May 11, 2022 –
Regina Mitchell never thought she’d live anywhere else but in Pennsylvania. The Bucks County native went to La Salle University for her undergraduate degree and the University of Pennsylvania for a master’s degree in public administration. Even when she started dating her husband-to-be, she stood firm on staying in Philadelphia.
However, things change, and the couple now lives in the Middletown area of Delaware. And her new state, she notes, has won her over.
“Delaware really impresses me, and I see a lot of people from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey moving here,” says Mitchell, currently serving as interim director of the Delaware Division of Small Business. In the Middletown area, “it’s easy to get to the beach, and there are a lot of state parks to explore. There’s a lot of growth.”
What led you to your role, and what do you like most about it?
I was the senior fiscal and policy analyst for the Delaware Office of Management and Budget beginning in 2016 – I like to work with numbers. In the fall of 2018, I started as the business finance director at the Division of Small Business, which basically oversees all the money that goes out of our office. The unit reviews applications, handles the financial analysis, and runs the economic models to develop incentive options to make a grant. I was promoted to deputy director in March 2021.
It’s a shift for me to be providing services directly to the community that we serve. I really enjoy working with businesses and providing them with what they need to succeed. In many ways, our division is very impactful. Our team works every day to help large and small businesses create jobs for Delawareans and to improve the overall quality of life in our state.
Which of Delaware’s attractive qualities helps spur economic development?
It helps that it is a place where employees want to go. If you don’t have the workforce, companies aren’t going to come here. We have a diverse, skilled workforce.
Our location also helps. It’s easy to get to Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., or New York. But Delaware is quieter. You can have space, a nice house, and good schools.
What are some of the most compelling attributes of Delaware that site selectors should know?
I come from Pennsylvania, which has 67 counties. It was a real shift for me to come to Delaware, which has three.
But there’s a real value to being small. It’s easy to make connections and figure out who is working on what. We like to say here that there’s no wrong door to walk through. We all work together to help our small businesses succeed. In larger states, you likely wouldn’t find that kind of environment at the state level.