First State small businesses prepare for busy Memorial Day weekend
DELAWARE – Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner.
“See all of what Delaware has to offer.”
While many on Delmarva are getting ready to hit the beaches, small businesses in the First State are hoping that tourists will hit their stores.
Governor John Carney visited several beloved small businesses across Delaware Wednesday; spreading a simple message: “Just reach out, and see all of what Delaware has to offer,” said Gov. Carney. “Spend some money in small businesses across our state.”
It’s typically the first big boost of summer tourism, and something that small businesses look forward to. “It also happens to be about the time when lavender is emerging into flowers. It’s a big time,” said owner of Lavender Fields in Milton, Marie Mayor.
Mayor says while the rows of lavender draw people to the farm, it’s their products and relaxing atmosphere that keeps them coming back.
“People like to come and buy our bug spray so they can go walking on the beach or walking in the woods and not get bugs all over them. We have soaps that people love to take home as gifts, and lotions, and a lot of little things that you can only buy here,” said Mayor. “I like to use the land here to help other people do what they’re interested in. We like to reach out to the community, and invite them in.”
When you buy one of their products, or come out to see an art show, Mayor says you’re not just coming away with a new experience.
“[Artists] have a place. There’s no charge to have an art show here. They have a reception, people come to see their art, and buy some of their art,” said Mayor. “You’re not buying from a big box store. Plus, this is definitely a little community of workers. We have about 13 employees, and only a few are younger than 55 years old. Most of us are older than that. We welcome people of all ages.”
Fifer’s Farm Store and Kitchen
Further north in Camden Wyoming, the folks at Fifer’s Farm Store and Kitchen are also gearing up for a busy and bountiful weekend.
“We have our u-pick patch open, and strawberries and asparagus just bring people out. We have a new u-play area, where kids can play. It’s a fun time. The weather’s great. It’ll be nice,” said co-owner Mary Fennemore.
Fennemore says Fridays and Saturdays always bring big sales opportunities. But with this holiday weekend, come all the tourists, and even more transactions.
“We’re welcoming everybody to our store,” said Fennemore. “We have wonderful beaches, wonderful parks, and farms in the area that do u-pick and family activities. So, we’re here anticipating a nice crowd.”
Gov. Carney says while small business is thriving in the First State, that doesn’t mean they don’t face challenges.
“Small business is the biggest driver of job creation in our state. It has been for some time. Since every small business is different, every small business has different challenges to being successful,” said Gov. Carney. “Here, in lower Delaware on the Eastern side of Sussex County, obviously we have significant transportation challenges and traffic issues.”
Looking ahead, the governor also says that the concept of “business incubators” needs to be expanded upon; that is, small businesses that provide extra space for other entrepreneurs to sell their products.
“That concept of incubators is an important one. We want to help cultivate entrepreneurs, and they need a place to do their business,” said Gov. Carney. “Those attractions are really important to tourism in lower Delaware, and really across our state.”