Written by Rachael Dubinsky, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development Intern
As the sweltering summer sun beat down on the storefront of Ocean Fresh Seafood in Harrington, Del., Kathy and Randy Cagle beamed with pride as they saw the fruits of the labor finally paying off. With their retail seafood market up and running, the Cagle’s were filled with gratitude.
Wednesday, USDA Rural Development’s Rural Business Administrator Judy Canales highlighted a $41,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) awarded to the YWCA’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship in Georgetown, Del. The Center received the Recovery Act grant last year to focus on serving small businesses in Kent and Sussex Counties.
Earlier in the day, Canales addressed the Delaware Bankers Association on the Delaware State Fair Grounds in Harrington. She called upon local bankers to promote the expansion of rural economies by participating in Rural Development Business and Industry programs.
After her speech, Canales recognized Raymond Childs, a local seafood broker who received business development assistance from the Center.
Brenda Whitehurst, the Center’s Southern Delaware Marketing Manager, helped Childs successfully complete the Center’s eight-week business development course. Childs, who is also visually impaired, is now providing seafood to the Cagle’s and examining other entrepreneurial opportunities, including opening his own restaurant.
This ‘Recovery Summer’ event highlighted the value of successful business partnerships in rural communities. Not only is the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well in Delaware, so is great seafood.