Wilmington Welcomes Masley Enterprises to City HUB Zone

Posted on  03/04/2013 1:15 pm

The City of Wilmington today welcomed Masley Enterprises to the City and congratulated the firm for choosing to relocate to one of the City’s Historically Underutilized Business Zones, also known as HUB Zones. The company recently opened its new headquarters at 1601 Jessup Street on the City’s Eastside.

City Economic Development Director Harold Gray and City Council President Theo Gregory today joined with representatives of the State’s Congressional delegation and agencies that advocate for and assist small businesses in staging a “Welcome to Wilmington/Grand Opening” event for the company.

Masley Enterprises is a woman-owned small business specializing in the design and manufacturing of specialty gloves geared toward military applications.  The company employs 45 individuals and has an annual payroll of $1.2 million. All materials for the company’s products are made, and all labor is performed, in the United States of America.

Today’s event was hosted by 3rd District City Council Member Darius Brown who planned the welcome ceremony to draw attention to the various advantages available to businesses that establish a presence in a HUB Zone.

The HUB Zone is a United States Small Business Administration (SBA) program intended for smaller companies that operate and employ people in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUB Zones).  The HUB Zone Empowerment Act was created by the U.S. Congress in 1998. HUB Zone certification is granted to a company if, it is at least 51% owned and controlled by citizens of the United States, its principle location is within a federally-designated area or zone, and 35% of the firm’s total workforce lives within the boundaries of the HUB Zone.

City and Federal officials today urged other businesses to contact the City’s Office of Economic Development (OED) at 302.576.2120 to learn more about the HUB Zones in Wilmington and how their company might benefit from being located within such an area, which could also mean more jobs for City residents.

Open this link to view a map depicting the HUB Zones in Wilmington.

OED has been working with company owners Donna and Frank Masley for about two years, aware that the company was growing rapidly and needed expanded manufacturing space. In addition to the need for more space, discussions focused on relocating the company to a federally designated HUB Zone which would give the company access to government set-asides and preferences, as well as longer-term contracts.

After an extensive real estate search, Donna and Frank Masley settled on a property that was vacant at 1601 Jessup Street in one of Wilmington’s most challenged areas but within a designated HUB Zone. OED has provided a $37,000 grant to the company through the City’s Strategic Fund for business development to support its growth, and has guided the company through the City’s variance and zoning process. Financing for the purchase and renovation of the Jessup Street site was provided by M&T Bank. 

Director Gray and Council President Gregory said the guidance the City provided to Masley Enterprises from the inception of its search for a new location to today’s grand opening is a textbook example of how the City’s Office of Economic Development encourages new and existing business development.

By utilizing a team approach, city officials said the City government will continue to be a full-service economic development organization that uses its extensive knowledge of real estate, site selection, financing, and grant/incentive funding to help businesses open new operations, expand existing operations and/or relocate to the City.