The seed for Delaware Prosperity Partnership was planted in 2016 with the release of the Delaware Growth Agenda. The Growth Agenda was commissioned by the Delaware Business Roundtable as a private-sector response to enhancing the state’s economic competitiveness. The resulting document proposed a new framework for building economic growth and prosperity in Delaware. One of its core recommendations was for the state to pursue a new approach to economic development by partnering with the private sector. The vision for a new public-private partnership – P3 – would tap into the expertise, resources and networks offered by business executives, higher education officials, entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders.
Following the working group’s recommendations, the Delaware General Assembly passed House Bill 226 during the 149th General Assembly in July 2017. This bill authorized the formation of Delaware Prosperity Partnership and the dissolution of the Delaware Economic Development Office. The bill transferred DEDO’s small business development and tourism functions to the Department of State in a new Division of Small Business. On August 14, 2017, Governor John Carney signed House Bill 226 into law and formally restructured Delaware’s statewide economic development programs.
As a public-private partnership, DPP requires the financial support of both the State of Delaware and the business community. The state committed $2 million annually, contingent upon DPP raising at least $1 million in private-sector funds. For its part, the state’s business community emphatically stepped up to invest in Delaware’s economic development. The DPP team is grateful for the vision and generosity of its inaugural private-sector founders.
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