Five Businesses Set to Pop Up in Delaware Downtowns

Dover, Milford, Milton and Smyrna will have vacancies filled during holiday season

DOVER, Del. (Sept. 19, 2013) – Owners of five Delaware businesses are thinking holidays already, and they have every reason to do so – they’ll be taking part in a state-led initiative that will provide them with rent-free commercial space for three months in a Delaware downtown from October through December.

The new businesses chosen to participate in Project Pop-Up 2013 will open by Oct. 1 in Dover, Milford, Milton and Smyrna.

Unlike more traditional Pop-Up programs in other areas of the country, Delaware’s Project Pop-Up has the dual goal of helping small business owners sign a long-term lease to occupy a brick-and-mortar location while also filling vacant properties in the state’s towns. This year, all selectees have signed leases that will allow them to make a smooth transition to paid occupancy beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

“We support small businesses at every phase of their development, because small business is big business in Delaware,” Gov. Jack Markell said. “This program has become an integral part of the reshaping of our economy by not only promoting entrepreneurship but also revitalizing our downtowns.”

The following businesses were chosen to take part in Project Pop-Up 2013:

  • Computers Fixed Today, a computer repair/ retail company in Dover owned by Theo Morgan.
  • 302Fitness, a personal training studio and small group workout center in Milton owned by John Lehne.
  • Milton Wellness Center of Delaware, which offers human performance consulting including yoga, coaching and sports psychology, run by Dr. Bill Shearer and Mary Van House.
  • Milford Massage, Wellness and Yoga, a Milford-based business owned by Paige Deiner.
  • Royal Treatments, a Smyrna-based business owned by Karen Gill that offers custom window treatments, home décor and accessories.

This is the second year that the Delaware Economic Development Office and Downtown Delaware have offered Project Pop-Up, with last year’s program placing three businesses in open spaces.

Both Amber Shader, owner of First & Little baby boutique in Middletown, and Jenn White, owner of Little Posies Photography in Milford, signed long-term leases to stay in their properties beyond the three-month period offered by the program.

“Last year, two of our success stories quickly became part of their respective downtown business communities,” said Diane Laird, DEDO State Coordinator for Downtown Delaware. “We’re confident that the properties and business owners taking part in Project Pop-Up 2013 will find that same spirit of partnership in their new homes, and that this synergy will translate into success beyond the upcoming holiday season.”

Alan Levin, Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office, said Project Pop-Up has become a vital tool in helping revitalize Delaware’s main streets.

“The strength of our economy relies on the health of our downtowns, and we’re banking on Project Pop-Up to once again stir growth and activity in these municipalities,” Levin said. “We are proud of these small business owners for taking the next step and moving into a storefront, which in turn helps us by bringing a vacant property to life.”

About the Delaware Economic Development Office
The Delaware Economic Development Office is an executive state agency responsible for attracting new investors and businesses to the state, promoting the expansion of existing industry, assisting small and minority-owned businesses, promoting and developing tourism and creating new and improved employment opportunities for all citizens of the State. Visit dedo.delaware.gov.

About Downtown Delaware
Downtown Delaware, a program of the Delaware Economic Development Office, provides Delaware’s historic downtowns, communities, and small businesses with tools to revitalize their commercial districts, increase entrepreneurial opportunity, and enhance quality of place. To learn more about the Main Street program, visit www.delawaremainstreet.com.


Governor Signs Bill to Grow Delaware Brewing, Farm Winery Industries

Law ensures these small businesses have fair opportunity to compete

 Wilmington, DE – Recognizing their contributions to Delaware’s economy, Governor Jack Markell signed legislation today to ensure farm wineries, brew pubs, microbreweries, and craft distilleries have a fair opportunity to grow their small businesses.

Markell and House Speaker Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, the bill’s primary sponsor, were joined by representatives from the industry as they outlined the benefits of House Bill 190 during a ceremony at Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton. The law addresses restrictions that had prevented these companies from expanding and from offering a greater variety of products, including beverages that would be made with Delaware farm products.

“Delaware companies in this field have served our residents incredibly well, but our laws have put them at a disadvantage,” said Markell. “House Bill 190 gives these hardworking businessmen and women a fair chance to reach their potential. When Delaware’s small businesses can compete on a level playing field, we know they will thrive.”

Among the changes resulting from the new law, brew pubs will be allowed to distill any product, including Delaware farm products like peaches, strawberries, and honey. Previously, they were not permitted to make rums, gins or other products that were not malt-based.

fDSCF0242In addition, prior law did not permit entities licensed as farm wineries, brew pubs, microbreweries, and craft distilleries to have an interest in a licensed alcohol manufacturer located in another state, limiting growth of Delaware companies. HB190 will permit them to associate with a manufacturing firm in another state as long as their combined sales do not exceed the maximum amount allowed to be licensed in Delaware.

“This is a perfect example of what government can do to help business grow and be successful. In this case, we had an opportunity to help our local brewpubs, distilleries and wineries to stay competitive in and out of state,” said House Speaker Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach. “Now, brewpubs can distill alcohol from local peaches and strawberries, wineries can produce a wider variety of wines and wineries, brewpubs and distilleries all can expand their operations as they become more successful.”

“One of the great things about being part of this industry in our state is the way all of the local companies support each another and succeed together,” said Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Founder and President. “At Dogfish Head, we were proud to work with everyone involved in creating this law, which provides an exciting opportunity for all of us to expand our product lines and reach more consumers.”