A Strong Economic Base
While tourism remains the Quiet Resort’s main industry, the area maintains a vibrant and active economy year round.
As the area has grown in popularity, due to its beautiful scenery, low property taxes, and business opportunities, some of the top industries are real estate and construction. Accompanying the influx of residents will be the opening of more consumer stores, like home improvement retailers and restaurants, bringing even more commerce to the economy.
Many important industries are also growing as a corollary to the housing boom. These include practical services such as lending institutions, insurance agencies, doctors and telecommunications companies. Among the region’s top employers are school districts, hospitals, and government agencies.
Sussex County has always had a strong agricultural base, and it still accounts for an important part of the economy. Farmers in Sussex County pioneered the industry of raising “broiler” chickens, and it remains one of the top industries. Some large employers are in this trade, such as Mountaire Farms, companies that process chickens, and other lateral businesses like poultry chemicals, distributors, all the way to restaurants that serve home bred chickens.
Another industry made possible by the chicken industry is the emerging biodiesel industry. Biodiesel is a soy-based fuel that can be made wholly from crops harvested on the Delmarva Peninsula. About 200,000 acres of soybeans are harvested each year in Delaware alone, most of which are sold to processors for chicken meal, the residue being used to produce environmentally friendly fuel.
Sussex County also supports a thriving commercial fishing trade, owing to its mutual proximity to both the Atlantic Ocean and its many inland bays.