SC Business Owners Get Legislative Updates, Learn About New Business Opportunities in Delaware
Millsboro, Del., April 4—After two years of shutdowns and mandates affecting small businesses, Sussex County business leaders were eager to exchange ideas, voice concerns and learn about government opportunities at the first Small Business Breakfast hosted by the GOP.
State Senator Gerald Hocker, County Councilman John Rieley and Trump Administration Sr. Adviser to the GSA’s Office of Small Business Bill Pettigrew headlined the event on March 31. Each gave presentations and took questions before a full house of Sussex County business owners.
“The event was well received,” said Sussex County Republican Committee Chair Marilyn Booker. “We heard very positive comments from the attendees. They appreciated having the opportunity to interact with other business leaders and speak directly to the Senator and Councilman about their concerns.”
Senator Hocker, the first to speak, addressed what many present perceived as the biggest problem facing small businesses today: scarcity of employees.
Hocker attributes this in large part to a lack of affordable workforce housing in Sussex County.
Even more dire, however, and possibly jeopardizing Sussex County’s fragile small business community post-pandemic, he said, would be passage of SB1, the Family Medical Leave Act. He describes this 12-week-medical-leave bill as a “small business killer,” given the already critical environment of staffing shortages in the state. Hocker urged small business voters to make their voices heard.
County Councilman John Rieley, like Hocker a business owner himself, described a three-pronged approach currently being pursued by the Sussex County Council to solve the affordable housing issue critically impacting employers and employees alike: First is to keep the affordable housing we have by providing grants to help homeowners with repairs and upgrades; second, is to incentivize developers to set aside low-cost housing units in their larger projects, and lastly, is to focus on zoning and density issues. “We want to ensure that the policemen, nurses and staff that serve residents in Sussex County don’t have to drive long distances to get here.”
Trump Administration Sr. Adviser Bill Pettigrew closed out the meeting by explaining how small businesses in Delaware can expand their current operations by vying for lucrative government contracts. Businesses in other states are already doing this.
“The federal government purchases everything,” said Pettigrew. “I was not surprised that only one of the many small business owners present had sold goods and services to the U.S. Government. I am hoping that the businesses that attended will use the resources I gave them to springboard into the universe of federal contracting. After all, we are just a few short hours from D.C., and most work can be done remotely these days.”
Also present at the meeting were State Republican GOP Chair, the Honorable Jane Brady, as well as Sussex County Councilman Mark Schaeffer, Republican Candidate for the 20th legislative district Dallas Wingate, Sussex County Register of Wills candidate Greg Fuller and Keller Hopkins, candidate for County Council District 5.
The next GOP Small Business Breakfast gathering will be held on April 28th at the Stargate Diner in Seaford. State Senator & Business Owner Bryant Richardson and House Minority Leader Danny Short will be there to speak with and listen to business owners.
About the Sussex County Republican Committee
The Sussex County Republican Committee is a grassroots organization that strives to create an environment that holds dear our God-given rights and fosters an informed and active citizenry. It is the mission of the Sussex County Republican Committee to assist in the election of Republican candidates, to act as an advocate for the Republican Party’s principles, and to empower citizens to participate in the political process.
Marilyn Booker, Chair, Sussex County Republican Committee, SussexGOP@protonmail.com
Bill Pettigrew, Director of Outreach, Sussex County Republican Committee, Pettigrew.firstname.lastname@example.org