Sara Pletcher, Administrator of Economic Development and Community Engagement at the Town of Milford, presented City Council with her first update on the town’s economic development since the inception of her department. Pletcher reprized the role in May.
âI’m sure economic development has been happening for some time, but with this new department the city is able to expand or open up for business as a whole,â Pletcher said. âSome of the improvements we’ve seen have been made to existing businesses. Euphoric Herbs has been around for three or four years, but it’s grown quite a bit. She needed warehouse space and we were able to find her space in the business park which will be perfect. Bayside Gymnastics is undergoing renovations at Riverwalk Plaza and plans to open in late October. She already has 420 students enrolled, many more than she expected. It was his five-year projection.
Additionally, an esthetician who operated a business in Lincoln is considering moving into a new retail space across from TADA Dance Studio and a large grocery store offering online shopping is considering a location behind Federated Auto and may move to the park. industrial if it’s going well. Pletcher said there had also been six ribbon cuts since May.
âHenlopen Sea Salt is looking for production space and is considering Milford,â Pletcher said. âBill Clifton, owner of The Brick Hotel Restaurant, wants to open a restaurant in Milford town center. He must have sold pretty much everything and sorted out all the details in Georgetown, then hopes to get into the fundraising business. He owned the Library Square Cafe if you remember that place.
In addition to businesses looking to relocate to Milford, Pletcher explained that the city sponsored pop-up COVID vaccine clinics at the Riverwalk Farmer’s Market from June through August and that there was also a growth in the social media accounts of the city.
“It looks more and more like what I imagined when we created this department,” said Councilor Jason James. âEconomic development is very important. I said when we started we wanted to hire this position, it’s probably one of the most important things we do as a growing city. From what I’ve seen, you are doing a great job.
City Manager Mark Whitfield explained that they hope to provide council with a report like this quarterly because economic development does not happen overnight.
âI had a colleague in Pennsylvania who contacted me and I put him in touch with Sara,â Whitfield said. âThere’s a lot of interest on his part in doing something at Milford. I can’t say enough about the relationships Sara creates and maintains. It might not be six months or a year, but people are coming back. I hadn’t had any contact with this guy for 10 years and out of the blue he contacted me.
City Councilor James said his experience is that if the city lets someone researching e-commerce know that Milford is ready for him, others will follow.
âIf we can demonstrate that we have the infrastructure, it can explode because others will follow behind them,â he said.