program receive a release of all past due unclaimed property liability for all prior report years. In return, companies agree to continue to fulfill their ongoing responsibility to report and remit annually their Delaware abandoned or unclaimed property.

“After listening to the concerns of many of our corporate constituents, Governor Markell and our legislature created a new, more business-friendly voluntary compliance program where companies can ‘catch up’ on their past due unclaimed property obligations, avoid an audit, avoid interest and penalties, and significantly reduce their liability, all at the same time,” said Secretary Bullock. “We are creating a program that is reliable and cost-effective, and with this new web-site, we are trying to make it as easy as possible for companies to comply.”

Under current law, companies domiciled, or with related entities domiciled, in Delaware are required to report and remit unaddressed or foreign-addressed abandoned and unclaimed property annually to the state. Historically, Delaware has enforced its right to collect this property through audits performed by the Delaware Division of Revenue. Because there is no statute of limitations on a company’s legal obligation to report and remit past due unclaimed property, these audits examined the books and records of a company beginning in 1981, and could also have included significant statutory penalties and interest.

To take advantage of the full benefits of the program, interested companies must enroll by June 30, 2013. All companies enrolling after that but before June 30, 2014 will be allowed to enroll in the program but will have a longer review period back to 1993. Pursuant to the legislation, no companies may enroll in the new voluntary compliance program after June 30, 2014.

To enroll, go to to begin Step One of the compliance program’s process.

Governor’s Weekly Message: Moving Forward by Working Together

GEORGETOWN – In his weekly message, taped at the Marvel Carriage Museum in Georgetown, the Governor talks about the traditions of Return Day.

“It’s the only event of its kind in the nation and it helps define us as a state,” said Governor Markell. “Return Day is about yesteryear traditions but it’s also about today and tomorrow; it’s about what we do when we walk away from the Circle that counts –  how we decide to come together collectively as neighbors, continually working together to keep Delawareans and our state moving forward.”

At noon every Friday, the Governor’s office releases a new Weekly Message in video, audio, and transcript form.  The message is available on:

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Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Moving Forward by Working Together

Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Moving Forward by Working Together

Hi, I’m speaking from the Carriage Museum in Georgetown. We have a great Delaware tradition after every major state election and it continued this week in Sussex County. Those of us running for office, winners and losers, came together to literally bury the hatchet, marking the official end of competitive campaigns and the start once again of beginning to work together in a new way as state and local leaders. Emotions can be strong and debates can be difficult during the months leading up to an election. So, this marks the moment we let bygones be bygones and share our common goals of strengthening our communities and our state.

The tradition of Return Day started in 1791, when election returns were unknown until two days after ballots were cast. Today, we still travel in horse-drawn carriages or antique vehicles and the winning and losing candidates who were just running against one another walk or sit side-by-side, moving around The Circle in Georgetown. It’s the only event of its kind in the nation and it helps define us as a state. We make clear Delawareans of all parties are committed beyond the campaign season to rising to the challenges of our times and making a difference together. Whether it be creating new jobs, improving our schools or finding ways for government to save money, we share common goals for the days ahead. Return Day is about yesteryear traditions but it’s also about today and tomorrow; it’s about what we do when we walk away from the Circle that counts – how we decide to come together collectively as neighbors, continually working together to keep Delawareans and our state moving forward.