Four Designated Main Street Towns to Celebrate New Downtown Businesses
DOVER, DE (December 2, 2015) – Three new businesses will celebrate in Delaware downtowns next week as part of the Delaware Economic Development Office’s Project Pop Up. In an effort to stimulate entrepreneurial activity and reduce downtown vacancies, Downtown Delaware, a program of the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) launched this innovative initiative four years ago. Already open for business, three of the four latest Pop Up participants — Petite Sweets in Milford; Pea Patch Studio in Delaware City; and, Lakeside Physical Therapy in Laurel — will host celebrations next week. The fourth, Artsy Fartsy in Dover, just opened and will host a scheduled celebration in the coming weeks.
Project Pop Up was designed to provide Delaware entrepreneurs an opportunity to be “open for business” in select downtowns by offering commercial space, rent-free for three months. Ideally, the success of the businesses at these locations leads the entrepreneur to commit to a long-term lease. In fact, of the 18 businesses that have participated in the Project Pop Up since2011, 17 have gone on to sign long-term leases.
“Delaware’s entrepreneurial spirit encourages small businesses to grow and thrive,” Governor Jack Markell said. “They are an integral part of our state’s economy and Project Pop Up provides an innovative way to connect property owners with promising entrepreneurs to help set them up for success while also reducing vacancies downtown. With the landlords donating the first three months rent-free, Project Pop Up receives no federal funding and operates at relatively little cost to the state. It just goes to show how a small program can have a huge impact.”
“Since the program’s inception, we have witnessed entrepreneurial visions become realities across the state,” commented Bernice Whaley, Director, Delaware Economic Development Office. “It’s great to see an infusion of new businesses and ideas in some of Delaware’s most historic downtowns.”
“We’re very excited to celebrate the success of our new Project Pop Up businesses,” said Diane Laird, DEDO State Coordinator for Downtown Delaware. “Each brings valuable goods or services to the community in which they’ve chosen to locate and the rent-free incentive offered by the property owners gives these small business owners a running start to successful long term leases.”Businesses opening their doors this year include:
- Artsy Fartsy, a dynamic art studio dedicated to providing affordable arts and crafts for all ages offers ceramics and painting opportunities, as well as mobile in-home paint parties and events. The studio, owned by Serena Pelletier-Stachecki, is located at 134 West Loockerman Street in Dover.
- Lakeside Physical Therapy, located at 404 Laureltown in Laurel and owned by Rowena and Metodio Pamplona, Jr., provides a variety of outpatient services and treatments to promote healing, address pain and encourage total body wellness.
- Pea Patch Studio, a new micro wellness and fitness studio at 93 Clinton Street in Delaware City, is owned by Heather Fox and offers a variety of classes including yoga and meditation, as well as coaching and workshops.
- Petite Sweets, owned by Albert Sierra and Keila Montalvo, located at 22 South Walnut Street in Milford, is a bakery focused exclusively on cake pops. The company specializes in creating and developing unique and delicious cake flavors, reminiscent of childhood memories.
“One metric of the success of the program is that qualifying vacant properties in the Downtown are becoming harder and harder to find. The opportunities that Project Pop Up has provided for entrepreneurs wanting to establish downtown brick and mortars downtowns has exceeded our expectations,” says Ken Anderson, Director, Entrepreneurial and Small Business Support.
For additional details about Project Pop Up, please visit www.dedo.delaware.gov/popup.
About Downtown Delaware
Downtown Delaware, a program of the Delaware Economic Development Office, provides Delaware’s historic downtowns, communities, and small businesses with tools to revitalize their commercial districts, increase entrepreneurial opportunity, and enhance quality of place. To learn more about the Main Street program, visit www.delawaremainstreet.com.
About the Delaware Economic Development Office
The Delaware Economic Development Office is an executive state agency responsible for attracting new investors and businesses to the state, promoting the expansion of existing industry, assisting small and minority-owned businesses, promoting and developing tourism and creating new and improved employment opportunities for all citizens of the State.