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A Publication of New Castle County Chamber of Commerce

December 2013 This Edition 2 I Chamber Events Matter 3 I As a Matter of Fact Survey Says? Chamber Conducts Public Policy Survey It’s Time To Get Wilmington Moving Again Chamber Launches New Program 4 I Legislative Connection Problems with the Affordable Care Act Website Only the Tip of the Iceberg 5 I Economic Development A Year of Growth & Change for the Emerging Enterprise Center 6 I Calendar of Events - Dec. Networking, Business Education, Legislative Events & More 7 I Membership Matters New Member Listing Save the Dates - January 8 I Member Profiles The Greene Turtle Celebrates One Year In Newark Strategic Solutions: Helping Businesses Strengthen Relationships 9 I Benefits of Membership The Results are in for Deal of the Week 10 - 11 I Ribbon Cuttings

It’s Time To Get Wilmington Moving Again Chamber Launches New Program F

or many years, the City of Wilmington was viewed as the economic engine for the State of Delaware. Several trends such as an attractive and growing suburban community, an expanding global economy and a host of urban problems have taken the steam out of Wilmington’s economic engine. It is important that Wilmington regain its economic vitality. The business community can play an important role to help to ensure a strong business climate that will help improve the competitiveness of our local economy and create new jobs. The Chamber has 275 members with operations in the City of Wilmington and many of them have expressed concern about the economic future of the City. So the Chamber responded to this concern by setting up the Wilmington Business Leaders Network (WBLN). The idea behind the WBLN is to bring together concerned Chamber members with business operations located in Wilmington to discuss key issues and opportunities that impact the economic growth of the City. The network will have two co-chairpersons: Paul McConnell from the McConnell Johnson Company and Hal Real from World Café Live at The

concerns about economic conditions in Wilmington. Each attendee had an opportunity to share comments and ideas about education, public safety, work force development, wage tax audits and the coordination of city services, particularly in the area of economic development. It was generally agreed that improvements in the area of public safety in the City will help promote economic growth. Queen and it will meet quarterly. The establishment of the WBLN will provide an ongoing mechanism for the Wilmington business community to maintain a dialog and develop new ideas and policy recommendations to improve economic conditions in the City. A kick-off meeting was held on October 3rd and about 40 Chamber members attended. Participants included representatives from the Mayor’s Office as well as large and small businesses located in the City. There were two key parts to the meeting, a presentation about key economic issues and trends confronting the City which was followed by a roundtable discussion where attendees shared a wide range of ideas and

Alan Mallach, a Senior Fellow from the Brookings Institution and Visiting Scholar at the Philadelphia Federal Reserve, gave a very insightful analysis of economic trends in the City with a particular focus on employment. Mr. Mallach, who recently completed a detailed economic analysis of twelve cities in the Philadelphia region with a population over 50,000, shared a number of observations and said he viewed Wilmington as “a tale of two cities” with a number of very strong attributes and several very troubling realities. He praised the outstanding redevelopment activities along the Christina River, but expressed concern about the significant mismatch of employment opportunities in the City.

Continued on page 3.

C H A M B E R E V E N T S M AT T E R 23rd Annul Entrepreneurial & Business Women’s Expo Presented by Brandywine Executive Center 2012 Business Woman of the Year, Carol Arnott Robbins, presented this year’s award to Bridget A Erhard of Ameriprise Financial Services.

Pictured left to right are the past and current Entrepreneurial Women of the Year: Pat Creedon, Connie Charles, Donna O’Dell Hoke, Cathy Hopkins Grieco, Beverly Stewart, Diane Ferry and Carla Vicario.

Visit & click Events Calendar

Mark Kleinschmidt and last year’s Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year, Diane Ferry, present the new winner, Connie R. Charles of Strategic Solutions International, with her award.

Diane Gilman, HSN personality and fashion entrepreneur, delivered the keynote address to the 400 attendees of the awards luncheon. Diane shows off her jeans here with Pamela Mayse (R) and Heather Fisher (L) of the Chamber Events team who organize the event

Entrepreneur Troy Farmer of EVA and Farmers Famous Fish started off the day with an inspiring and energetic workshop on the POWER of women! The hustle and bustle of nearly 600 attendees during the afternoon showcase. Thank you to all our sponsors and exhibitors for making it such a huge success!

