Delaware is located on the East Coast of the United States, midway between New York City to the north and Washington D.C. to the south. The northern boundary on Delaware is Pennsylvania and on the south and west by Maryland. This location puts Delaware in the midst of one-third of the entire population of the United States and therefore good market access.
The population of Delaware is just over 700,000 and is one of the least populated states. It also covers a relatively small land area of 1,982 square miles and rank 49th of the 50 states in land area. Dover is the capital of Delaware. The largest city is Wilmington with a population of 72,000.
In 1681, the province of Pennsylvania was granted to William Penn by King Charles II. Penn recognized that his province would be landlocked if the colonies on either side of the Delaware River or Delaware Bay were hostile. In 1682, the colonies were annexed to Pennsylvania by deed and leases. After 1682, long disputes ensued between William Penn and Lord Baltimore of the province of Maryland as to the exact dominion controlled by Penn on the lower Delaware. This dispute continued to the end of the colonial period.
In 1776, the time of the Declaration of Independence, Delaware declared itself free from the British Empire and also established a state government, separate from Pennsylvania. Delaware's boundaries were surveyed from 1763 to 1768.
In 1785, the invention by Oliver Evans of Newport, Delaware of an automatic flour milling machine, revolutionized the flour industry and provided a positive impact on the Delaware economy.
In 1786, John Dickinson of Delaware chaired the Annapolis convention, which called for the Federal Constitutional Convention which met in Philadelphia in 1787. A new constitution was drafted and Delaware was the first state of the thirteen involved, to ratify the convention and thus became known as the "The First State" of the new Federal Union.
Today Delaware State Government consists of three branches, the Executive, the Legislative and the Judicial branches.
The executive power of government lies with the Governor, who is elected every four years, and can serve for a maximum of two terms. The legislative power lies with bicameral General Assembly, consisting of a House of Representatives and the Senate. Representatives are elected every two years and senators every four years.
The judicial branch of government is comprised of a Supreme Court with five justices appointed for 12 year terms by the Governor, on the advice and consent of The Senate. There are also three trial courts composed of Appointed Term-Limited Judges.
The infrastructure of Delaware is highly developed to serve its economy and provide easy access to domestic and export markets by sea, air or land.
Delaware central location in the heavily populated eastern seaboard affords rapid access to the major cities of the east and mid-Atlantic. US highways and major railways provide the passenger and cargo transportation requirements to these markets.
Delaware is also well served by air transportation. The major public and private airports easily accommodate commercial and corporate aircraft. Two major out of state airports are within one hour of Wilmington by land; these are Dulles Airport in Maryland and Philadelphia International Airport.
Transportation by sea is served by the port of Wilmington on the Delaware River and just 65 miles from the open Atlantic Ocean. This containerized port provides deepwater berths, modern and competitive off-loading and storage facilities and handles about 4.5 million tons of sea cargo annually.
Other infrastructural requirements such as water, electricity and telecommunications are all highly developed and efficient as one would imagine to meet the national standards.
The major industries in the state of Delaware are the chemical and automotive industries and manufacturing followed by financial services, are the largest sources of income. The industrial and service sectors are predominantly in the northern third of the state, while the other two thirds in the south are reliant on agriculture. The major activities in agriculture are; poultry, corn, soybeans and diary products.
Delaware investment climate is enhanced by the concept of public-private partnership. The government and the private sector work closely to maximize business opportunity and the quality of life provided to its residents. There are many initiatives and programs which receive overwhelming bipartisan support from legislators that strengthen the economy.
To enact a new tax or a tax increase, government has mandated that a three-fifths or 60% vote in both houses is required. State spending cannot exceed 98% of estimated revenue and a 'rainy day fund" of 5% of anticipated revenue is put aside in the event of unexpected revenue decreases or to pay for tax reductions.
Delaware has developed many programs to encourage business to invest in its economy, some of these initiatives are; an employment and training service which can respond to specialized employer needs or additional skills.
Recruitment assistance in support of new or expanding businesses is provided by the Delaware economic development office. They assist employers in locating a qualified work force. The Delaware Development Corporation Loans Program provides loans to qualifying small business for long term, fixed asset financing at fixed rates. Delaware Venture Partners can seed companies who wish to develop new technologies, particularly in the areas of computer related, high technology, biotechnology, medical, communications, environmental and manufacturing.
Delaware's fastest growth sector in recent years has been in the financial sector. Many major financial institutions have made Delaware their home. The enactment of the law to establish a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in October of 1992, which combines the best aspects of the Corporation and the Limited Partnership, has made Delaware even more attractive in its quest to expand its economy.
Today over 50% of all companies listed on New York Stock Exchange are Delaware Corporations.