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Delaware State Officials and SBA Joined Kent County Launch of Small Biz Boosting Initiative along Del.'s Historic 'Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway'

Camden. Del. Announcement Named First Kent County Business Joining Byway Small Biz Effort; Debuted Byway's 'Byway Buck' Program; and Unveiled New 'Tubman Byway' Route Markers
Release Date: 
Monday, August 3, 2015
Release Number: 
15-16
Contact: 
Jennifer Pilhcer | jennifer.pilcher@sba.gov | 302-573-6294, ext. 222

WILMINGTON, DE –On Friday, July 31, 2015, U.S. Small Business Administration officials; State of Delaware representatives; and local leaders announced the first Kent County, Del., businesses joining the ‘Tubman Byway Initiative’; debuted the ‘Byway Buck’ voucher, redeemable for discounts and other offers at Byway-affiliated businesses; and unveiled road signage slated to mark Delaware’s stretch of the historic ‘Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway,’ identifying its route through the First State.  The ‘Tubman Byway’ is a roadway route marking some of Harriet Tubman’s documented movements ferrying fugitive slaves from bondage along Maryland’s eastern shore to freedom in the North during the pre-Civil-War era. The ‘Tubman Byway Initiative’ is a pilot program joining Byway-adjacent small businesses together to offer and jointly promote incentives to travelers to visit the Byway, patronize its small businesses, and get to know the First State and its history, one character-filled town at a time.  July 31st’s official remarks were made from the steps of Delaware Bay Trading Company, a gift shop located directly on the ‘Tubman Byway’s’ path through Camden and housed in the National Historic Register’s ‘Edward Cole House’ (c.a. 1780).  Following the event’s formal remarks, officials conducted a walking tour of three Camden, Del., businesses participating in the Initiative: Delaware Bay Trading Company and General Lockwood’s Coffee House; Knight’s Fine Jewelry; and Yarn & & Bone Pet Supply Company. Underground Railroad Coalition of Del. officials accompanied the walking tour, highlighting historic buildings along the route and discussing Camden’s small business make-up during Harriet Tubman’s time.

The following Camden and Wyoming, Del. businesses are the first Kent County businesses to join the ‘Tubman Byway Initiative’:

  • The Corner Apothecary

2 S. Main St., Camden, Del. 19934

 

  • Simply Charming

2 S Railroad Ave. and 11 Mill St., Wyoming, Del. 19934

 

  • Delaware Bay Trading Company and General Lockwood’s Coffee House

102 S. Main St., Camden, Del 19934

 

  • Tre Sorrelle Dolce

11 S. Railroad Ave., Wyoming, Del. 19934

 

  • Delaware Guitar School

200 Southern Blvd. Camden-Wyoming, Del. 19934

 

  • Yarn and Bone Pet Supply Company

Behind Redner’s in the CR Plaza, 129 Rd 4 #1, Camden, DE 19934

 

  • Halls Family Restaurant

108 N. Railroad Ave, Wyoming, Del. 19934

 

  • Witt Brothers Market

113 W Camden Wyoming Ave., Wyoming, DE 19934

 

  • Knight’s Fine Jewelry

240 East Camden-Wyoming Ave., Camden, Del. 19934

 

  • WSFS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Tubman Byway’ Initiative looks at introducing revenue drivers for Byway affiliated businesses like: the ‘Byway Buck’ voucher, redeemable for discounts and other offers at Byway-affiliated businesses special events hosted by Byway-affiliated businesses; tourist discovery areas within businesses; signage and byway improvements; and grant opportunities to entice tourists to visit byways and patronize their businesses,” explains Delaware DOT Byways Coordinator, Ann Gravatt. “This pilot program aims to demonstrate increased patronage in Byway-affiliated businesses to promote year-round, statewide tourism in Delaware and instill new a sense of neighborhood pride in our byway communities, all while helping First State businesses succeed. This pilot program is truly a ‘win-win’ scenario.  If it is successful, it is slated to expand to all six Delaware state-designated byways.”