Mid Day Mixer at Sherm’s Catering

Policy Makers, Movers & Shakers with Senator Tom Carper

An impressive crowd of over 100 members gathered to hear Senator Carper speak in the ballroom of the Sheraton Wilmington South. Senator Carper delivered a very engaging talk on his insider views of important issues in Washington that directly effect our own communities here in Delaware. 2 I December 2013 I

A very nice crowd enjoyed the hospitality of Sherm, Susan and his Catering staff at the mid-day Thanksgiving mixer. Ed Kessler from the Perfect Wedding Guide won a chocolate basket from New Life Floors. Josh Shaver from Diamond State Financial was the lucky winner of two prizes including the Grand Prize from Sherm’s Catering of a complimentary breakfast meeting for 25!

New Castle County Chamber of Commerce

A S A M AT T E R O F FA C T By Mark A. Kleinschmidt President New Castle County Chamber of Commerce

Survey Says?

Chamber Conducts Public Policy Survey uThe use of market research and polling data has helped many companies and political candidates better understand their customers and potential supporters.


ecently, Wilmington University hosted a lunch that featured the highly regarded pollster, John Zogby, as the guest speaker. His company, Zogby International, has conducted public opinion research throughout the world and his clients include many nationally recognized political candidates and major corporations such as Coca-Cola and Microsoft. The main focus of his work is to gain a more detailed understanding of the opinions and attitudes of voters and consumers. The use of market research and polling data has helped many companies and political candidates better understand their customers and potential supporters. We may not be able to hire Zogby International, but with the help of some very affordable technology, the Chamber has conducted several online surveys to get feedback about events, learn more about what members like and dislike about the Chamber, and identify attitudes about leading public policy issues. The results of the Chamber’s surveys have helped fine tune programs and identify trends.

Each year the Chamber prepares a the most pressing national issue to be will help the Chamber fine tune it’s Legislative Program to help establish a political gridlock. The results of the survey Legislative Program for 2014. general framework for our government affairs program. To gather additional National Economy: Overall, would you 66% Wrong direction information about member opinions, the say things in the country are moving in 23% Right direction Chamber conducted an online public policy the right direction or the wrong direction? 11% Don’t know survey from November 8th to November 55% Yes 22nd. In total, there were 390 completed State Economy: Do you believe that 27% No surveys with 61% of the responses coming Delaware is currently or is in danger of 18% Don’t know from small business (1 to 20 employees), falling into a recession? 24% coming from medium sized business 37% Political gridlock (21 to 200 employees) and 15% coming Leading Issues: In your opinion, what is 22% Government spending from large businesses (over 200 employees). the MOST pressing challenge facing the 22% Slow economic growth For the most part, the results were pretty nation right now? consistent within these three business categories. There was a very noticeable split Leading Issues: Which approach would 52% Reform the tax code in the attitudes of small business and large you MOST like Congress to take in 40% Reduce entitlements moving toward a balanced budget? business concerning the issue of economic recovery. In almost every question related 42% Yes Leading Issues: Do you believe that to economic conditions, small businesses 33% No Social Security benefits will be available were significantly more pessimistic about 25% Not sure when you retire? economic growth than large businesses. 25% Good Check out the brief overview of several Education in Delaware: How would 33% Fair key questions from the survey. The answers you rate the quality of Delaware’s 33% Needs Improvement indicate an ongoing concern about the public schools? 9% Poor current economic conditions and identify

It’s Time to Get Wilmington Moving Again Chamber launches new program Continued from page 1. Mr. Mallach pointed out that 73% of Wilmington residents work outside the City and that 85% of the jobs that are in Wilmington are held by non-city residents. This mismatch has led to a persistently higher unemployment rate, which over time has contributed to a number of public safety issues in the City. In addition to his analysis of Wilmington’s work force, Mr. Mallach offered four specific concepts, or themes, that he felt would help improve the economic climate in Wilmington:

1. Think about Wilmington as a part The Wilmington Business Leaders of a larger Philadelphia region, not just Network has set up a BLOG to allow as the biggest city in Delaware. other concerned members of the busi2. Design a workforce development ness community to participate in the system that maximizes opportunities dialog about improving economic confor Wilmington residents to gain jobs ditions in Wilmington. If you would and career opportunities in local firms. like to check out the BLOG, go to and click Economic 3. Support a sustained effort to Development. strengthen Wilmington’s lower income The second meeting of the Wilmingneighborhoods. ton Business Leaders Network 4. Build a sustained long term eco- is scheduled for December 10th. nomic and community building strategy.

