As the owner of two small businesses in the 36th District, two-term Mayor for the City of Milford and a member of several non-profit Boards, I have had a unique look inside the local economy. What I have learned from each of these positions is that a healthy economy and job growth come from a spirit of togetherness and a partnership between business, government and the community.
Running our small businesses on a daily basis for the last eight years has taught us a real world, practical understanding of what it takes to create jobs in our local economy and how to meet the pressures and challenges that small business owners face. As an employer, I take the commitment to our employees, customers and our community very seriously. I know that if we are to meet these commitments, we must make smart decisions to grow our business in a responsible way.
As your State Representative, I will use my experience to focus on creating opportunities for small businesses to open their doors, grow and employ local families in our economy. While I welcome the large, national corporations that we have here in the 36th district and appreciate the jobs they provide, my focus has always been the small, locally-owned businesses and innovative entrepreneurs that make our area unique. We need to ensure that those businesses have as clear a runway as possible, so that they can take off and fly. In Milford, we have seen how local businesses like Mispillion River Brewing, LifeCycle and so many others make our city more unique and fun.
As the Mayor of Milford, we also helped expand our workforce and create jobs by engaging our current employers, highlighted by partnering with Bayhealth Medical Center on their $350 million private investment in the Bayhealth Sussex Campus. Nemours Pediatric and Senior Care has committed to bringing neurologists, endocrinologists, speech and physical therapists to our area. In addition, the environment created by Bayhealth and the City of Milford encouraged Nationwide Health Services to invest more than $20 million — and a proposal of 300 good-paying, full-time jobs — into the current Milford Memorial Hospital site as they build an innovative, multi-use, healthcare-focused community. These things don’t happen by chance. They happen as a result of a partnership between government, existing businesses and the community, which says to employers, “We want you here, we’re proud of our area, and we want to see you succeed.”
As your State Representative I will take that spirit of partnership to the state level, to help build and maintain that same spirit. Together, through these efforts, we can create an environment that allows families to determine their own future with quality jobs and a fertile ground for entrepreneurs.
A SENSE OF PLACE
Over the past ten years I have committed my time to several nonprofits, including the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club, Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford and Downtown Milford Inc. (DMI). I have seen first-hand the many benefits that local businesses organizations can have on our local economies. In addition to financial stability through economic development efforts, these organizations have created a vibrant sense of place where families feel a part of something much bigger than themselves. Annual events like the Bug & Bud Festival, Riverwalk Freedom Festival and the Running the Goat 5K highlight the uniqueness of our town, while raising money that is put back into our local economy through business incubators, pop-up retail initiatives and Downtown Development District (DDD) grant programs. Through the DDD, the City of Milford has seen a committed investment from the private sector of over $9.1 million since September 2016. These projects have helped to redevelop the business district and the surrounding residential neighborhoods by connecting local investors with private, state and local programs.
As your State Representative, I will be an active ambassador for Sussex County, promoting strong nonprofit organizations that can act as a catalyst for both economic growth and a sense of fellowship throughout our cities.
I believe the residents of the 36th District want a State Representative that understands our local economy and has experience with meeting these challenges through partnerships. I will always strive to build and maintain that spirit of partnership, welcoming and encouraging employers. I commit to doing everything in my power to clear the runway so they can fly and create good, stable jobs for our families. And I will always encourage a sense of place for our communities, so that future generations can enjoy calling the 36th District home, too.