Delaware’s Small Business Summit 2014
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Hello friends, last week I had an opportunity to attend Delaware’s Small Business Summit which was held at the Dover Downs Hotel in Dover, Delaware. This free event was sponsored by the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) whose mission is “to be responsible for attracting new investors and business to the State, for promoting the expansion of existing industry, for assisting small and minority-owned businesses, for promoting and developing tourism, and for creating new and improved employment opportunities for all citizens in Delaware.”
Social Media and Small Businesses goes hand in hand, which is why I was anxious to be in attendance. I wanted to meet small business owners who might be interested in learning more about Social Media and Blogging and how it can attract more consumers thereby, increasing their bottom line.
The doors to the Summit opened at 7:30 am, and on this bitterly cold day, the hot Continental Breakfast Buffet was definitely a warm and welcomed delight. At each place setting was a copy of Delaware Business Times, the agenda and a personalized Stylus Pen.
There were well over 300 attendees and the agenda was jam packed with valuable information with sets of panelist who provided insights on how small businesses can increase their profits, gain more exposure and the programs available to all regardless of disabilities, race, or gender.
After a brief introduction by Ken Anderson, Director of DEDO, and a few words from both the Mayor of Dover, Robin Christensen and Bernice Whaley, Deputy Director, the first set of panelist were seated to discuss Prospects for Delaware Small Businesses NOW and in the Future.
Between sessions, Mr. Anderson acknowledged various members in the audience and awarded several door prizes.
The second set of panelist discussed Challenges and Opportunities-Business Ownership and Employment for Individuals with Disabilities.
The final session of this half day program was presented by Michelle Morin, Executive Director, DE Office of Supplier Diversity. Her topic, Small Business Focus Program-Implication and Opportunities for Small Businesses of a Certain Size Regardless of Race or Gender, was very informative and sometimes entertaining.
The Summit concluded with Keynote Speaker, Governor Jack Markell who spoke about his signing of Executive Order 44 and the innovative ways in which Delaware seeks to keep the economy moving forward by providing assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs.
This was especially evident with the many entrepreneurs in attendance who have taken part in Project Pop-Up, which provides 3 months of rent-free space in downtown Wilmington.
The Delaware Small Business Summit was a wonderful opportunity for small business owners to network and share as well as receive vital information that will not only help them succeed but will also help keep the economy in the state of Delaware strong.