[caption id="attachment_223298" align="aligncenter" width="876"] PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE
DOVER – Developed by SizeUp Inc. in partnership with the Delaware Division of Small Business, SizeUpDelaware
is an online tool designed to support the growth and development of small businesses statewide. The technology provides business owners with free access to a range of analytical data.
“Because small businesses are such a large portion of Delaware’s economy… the overall goal is to give those businesses a tool they can use to expand,” the Division’s Communications Director Jessica Welch said.
Small businesses — specifically businesses with less than 100 employees — make up 98% of the businesses in the state, according to Welch. Thus, up to 25,000 businesses may benefit from the personalized information provided by SizeUpDelaware.
Sussex County began offering SizeUp’s analytical tool to small businesses in southern Delaware in 2019.
Positive feedback from businesses who used the tool encouraged the state to make the technology available in Kent and New Castle counties as well, according to Welch.
SizeUpDelaware provides business owners with detailed information about their location, customer base, competitors, suppliers, and costs in an accessible and timely fashion.
The tool seeks to put the state’s small businesses on equal footing. According to the Division of Small Business website, SizeUpDelaware is geared toward all types of small business owners, “from the entrepreneur looking to start their first business to a seasoned business owner looking to expand their customer base.”
The information the tool provides is comparable to that used by large corporations to make marketing, pricing, and expansion decisions. By making this data accessible to small businesses, the Division intends to increase opportunities for business expansion and creation, bolster small businesses’ competitiveness, and make it easier for business owners to apply for grants.
The Encouraging Growth, Development, and Expansion (EDGE) Grant program — which provides funding to small businesses — asks business owners to provide information like that generated by SizeUp’s technology, according to Welch.
“In the past businesses had to get that information from census data or other sources, so we saw the SizeUp tool as something businesses could benefit from,” Welch said.
While census data and other data-retrieval avenues quickly become outdated, SizeUpDelaware is updated in real time based on user feedback.
Outside of EDGE grant applications, the tool will still be of use to small businesses.
“We’re a state agency, so we have limited funding. We may not be able to provide funding to every small business in the state, but we can provide tools like this,” Welch said.
For example, SizeUpDelaware may help small businesses combat supply chain concerns exacerbated by COVID-19. Business owners can learn more about suppliers and the cost of bulk purchases by using the tool.
The DSB plans to host training sessions for stakeholders, businesses, and organizations interested in participating in or promoting SizeUpDelaware in the coming months, according to Welch.
By Emma Reilly
Delaware Business Times