Chamber members and invited guests will review a summary of the comments from the first meeting and identify several priority items that will receive additional near term discussion. The staff of the Chamber will start a process to develop a set of action plans to address these short term items which will help create an environment where the business community and representatives from the government can promote economic growth. I December 2013 I 3

L E G I S L AT I V E C O N N E C T I O N Problems with the Affordable Care Act Website Only the Tip of the Iceberg u

Many now fear that the website difficulties are a harbinger of greater complications to come.


Visit & click Government Affairs

ecent difficulties with the launch of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) website have received considerable attention in the media. A site plagued with access issues and glitches as Americans sought to sign up from the promised affordable coverage touted by its proponents since the act’s passage. Many now fear that the website difficulties are a harbinger of greater complications to come. Early indications are that those fears may be well founded.

The legislation itself was crafted and passed in a highhanded and partisan fashion, the consequences of which still inform the atmosphere on Capitol Hill three years later. The media has been severely critical of the inaction in Washington and the failure of Democrats and Republicans to work together to address very real national issues. The fact remains that Republicans were largely excluded from the debate in the House and Senate and when, largely in reaction to the manner in which the issue was handled, Massachusetts sent a Republican to fill the Senate seat in the special election following the passing of the late Senator Ted Kennedy and ending the filibusterproof majority the Democrats enjoyed in the Senate, the Democrats used an arcane parliamentary maneuver known as “reconciliation” to avoid a filibuster, Republicans were outraged and the last nail in the coffin of bipartisan cooperation was hammered. The reaction on the part of the American electorate was to return control of the U.S. House of Representatives to the Republicans. Rather than being chastened by that outcome, the administration doubled down and insisted that it was worth it and that affordable coverage to all Americans was only a few years away. It turns out that, as is almost always the case with sweeping governmental promises, there are nu-

4 I December 2013 I

merous caveats and exceptions. Due to space considerations, only a few will be examined here, with further discussion of other impacts in coming months.

Effect on Premiums for Those Ineligible for the Subsidy Due to the substantial coverage mandates included in the Act, insurers across the country have been projecting significant increases in small group and individual rates in key market segments. Proponents have consistently responded that federal subsidies and requirements that insurers medical loss ratios (money spent on the delivery of health care rather than that which goes to other expenses and profit) not exceed 20 percent, would help to forestall a widespread problem. Already, in the individual market, some consumers, who do not meet the subsidy threshold, are finding that their premiums have nearly doubled. Additionally, according to the Wall Street Journal, carriers are finding that, rather than breaking even on exchange offerings in various states, they are looking at 3-5 percent losses, with the prospect of 5-10 percent losses over the long-term unless products are re-priced. This will also lead to premium increases. How the administration and proponents in Congress react to actuarial realities will be telling.

Effect on Labor Markets and Wages Due to the provision that companies employing 50 or more people will have to provide health insurance to “full-time” employees, the effects on hiring decisions for small businesses are self-evident. The Act also defines full-time employees as those working 30 or more hours a week. Already substantial numbers of companies in the retail, hospitality and similar sectors are developing policies requiring that new hires be scheduled for no more than 29 hours per week. In essence then, what the Act has done is taken a population that is struggling to get by on 40

hours or more a week at one job and will now likely obliged them to get another. According to a November 6 article in the Investors’ Business Daily, “ObamaCare Cuts Low-Wage Work Hours; IBD List At 363,” hours will be cut for existing employees at many companies. So the impact will be felt by existing employees as well as new hires. For those companies falling into the coverage mandate who fail to provide coverage, there is a $2,000 penalty. That penalty increases to $3,000 if an employee finds that the coverage offered by an employer is too expensive and that they must resort to a subsidized exchange plan. According to February 20 New York Times piece, “Wages and Employer Penalties” by University of Chicago Economics Professor Casey Mulligan, in order to make up for the $2,000 penalty the employer would have to cut wages for that worker by $3,046 per year; that increases to $4,569 for an employer facing the $3,000 penalty. This is due to the lack of deductibility for the penalty under the IRS Code.

