Around this time last year, the State of Delaware launched a new website to help small businesses find information on business licenses, permits, and other State requirements. The site, called Business First Steps (FirstSteps.Delaware.Gov), is an index of almost 200 different industries, professions, and products that require State registrations, licenses, certifications, or permits. The goal of the site is to allow businesses to more easily find information on various requirements across State government.
“In Delaware, our state agencies work together to help small and medium sized businesses on a regular basis. Our State is well known as being business-friendly. Now the aspiring entrepreneur can find a checklist of steps to open a business in Delaware,” said Governor Markell.
This website is the latest effort designed to assist small businesses. New Castle County (NCC) Open for Business, is a monthly event that is open to the public, FREE of charge, to meet 12 to 15 resource organizations and agencies that provide business counseling, workshops, technical assistance, as well as information on how to do business with the State of Delaware. NCC Open for Business is always on the 4th Thursday of the every month from 9am-11am (open house style) at the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, 12 Penns Way, New Castle, DE 19720.
In addition to state requirements, the Business First Steps site provides links to and information about, local Delaware governments that have their own licensing requirements. Businesses such as contractors (who perform site work in multiple towns and cities) must have appropriate licenses and permits in each locality where they perform work. Often, businesses are not aware of such requirements. The Business First Steps site can help them avoid that problem.
Companies, such as Delaware Green Mattress Disassembling and Recycling, LLC (DGMDR), were glad to see a clearinghouse for licensing and local permits, and encouraged new businesses to take advantage of the resource. Tanya Whye, owner of DGMDR, and a member of the New Castle Chamber of Commerce, remarked, “The New Castle County Open for Business program connected me with some wonderful mentors, and I am currently navigating the licensing and permitting process. The Business First Steps website is the perfect tool for a one-stop place for a wealth of information,” according to Tanya N. Whye.
Business First Steps is the result of many state agencies working together to share information; and it is the first state website to centralize information on business licensing and requirements for operating a business in Delaware across state government. It was designed and built by the Government Information Center (GIC), an office within the Delaware Department of State.
“The Governor has made knocking down barriers for Delawareans to start businesses a top priority. This is why a clearinghouse for new businesses to find information about permits and licenses is so important, and why the Business First Steps website will be a great tool that Delaware can offer new businesses,” said Secretary Bullock.
“The Business First Step web site will be a valuable resource for all businesses seeking information concerning licenses and permits. It will save a great deal of time for small business owners and allow them to concentrate on their business. The site also provides a wealth of information about a wide range of business assistance programs and start up information. I think Chamber members will find the Business First Steps web site to be an invaluable tool,” said Mark Kleinschmidt, President of the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce.
Organizations such as the Small Business Administration Delaware office, Delaware Small Business Development Center, Delaware SCORE, Delaware Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Procurement Technical Assistance Center of Delaware, Women’s Business Center at First State Community Loan Fund, and other state offices such as the Delaware Economic Development Office and the Office of Supplier Diversity were on hand to show their support for the new site as well.