You Can Get Anywhere from Delaware
What’s the most cost-effective location between Washington, D.C., and Boston? The state that provides unparalleled access to power, know-how and places? The most business-friendly climate in the nation?
Home to a diverse and top-level talent pool from around the world, Delaware also is the home of some of the world’s most respected and profitable brands and operations. Any business seeking to connect with industry, innovation and quality of life need look no further than Delaware.
Competitive Costs of Doing Business – and Living
Forbes recently ranked Delaware second nationally for lowest cost of doing business. For a prime East Coast location and a diversity of lifestyles from urban to rural, you can’t beat the cost of doing business in Delaware or its cost of living. Delaware has no sales tax, no value-added tax (VAT) and no inventory tax and offers highly competitive property taxes when compared with the rest of the Mid-Atlantic region.
Delaware Gives You Access – Access to Anywhere and Access to Leaders
Delaware’s coveted centralized location provides proximity to major airports, one of the busiest Amtrak hubs, convenient driving distance to other major cities and a busy international port. Northern Delaware is part of the nation’s seventh-largest metropolitan area, and 50 million people live within a 250-mile radius. Strategically located between New York City and Washington, D.C., Delaware is at the center of the country’s largest consumer market, with New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Baltimore all less than 150 miles (241 kilometers) away. Executives living in Delaware can have breakfast in D.C., lunch in New York and still be home in time for dinner.
In Delaware, it isn’t just where you can get to but also who you can get to. Delaware prides itself on making things easy for business, and that includes access to elected officials and other relevant leaders throughout the state. As Air Liquide Vice President Serban Cantacuzene explains, “Delaware’ s elected officials are in constant contact, and they visit to understand our local needs.”
Internationally Trusted and Respected Business Law
With more than a century of experience, Delaware’s business law system is internationally respected and trusted. Delaware business law judges are appointed, not elected, which is particularly important as it allows businesses access to a level of business law experience that surpasses other business law in America.
As Doneene K. Damon, president of Richards, Layton & Finger, Delaware’s oldest and largest law firm, explains that a court of equity means it’s a court of equity and fairness.
“Unlike other courts where you are really looking for damages or money to compensate you for a harm you have suffered or something that has gone wrong,” Damon says, “the Chancery Court really focuses on what is fair and equitable for the parties involved in a dispute.”
Delaware’s business law judges apply corporate law in a way that is consistent, which is one of the key reasons businesses look to Delaware as an internationally recognized legal brand. More than 1.4 million business entities from around the world call Delaware their legal home — including two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies.
Delaware’s science and technology advances span a variety of end-use markets, including pharmaceuticals, industrial and agricultural chemicals, medical devices, computer services and more. Science and tech companies value Delaware’s successful research and development environment, which is supported by its collaborative universities, superior research organizations and R&D tax credits available at both the state and federal levels. As a result, Delaware is known for its innovation ecosystem and for having one of the world’s largest talent pools of science and technology expertise.
“Delaware moves at the speed of the entrepreneur,” says Andrew Cottone, founder and president of Adesis. “Having a real partnership with local businesses, to be able to find your answers quickly with the government and have the support of your local, state and federal leaders help make Delaware a special place for business.”
Delaware has been a global hub for advanced chemicals since DuPont opened for business here in 1802. Today, chemical manufacturing is the largest manufacturing industry in Delaware, generating more than $1 billion annually in output. It also accounts for one-quarter of all Delaware manufacturing output. The state’s position as a leader in advanced chemicals is supported by a deep talent pool, with the highest concentration of chemical engineering jobs in the country and a top-tier talent pipeline from the University of Delaware’s graduate chemical engineering program, which ranks among the top 10 programs nationally, according to U.S. News & World Report.
“Delaware’s been a fantastic choice for us,” says Philip Patterson, CFO and senior vice president of Solenis. “Being in the center of it all from a location perspective, being able to get to New York, being able to get to a major airport and access to great universities is very important.”
