Governor Carney announces plan to create Delaware Prosperity Partnership
Delaware– Gov. John Carney of Delaware recently announced a plan to create the Delaware Prosperity Partnership – a jointly funded public-private entity that will be in charge of state business marketing efforts to attract businesses. The entity will focus on both early-stage technology-based ventures as well as established large employers. The partnership would also support startup businesses, especially those in industries with high growth potential, in addition to working with employers and educational entities to train and retain a productive workforce in the state. Carney has requested $2 million in annual state funding for the partnership and is hoping to receive $1 million in private contributions. Funding from the state will depend on how much and how long the private sector is willing to contribute.
The Delaware Prosperity Partnership would be headed by a CEO and a 15 member board – consisting of individuals from public and private sectors – would provide oversight. If Carney’s plan becomes fulfilled, the Delaware Economic Development Office would be eliminated and its responsibilities regarding small business development and tourism would be delegated to a new division at the Department of State, which will focus on providing support for small businesses – especially women, minority and veteran-owned businesses. Division leaders also will administer Delaware’s publicly-funded economic development incentive programs, such as the Strategic Fund, the Main Streets program, and the Blue Collar Workforce Training grant program. Carney’s plan builds on recommendations last month from the Economic Development Working Group, a committee created by Executive Order #1 to study a new economic development strategy. Exploring a new model for economic development that includes a public-private partnership, and an emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship, also was a recommendation of the Action Plan for Delaware.