enrollees have been Medicaid eligible. The Act increases Medicaid eligibility for individuals in participating states to 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Line. Medicaid already makes up the largest nondiscretionary budget item for many states. On average, based on 2010 figures, Medicaid spending accounted for some 22.3 percent of all state outlays. While the federal government has committed, via the ACA, to cover 93 percent of the cost of Medicaid expansion until 2022, the fact remains that the result will be substantially more enrollees and higher federal and state outlays to pay for them.

Effect on State Medicaid Rolls

A number of states have elected not to expand Medicaid. They will continue the current federal/state matching arrangement (43 percent state and 57 percent federal on average). While proponents are critical of this choice on the part of states such as Ohio, Florida, Mississippi and others, the fact remains that there is a very real financial impact for doing so. Whether or not state health care savings under the ACA materialize to offset these increased costs remains to be seen.

Access to care was the primary goal of the Act. It appears that many Americans are in fact obtaining access – just not to the private insurance market. It turns out that the vast majority of new

Next month, we will examine claims that the Affordable Care Act will have the effect of reducing the deficit and federal health care costs over the long term.

New Castle County Chamber of Commerce


EEC Approved for Tax Exempt Status as a Charitable Organization

for the Emerging Enterprise Center



he Emerging Enterprise Center (EEC), a small business incubator located at the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, provides a nurturing environment for early stage businesses that have a potential to grow revenues and jobs in New Castle County. The EEC has a comprehensive program of Support-Access-Advice so our businesses can focus on growing their business, developing business skills, and graduating from the program with a sustainable business model.

vision that anticipates the changes needed, and a plan that prepares to be in position to take advantage of the foreseen and unforeseen changes that are required. Like a new business, the EEC has tried to practice what it preaches. The year of 2013 has seen some exciting changes for the EEC. The spring saw the graduation of two of the companies in the Business Incubator Program, the introduction of the Swim with the Sharks Online Video Pitch Competition, the launch of New Castle County Open for Business program, which is an opportunity for small businesses to meet monthly with all of the small business resource partners, and the 5th Anniversary of the Emerging Enterprise Center.

Working with companies in the early stages of their development, the Emerging Enterprise Center (EEC) has spent a lot of time helping these new businesses learn the balance between an unrelenting focus on critical priorities, like growing revenues, and in preparing the organization for future success. In too many cases, a new business isn’t ready to capitalize on their successful efforts to drive sales; they haven’t the capacity or resources to actually deliver the product/services, and they aren’t organizationally ready The rest of the year has been spent to scale the businesses. With growth building on the foundation, and in preparcomes change. The key is to have a ing to move the EEC to the next level.

The EEC Welcomes Two New Companies!


oss Capital Partners and Brandywine Hospice have been accepted into the Emerging Enterprise Center (EEC). Frank DeSantis, Program Manager of the EEC says, “We are excited to add Ross Capital Partners and Brandywine Hospice to our Incubator. They add to the diversity of businesses currently in the program, which include companies in IT, digital marketing, floor maintenance, leadership consulting, and manufacturing, and which truly represents the makeup of small businesses in the economy.” Ross Capital Partners, is a unique opportunity for the EEC. They are a SBA Lender Service Provider. Their goal is to assist businesses and promote economic growth in Delaware using

SBA lending programs along with commercial and private equity funding. Steven Fasick, the primary principal, has over 30 years expertise in lending, mortgage banking and real estate. He was founder, CEO and President of Delaware’s largest independent mortgage banking operation until its sale in 2010. Steven’s two sons, Ryan and Kevin, will be joining him as they grow the business. Brandywine Hospice, LLC is a new company that seeks to address the issues of a population that is growing older, increased concern about rising healthcare costs, and the recognition of quality of life issues during the last stages of illness.” The two partners, Rich Kedanis and Michele Szkolnicki, have extensive background in healthcare management.

riginally, the EEC was established as a program of the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, an initiative of the Economic Development Council, designed to drive revenue and growth in New Castle County. As the program has grown, it became necessary to have a separate structure, with a sustainable revenue model, to support the EEC’s ability to deliver the comprehensive

program of Support-Access-Advice, that it offers to early stage businesses. So, in 2013, the EEC applied and was granted by the IRS, 501(c)(3) status as a tax exempt organization. This will enable the EEC to develop alternative sources of funding and build an organization around a portfolio of services that can serve even more early stage businesses and the entrepreneurial community in general.

