Support your neighbors this Small Business Month

May 2, 2023

There’s a good chance you know someone who owns or works at a small business in Delaware. Small businesses are the backbone of Delaware’s economy. They account for 98% of all businesses in the state, and employ nearly 240,000 of your friends, family and neighbors; that’s just over half of the First State’s workforce. The month of May is National Small Business Month, and the first week is recognized as National Small Business Week. Both are a time to celebrate small businesses, their courage, community efforts, hard work and contributions to local economies. 

There are several reasons to support one of Delaware’s 27,000 small businesses.

Unique products: They offer unique products and services that may not be found at larger stores, making for a more diverse and interesting shopping experience.

Personalized customer service: Small business owners often take pride in providing personalized customer service, building relationships with their customers and creating a sense of community.

Reduced environmental impact: Small businesses often have a smaller environmental impact and footprint, typically use fewer resources and produce less waste.

Innovation: Small businesses often serve as hubs for innovation and creativity. They are more likely to take risks and try new ideas, which can lead to the development of new products and services, as well as new business models.

Economic diversity: Small businesses help create new industries and niche markets, thus creating more varied economic opportunities for the state.

And of course, there is job creation. In fiscal year 2022 in Delaware, small businesses employed 56% of the state’s workforce, and generated $13.8 billion in wages. Additionally, small businesses are often very involved in their local communities. They sponsor local events, donate to charity, and provide jobs and other economic opportunities in their local areas.

There is a place in the state’s economy for both large and small businesses. Often, though, small businesses need extra help as they have fewer staff and resources available to them. 

So how can you support small businesses this month and throughout the year? 

Shop local: Consider buying from small businesses in your area. This can include shopping at local stores and farmers markets, eating at local restaurants and using services (cleaning, heating and electrical, landscaping, etc.) provided by local companies.

Spread the word: Tell your friends and family about your favorite small businesses in Delaware. Share their social media pages or leave a positive review online.

Attend local events: Attend events hosted by small businesses, such as craft fairs or live music events.

Buy gift cards: Consider purchasing gift cards from small businesses as gifts for friends and family. This can help support the business and encourage others to shop there as well.

If you are looking to start or grow your own small business, go to and learn more about how the Delaware Division of Small Business can help you achieve or expand your dreams through the help of our county-based regional business managers.

What can they do to help?

Navigate challenges involving county, state and federal entities and processes: They help you cut through red tape, reducing the amount of time you spend dealing with government and allowing you to focus on opening or growing your enterprise.

Connect with resource organizations: There are about 100 different organizations, government entities, nonprofits and more that provide services directly to Delaware small businesses. 

Funding: They can help identify funding opportunities from federal, regional or DSB programs, for which you may qualify. 

Supporting small businesses in Delaware can have positive economic, social and environmental impacts on the local community. By supporting small businesses in Delaware, you help the owner pursue their dreams, and strengthen the First State’s economy.  

Regina Mitchell is director of the Delaware Division of Small Business.


  • Cape Gazette commentaries are written by readers whose occupations, education, community positions or demonstrated focus in particular areas offer an opportunity to expand our readership's understanding or awareness of issues of interest.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter