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Success Stories

The date was March 12, 2020. A production of “The Play that Goes Wrong” was set to take the stage that night at Wilmington, Delaware’s iconic theater The Grand Opera House. More than 800 tickets to the production were sold, and opening night preparations were in full swing.


Until, suddenly, they weren’t.

COVID-19 Takes Hold

At 4:15 p.m. on March 12, 2020, Delaware Governor John Carney issued a State of Emergency declaration addressing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The edict advised that event organizers in Delaware cancel non-essential public gatherings of 100 people or more, to prevent the virus’ community spread.

Suddenly, “The Play that Goes Wrong’s” title had become eerily prophetic. The Grand staffers quickly set about canceling 6 shows slated for the weekend, contacting nearly 5000 ticketholders to shut the production and the theater, itself, down, for what was believed to be a few weeks.

In fact – for The Grand and for the... Read More

A home-based e-commerce sideline business grows into a self-supporting brick-and-mortar retail shop and then launches its own manufacturing enterprise, bringing industry, jobs, and “Made-in-America” pride to the heart of the rural Delmarva Peninsula. It’s a small business success story that entrepreneur Jenny McMillan wrote not just for her business – home-décor-and-gift brand, JennyGem’s – but for her ever-expanding staff of 23 neighbors, and for the Sussex County, Del. small town that she calls home. And it’s a success story that McMillan credits to seizing opportunity, meeting challenges with ingenuity, and a little help from SBA, along with a variety of Delaware-based economic development champions.

Opportunity Knocks

In 2006, a layoff at the bank where McMillan had worked for 16 years left her wondering what was next. But her bank’s severance package gave her one year’s salary, and those funds, together with encouragement from her husband, opened the door to... Read More

For Cindy Collins – U.S. Air Force veteran and owner of Delaware-based holistic wellness firm Euphoric Herbals – success’s root is not “in what you do, but why you do it.” In that spirit, Collins grew her passion for holistic wellness into a hobby, using inspiration from her own childbirth-and-rearing experience to blend her own herbal teas and salves to support women’s well-being in their childbearing years.  Soon, fueled by Collins’ passion and marketplace demand, Collins’ efforts became a thriving business – Euphoric Herbals – offering holistic wellness essentials across gender lines and growing to boast its own manufacturing facility serving customers in the United States and 58 other countries via its e-commerce arm.

Fundamentally, though, Collins knew that Euphoric Herbals’ tremendous reach reverberated from Collins’ initial passion for bringing holistic wellness to her own community.  So, for  Collins, launching her own brick-and-mortar retail store and holistic... Read More

What could be more rewarding than building a healthy business that builds a healthy community? For fitness entrepreneur Christina Stanbery, building exactly that kind of business – her active-adult-focused ‘Beyond Fifty’ fitness centers – is her life’s work, and the rewards are clear – for herself, her growing business, and her community.


Delaware’s ‘Beyond Fifty’ Fitness Centers are the First State’s only fitness centers designed with the “over-age-fifty” population specifically in mind. Stanbery and her ‘Beyond Fifty’ staff are certified in active adult fitness to best understand the specialized fitness approach that aging adults need to achieve optimal results at reduced injury risk, including the range of movements and healthy lifestyle adjustments that the aging process demands. That unique knowledge set, combined with ‘Beyond Fifty’ staffers’ close study in areas like surviving cancer and managing Parkinson’s disease, uniquely equips ‘Beyond Fifty’ to craft... Read More