Business Education Programs Become Part of the Emerging Enterprise Center


uccessful entrepreneurs position themselves to be able to seize the moment when opportunities arise. When the Chamber’s Business and Economic Development Program Manager, Abby Shenkle, decided to return to school for her Masters, we decided to take the opportunity to fold the Business Education Programs of the Chamber into the new EEC structure. Abby Shenkle and EEC Program Manager, Frank DeSantis, had been working closely together to provide content in the Business Education Programs that would help the participating companies of the EEC and all Chamber members develop their business skills. In addition to workshops within the four annual series: Finding Your Next Customer; Business Funda-

mentals, Business Issues Roundtables, and the Non Profit Forums, other educational events have been offered by resource partners. These include an Encore Entrepreneur series sponsored by the Small Business Administration along with AARP targeting Baby Boomers looking to start their own business; and Disaster Preparedness/ Recovery Workshops sponsored by SCORE. Also, Chamber member, Chris Burkhard, President & Founder of Outside-In Companies, sponsored a workshop on the Rockefeller Habits. Going forward, the EEC will continue to develop the types of educational programing, using the resources of Chamber members and strategic partners, designed to help small businesses develop their business skills.

Economic Development Council Member List AAA Mid-Atlantic ◆ Aloysius Butler & Clark ◆ AstraZeneca Bancroft Construction ◆ Bernardon Haber Holloway Christiana Care ◆ City of Newark City of Wilmington ◆ Commercial Industrial Realty Council Committee of 100 ◆ DE Taxes/DE Staffing ◆ Delaware BioScience Association Delaware Economic Development Office ◆ Delaware Park Delaware River & Bay Authority ◆ DelDot ◆ Delmarva Power DiSabatino Construction ◆ Emory Hill Real Estate Services Facility Services Group ◆ Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau Harvey, Hanna & Associates ◆ Info Solutions LLC Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay M&T Bank ◆ New Castle County Government New Castle County Board of Realtors ◆ PNC Bank Saul Ewing LLP ◆ Setting Properties, Inc. ◆ TD Bank ◆ The Byrd Group The Commonwealth Group ◆ University of Delaware ◆ W.L. Gore ◆ WILMAPCO Whiting Turner ◆ Wilmington University ◆ World Trade Center Delaware For information on joining the EDC, contact Bob Chadwick at I December 2013 I 5


Mon 1

Tue 2

Wed 3







Sat 6


UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED All events are held at the New Castle County Chamber, 12 Penns Way. Call (302) 737-4343 for details.



Save the Date for Chamberpalooza on January 30th


8:30 - 10:30 AM 1 0 New Castle County Open for Business: a FREE event; walk-ins welcome at Delaware Technical Community College Wilmington Campus 16 17



5:00 AM - 8:00 PM Winterfest Tabletop & Networking Expo at Hilton Wilmington/ Christiana

13 8:30 - 11:30 AM Finding Your Next Customer: Make Your Customer an Evangelist with Mark Stellini of Assurance Media






8:00 - 10:00 AM 1 8 8:00 - 10:30 AM 1 9 State of Headquarters Biz Issues Roundtable: How Hercules Plaza, Wilm to Grow Your Business 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM 5:30 - 7:30 PM with Email & Social Media Encore Entrepreneur GNEDP 6:00 - 9:00 PM Mentor Day Shop on Main Street Young Professionals Holiday Mixer at Festivus Party Klondike Kate’s, Newark at Skyline Grill 24 25 26 Chamber Closed Christmas Eve

Chamber Closed Christmas Day

To register for events, please visit and click ‘Calendar & Registration’

