The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce continues to poll its members on issues affecting their enterprises.
Last fall, health care costs ended up as the No. 2 policy priority on the survey.
But evenwith health care not on the latest survey, the No. 1 issue remains economic development. In the spring survey, the Chamber took health care off the table, while pledging to work with partner organizations and stakeholders on the issue.
Economic development was followed by education/work force development and permitting delays/regulatory issues.
The Chamber has been tackling the economic development issue by serving as a key player in the Delaware Prosperity Partnership, a private entity that took on some of the functions of the now-defunct Delaware Economic Development Office.
Kurt Foreman, the new CEO of the group, is now getting “the lay of the land “ in a small state with many interlocking relationships.
Meanwhile, the remainder of former DEDO functions are now bundled into the Delaware Division of Small Business, Development and Tourism, one of an array of regulatory and service agencies withinthe Delaware Department of State.
You can check out its work through DelBiz.com.
Both the partnership and small business division remain works in progress.
The advantage of operating in a small state is the ability of major players to come together and move quickly when opportunities arise.
The downside, in my opinion, is a split entity that goes against the trend toward one-stop shopping.
There is also the risk of missed opportunities during this transition and lingering concerns that economic development, like tourism, remains underfunded on the state level.
Agree or disagree? Your thoughts are always welcome. – Doug Rainey, publisher