 “We all have a stake in homegrown Delaware business’ success,” said John Banks, SBA Delaware Deputy District Director. “Small businesses like the ones along the ‘Tubman Byway’ in Camden tie communities together. They are what make ‘home’ ‘home.’  “We are proud to support their success by supporting programs like this pilot partnership program for small businesses lining Delaware’s byways and by providing entrepreneurs with financing, technical assistance and federal government contracting support.”

Participating in July 31st’s ‘Tubman Byway Kent County Initiative’ Kent County launch were:

  • Del. Congressional delegation representatives
  • Del. State Senator Brian J. Bushweller (D)
  • Del. State Representative Lyndon D. Yearick (R)
  • Ken Anderson, Director, Entrepreneurial & Small Business Support, Del. Office of Economic Development
  • Town of Camden, Del. Mayor Justin King
  • Town of Wyoming, Del. Mayor Frankie Dale Rife
  • Ron Rucker, Chairman, Harriet Tubman Byway Management Organization
  • John Banks, SBA Del. Deputy District Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ‘Tubman Byway’ traverses Maryland from the eastern shore region northward, entering the First State from Maryland at Kent County’s Sandtown, Del., continuing north through Kent and New Castle Counties, and exiting into Pennsylvania where Del. Route 52 crosses the Pennsylvania state line.  Camden and Wyoming, Del. comprise the first condensed, commercial stretch along the ‘Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway’ after it crosses the border from Maryland into the First State.

The ‘Tubman Byway’ Initiative launched Delaware Byway wide in Wilmington, Del.’s Southbridge section, in March 2015.  Businesses joining the ‘Tubman Byway’ Initiative in Southbridge include: Harvest Christian Retail Stores; Sepia Pre-Paid Dry Cleaning; and Ms. Bonnies Savvor the Flavvor Seefood Restaurant.

To learn more about the ‘Tubman Byway Initiative’ or to apply to become a ‘Tubman Byway’ affiliated business, visit: http://www.tubmanbywaydelaware.org.

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This press release does not constitute or imply an endorsement by SBA of any opinions, products or services of any private individual or entity.

 

All of SBA’s programs and services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis.

 

The SBA is an independent federal agency, created in 1953, to assist small businesses start, grow, and prosper. The SBA provides financial assistance by: (1) making loans to help families and businesses recover from national disasters and (2) providing loan guarantees to commercial financial institutions for working capital (7a loans), buildings/land/equipment (504 loans through the Certified Development Corporations), and for exports. Through our resource partners, the SBA also offers a variety of business development programs and services such as training, government contracting and export assistance. SBA resource partners include Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and SCORE (Counselors to America's Small Businesses). For information on the SBA’s programs and services contact us at 302-573-6294 or www.sba.gov/de.

 

Delaware’s Byways are transportation routes adjacent to or traveling through an area with particular scenic, historic, natural, cultural, recreational or archeological qualities.  It is a road corridor that offers an alternative travel route to Delaware’s major highways, while telling a story about Delaware’s heritage, recreational activities or beauty. In total, Delaware has six designated byways: The Brandywine Valley National Scenic Byway; the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway; the Route 9 Coastal Heritage Byway; the Red Clay Valley Byway; the Western Sussex Byway; and the Lewes Byway.

 

The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway (HTURB) was designated in 2009 and became a full-fledged byway in 2012.  It is nearly 100 miles long, includes Kent and New Castle Counties, and begins where the Maryland byway of the same name ends, at Sandtown, Del. The HTURB includes sites of importance in the stories of Harriet Tubman and other freedom seekers, as well as abolitionists who assisted them.  The HTURB is administered by the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware and was made possible by support from the National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, The City of Wilmington, the University of Delaware, Delaware Byways and many volunteers.

 

South Bridge Connects is a Main Street Commercial District Program which encompasses historic preservation, business development and economic development within Wilmington, Del.’s, Southbridge neighborhood.