Delaware’s bioscience companies — spanning pharmaceutical, industrial, agricultural, chemical and medical uses — are leaders in moving cutting-edge technology from lab to market. Many top pharmaceutical companies are headquartered in the region, where firms collaborate with research and medical institutions to develop and commercialize innovative drugs, diagnostics and medical devices. The number of life sciences firms in Delaware has grown by more than 60% during the last decade, drawing on an existing pool of highly trained and specialized workers.
Capitalizing on these conditions, Delaware-founded and -located Incyte has been named a Forbes Most Innovative Company. Also born and bred in Delaware, Prelude Therapeutics, has two clinical trials in progress, has outgrown its space twice since launching in 2016 and has been named to Fierce BioTech’s Fierce 15.
What’s more, Delaware is home to state-of-the-industry facilities that will further bioscience advances into the 21st century. These facilities include a new $156 million Biopharmaceutical Innovation Building at the University of Delaware’s Science, Technology, and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus.
Where the World Increasingly Chooses to do Business in E-commerce and Manufacturing
Other new facilities are supporting Delaware’s increasing e-commerce sector. Amazon opened its first fulfillment center in Delaware in the northern third of the state in 1997 and added a second facility in Central Delaware in 2012. Currently underway is work on a built-to-spec fulfillment facility being developed by Dermody Properties in Northern Delaware, which Amazon will lease and grow its East Coast business with more than 1,000 jobs.
“Delaware officials and regulatory agencies have been very responsive to our needs, which is paramount in projects of this magnitude,” says Dermody partner Jeffrey A. Zygler. “Their collaborative approach and commitment allowed us to attract Amazon to our project.”
Amazon also has plans to open its first rural distribution center on the Delmarva Peninsula in an existing 104,000-square-foot warehouse in Southern Delaware. Another consumer goods distributor, Oregon-based Newacme, recently announced its plans to invest in a 217,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center not far from the Amazon’s first Delaware location.
Delaware’s low cost of doing business, central location and high speed to market – along with a trained and technically skilled workforce – also position the state as a center for manufacturing. With output of nearly $5 billion, the industry is a major force in Delaware’s economy and its third-largest traded sector.
Delmarva Corrugated Packaging recently chose Central Delaware as the site for its new $80 million box-manufacturing “super plant” that will feature the latest technology for its industry. The project includes a new 457,000-square-foot facility on a 37.4-acre site.
“This brings back to the area more of what I call the ‘new old’ jobs that for years have helped Delaware families put food on the table, pay the mortgage and send their kids to college,” says Governor John Carney. “Manufacturing has long been part of a strong middle class.”
By Road, Rail, Air … and Sea
Delaware has a storied history in manufacturing and logistics, and the Port of Wilmington plays an essential role in enhancing the state’s enviable location along the Northeast corridor. Already a full-service, strategically located seaport serving more than 200 million North American consumers— the Port of Wilmington is set for a significant expansion in the coming years.
In 2018, Emirati port operator Gulftainer entered into an agreement with the State of Delaware to privately operate the Port of Wilmington under a 50-year lease. Gulftainer is investing approximately $600 million into upgrades, including an expansion of the existing terminal and construction on a new 1.2 million-TEU terminal. Gulftainer plans to quintuple current capacity levels at the Port, establishing Wilmington as the largest logistics facility on the Delaware River.
Of the $600 million investment, $410 million will be devoted to the construction of a new container terminal, $85 million to build a new cold storage distribution center and $73 million to invest in the existing infrastructure. The expansion of the existing dock and crane rail is already underway.
The expansion of the Port of Wilmington by Gulftainer will be the largest ever investment by a private UAE company in the United States. Gulftainer’s royalty payments will provide income to Delaware totaling up to $13 million over the next decade, creating a new revenue stream for the state and its citizens. Furthermore, the agreement will significantly bolster Delaware’s economy and trade capabilities – both of which are already booming.
“In Delaware you really do get the best of all possible worlds,” says Kurt Foreman, Delaware Prosperity Partnership CEO and president. “This includes an exceptionally experienced and diverse talent pool, some of the world’s most innovative companies and very competitive costs for doing business.”