6 I December 2013 I

New Castle County Chamber of Commerce


NEW MEMBERS American Driver Training Academy Driver Training (302) 655-4511

Meridian Crossing Rentals (Reybold Group) Rentals (302) 838-1824

Berkshire Fox & Roach Realtors Pierce Real Estate (302) 477-5500

Phatboy Entertainment, LLC Entertainment/DJ (302) 256-8277

Business Class Practices, LLC Consultants/Consulting (917) 862-2911

ReMax Associates - Munch Real Estate (302) 897-6973

Deshon & Associates Graphic Art & Design (302) 738-9524

Reybold Group (Corporate Office) Real Estate/Developer (302) 832-7100

Elk Forge LLC Accommodations (443) 945-3132

Reybold Group/ Construction Development Real Estate/Construction (302) 832-7100

Go Liberty Solar Energy (302) 384-7864 Jalapeno Grill Restaurant (302) 655-2847 Leeann Morris Fitness & Nutrition Health & Wellness (570) 233-0174 Lodes Chiropractic Center Medical (302) 477-1565 Mega Power Electric Electricians (302) 248-5100

Save the Date - January Events Jan 1, 2014 CHAMBER CLOSED; New Year’s Day Jan 9, 2014 5:30 – 7:30 PM Network at Night/Annual Member Meeting Delaware Park-New Castle Room Jan 14, 2014 8:30 – 10:00 AM Chamber Orientation, a FREE event (registration requested) Jan 15, 2014 7:45 – 9:00 AM Policy Makers Movers & Shakers Breakfast with Attorney General Beau Biden at Hilton Wilmington/Christiana Jan 30, 2014 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM ChamberPalooza at World Cafe Live at The Queen

Reybold Self Storage (Reybold Group) Storage (302) 832-7100 The Glass Guru of Newark Construction/Glass (302) 384-1635 Tritek Systems, Inc. Manufacturing (302) 239-1638 Wells Fargo Advisors Joshua Phillips, Financial Advisor Financial Services (302) 731-2131 joshua.b.phillips List complete as of November 20, 2013

Join the Chamber to have your business listed here! Visit or call (302) 737-4343. I December 2013 I 7

MEMBER PROFILES The Greene Turtle Celebrates One Year In Newark


he Greene Turtle will celebrate their one year anniversary of moving to Newark this month.The Green Turtle, located on South Main Street, opened December 26th of 2012 and is looking forward to being a part of the Newark community for years to come.

you mention their victory, you get 25% off all full priced food items. Twice a month, the restaurant gives back to the community with



a program called Fund for Friends. Twenty percent of each patron’s bill is donated to local charities. The charities rotate and recently have included the March of Dimes and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. On December 17th, The Greene Turtle will be hosting an Ornament Painting Party and donating the proceeds to St. Jude’s hospital.

Visit & click ‘Member News’

The Greene Turtle has a wide variety of daily specials on both food and drinks. Monday through Friday, you can enjoy happy hour from 3-6pm with $5 select appetizers, $2 16oz domestic drafts, $3 22oz domestic drafts, $2 rail drinks, and half-price glasses of house wine. Each Monday during For more information, you can call The football season, they hold Victory Monday: Greene Turtle (302) 454-1592 or visit their if the Eagles or the Ravens have won and website

Internet p rovider PC P C Mag Mag has has named named Comcast Comcast Business Business the the ffastest astest business business Internet provider aster tthan han D SL a nd nation. We deliver download speeds up 66 DSL and iin n tthe he n ation. W ed eliver d own w load s p e e ds u p tto o6 6 ttimes imes ffaster nd T V w ith n etworks T T1. 1. Y You'll ou'll g get et u unlimited nlimited llocal oc al a and nd n nationwide ationwide c calling, alling, a and TV with networks to k e ep y our c ustomers iinformed nformed and and entertained. enter tained. P ur s ecure, rreliable eliable lus, o to keep your customers Plus, our secure, network n etwork means me m e an ns s your your private private data data stays stays that that way. way. Don’t Don’t wait. wait. Switch Switch to to Comcast Co mcast Business. Business. Go to or Call 610.466.1519 C omcast 100Mbps 10 0Mbps service s er v ic e Restrictions aapply. Restrictions pply. Not Not available available in in all all areas. areas. Speed Speed comparison comparison between bet ween Comcast aand nd sstandard t a nda r d 1 .5 D SL oorr T 1 ((downloads downloads oonly). n l y ). A ctual speeds speeds vvary ar y aand nd aare re nnot ot g u a r a n t e e d. 2 011 rrating a t in g 1.5 DSL T1 Actual guaranteed. 2011 b CM ag b ased oon n rreview eview of of customer customer data data from from w w Call Call for for details. details. Comcast C omc a s t © byy P PC Mag based 2 013. A ights reserved. reser ved. 2013. Allll rrights

