by Terry Rogers
In 2019, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Milford signed up 56 new members and started 2020 by signing up a new member the day they returned from the holiday break. Jo Schmeiser, Executive Director for CCGM, believes this trend will continue as they have already gotten several more members since the new year started.
“Although not all of these businesses were located in the 19963, it shows that owners/operators are savvy enough to know Milford continues to grow, which entices them to want to do business in the Greater Milford area. We continue receiving calls, emails, etc. from folks who are interested in joining the chamber, moving to the area or visiting as a tourist. We came out of the gate running on January 2nd and we are confident the rest of the year is not going to be any different.”
Schmeiser explained that the economic development committee, currently under the direction of Andy Stevens, is now the CCGM Economic Development Joint Task Force. The group includes individuals from chamber businesses and organizations as well as the City of Milford, DMI and the Delaware Division of Small Businesses. The Task Force is currently working on providing education to small business start-ups to help increase their odds of success and see a noticeable decrease locally in the national trend of 43 percent of all new businesses closing due to personal burn out.
“A division of the task force includes our Workforce Development Team that is preparing to host the 4th Annual Workforce Development Luncheon Forum in February and the 2nd Annual Dual Job Fair at Milford High School this spring,” Schmeiser said. “The team helps develop our workforce to assist in filling open positions and to help prepare potential candidates to fill those positions open with local employers, in turn helping to retain current businesses.”
A Community Wide Clean-up project is being planned for April 2020 with CCGM partnering with DMI, the City, Keep Delaware Beautiful, Delaware Solid Waste Authority and local legislators. The hope is that businesses, organizations and residents will not only do a major clean-up in Milford that day but that they will keep the community clean throughout the year, making the area more attractive so people will want to open a business in the greater Milford area.
“The City is doing a great job promoting business growth in Milford, however, anytime a municipality can provide great incentives and a very easy process to get a business opened is the best way any community can improve to promote business growth,” Schmeiser said. “As long as the City continues providing both of those, we should see continued growth. As the City continues to work with the chamber and DMI, keeping a pulse on the business community, we will continue to see the economy grow, continuing to make Milford a wonderful place to work, live and play.”
The Milford area has a lot to offer, Schmeiser explained, believing that it was up to CCGM, DMI and City officials to continue being the town’s biggest cheerleaders. She sees a diversified business culture as a benefit, combined with a school district that continues to improve, offering students an amazing educational experience. There is also a brand-new state-of-the-art hospital, soon-to-open Nemours building and non-profit organizations that support everything from children to seniors, veterans, families and individuals, according to Schmeiser.
“In Milford today, you can find many diverse culinary opportunities,” Schmeiser said. “We offer foods from Haiti, Japan, Italy, Puerto Rico, Mexico, China, Austria, America and more. We also have several unique eateries for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All businesses and organizations in the Greater Milford area are an integral part of driving the economy and as long as we continue working together, we’ll continue to see the economy thrive in our area.”
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