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U.S. Sen. Tom Carper & SBA Kick Off ‘Sea Witch Festival’ Weekend with Rehoboth Small Biz Walking Tour

Advisory Date: 
Monday, October 20, 2014
Advisory Number: 
Jennifer Pilcher | | 302-540-9198, ext. 222
Commercial District Tour Spotlights SBA Resources to Start and Grow Small Businesses, Celebrates Festival’s 25th Anniversary

WILMINGTON, DE – U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, SBA Delaware Director John Fleming and M&T Bank officials will conduct a small business walking tour/small business owner meet-and-greet in Rehoboth Beach’s boardwalk-area commercial district and at a business on the Rehoboth/Lewes Route 1 commercial corridor on Friday, October 24, 2014, starting at 11:30 a.m. The tour spotlights the unofficial extension of beach season in the First State – the ‘Sea Witch and Fiddlers Festival,’ celebrating its 25th anniversary this year – while promoting SBA resources that can help small businesses start and grow. This event will be open to the press.

 “An active, thriving small business sector transforms the whole community,” said Fleming. “Homegrown businesses, like so many in Rehoboth, succeed because they know their neighbors’ needs, and that success improves quality of life across the board. The ‘Sea Witch’ Festival’s success is a shining example of that. A local business owner/beach town collaboration to extend summer became ‘Sea Witch,’ a city-wide block party expected to draw in excess of 175,000 tourists back to the beach on the last weekend of October. What better way to celebrate that kind of economic impact than a seaside ‘boots-on-the-ground’ push to connect Delaware entrepreneurs with SBA help to start and grow their businesses? My mission is to make SBA help – and how to get it – common knowledge in Delaware, and that starts with bringing the SBA directly to entrepreneurs in the communities where they live and work.”

 “Every one-day visitor to the area provides an economic impact of at least $100, and each overnight visitor provides $200, on average,” agrees Carol Everhart, President of the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce. The ‘Sea Witch’ Festival’s large draw gives a boost to local businesses and the entire community.”


  • U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE)
  • Bill Pfaff, Sussex County Small Business Development Center(“SBDC”)  Director
  • John Fleming, SBA Delaware District Director
  • Nick Lambrow, Delaware Regional President,

M&T Bank

  • Rob Bunting, Vice President, Business Banking Team Leader for Sussex County, M&T Bank


  • Len Kidwell, Delaware SCORE Mentor
  • Carol Everhart, President, Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce

WHAT, WHEN & WHERE :           

 11:30 a.m.       The Cultured Pearl

                             301 Rehoboth Avenue

Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

Tour and media availability. Since 1993, The Cultured Pearl has served award-winning Japanese and American cuisine from its landmark Rehoboth restaurant. The Cultured Pearl boasts a traditional Japanese-style dining environment, complete with a rooftop deck featuring bamboo, a 15,000-gallon lake, Koi and live birds. Families with children enjoy the restaurant’s early children’s buffet and later diners enjoy live entertainment. Owners Susan Townley Wood and Robert Wood will guide a “behind-the-scenes” tour of their restaurant and kitchen and discuss how SBA-backed funding has allowed them to grow their landmark business.


12:00 Noon      Grub Grocery

305 Rehoboth Avenue

Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

Tour and media availability. Opened in the summer of 2009, Grub Grocery is an independent full grocery, convenience store and deli. Grub offers: all natural, organic and gluten free products; fresh produce (including exotics); large Asian department; local produce;  fine cheeses; bulk food;  exotic meats and seafood;  fresh sushi; salad bar and sandwiches. Owners Susan Townley Wood and Robert Wood will guide a “behind-the-scenes” tour of their restaurant and kitchen and discuss how SBA-backed funding has allowed them to grow their landmark business.


1:00 p.m.         CK’s HairPort, Ltd. Salon and Spa

34410 Tenley Court

Unit 5

Lewes, DE 19958

Tour and media availability. This 34-year-old full-service salon and spa serves clients of all ages. CK’s wide range of services and strong customer relationships earned it a loyal customer base, including many local families that include three generations of CK clients. Owner Kay Barnett will discuss how SBA-backed funding has allowed her to grow her business.

OF NOTE:      For one-on-one interviews, contact Jennifer Pilcher


 This news 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