Strategic Solutions: Helping Businesses Strengthen Relationships


onnie Charles, founder and CEO of Strategic Solutions International Inc. (SSI), takes a unique approach to her job. Strategic Solutions is a small business that provides support to executives in large companies to help them improve the way they motivate, manage, and educate their workforce. Their client base includes national and international companies such as Aramark, PNC Bank, DuPont, Visa, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, and Boeing. Charles, the 2013 Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year, first utilized a golf course as her classroom in 1993 to help business leaders understand that the principles that help improve a round of 18 holes are the same ones that apply to business.

and individual employees, Charles developed a new software program, i m a p M y Te a m ® , designed to build team relationships quickly by connecting an organConnie Charles ization from top to bottom with methodology. This cutting edge software profiles individual employees helping to build self-awareness around the role the individual plays in the larger corporate picture. The software can guide people on how to talk with their co-workers, what to avoid, and help build trust within a team by understanding everyone’s individual personality.

For more information on Strategic Solutions International, Inc., visit their Furthering the company’s goal of website at strengthening both work environments 8 I December 2013 I

New Castle County Chamber of Commerce

BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP The Results are in for the Deal of the Week


verybody loves a deal. The surge in popular websites like Groupon and LivingSocial inspired the Chamber to embark on a new marketing tool for our restaurant members. The thought was to help member restaurants get the same impact as they would for a Groupon Deal but at no extra cost to them and where they keep 100% of their profit. Each week, the Chamber will highlight a restaurant deal and post it on our homepage, in Chamber Mail, on Facebook, on Twitter, in the member directory, and on the mobile app, DelBiz2Go. The Chamber’s newest campaign, Restaurant Deal of the Week, got off to a good start the first week of October. Our first deal was also highlighted in the October Business Matters as well as all the above mentioned media. Chelsea Tavern was our first restaurant deal with a buy one-

get one deal. Did you see it? Here are the statistics on how this deal did the first week of October. We have over 16,000 recipients that receive our ChamberMail and about 15% of them opened the email and saw the deal. In addition, a stand-alone email was sent to all 130 members in the zip code 19801 (location of the deal) and 26% of them opened it. With over 800 users on the Mobile App, DelBiz2Go, we expected a high click rate for the deal section and we were correct in our assumption. The deals section clicks more than doubled from September to October. Proving to us

that people were redeeming their deals electronically through the app. 23% of Facebook users check their accounts five or more times every day, according to WordPress Hosting SEO, and more than half of all Facebook members have used the social network via a smartphone, and 33% use a phone as their primary means of Facebook access. With those stats in mind, our Facebook click rates for the Deal of the Week are what we expected them to be. With over 1,000 likes, the Chelsea Tavern deal got over 150 clicks.

Tavern said that about 25 of them were redeemed. According to a LivingSocial survey, 50 percent of customers coming into a restaurant because of their site deals are first-timers, and 87 percent of them plan to return. If you take those stats into account, Chelsea Tavern just gained some new repeat customers all with a one week highlight deal that came FREE with their membership. So far, this is the best type of advertising campaign out there.

By now, I’m sure you’re asking – how do I get involved in this program? Well, it’s simple, just contact Erica Crell via email at and include your restaurant name, date start and end for your deal, and the deal information, Enough of the click rate stats, how of course. Be sure to also include any many were actually redeemed? Chelsea legal words that you need in the deal (e.g., one coupon per table). I December 2013 I 9


Visit & click Member News 10 I December 2013 I

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New Castle County Chamber of Commerce


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NCC Chamber December 2013 Business Matters layout 1  

The December 2013 edition of the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce edition of Business Matters featuring current events in the greater N...

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