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Lewes, Delaware
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March 6, 1998     Cape Gazette
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March 6, 1998

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, March 6 - March 12, 1998 - 51 BusIrqE00';s & REAL ESTATE DRBA plans to turn Lewes' breakwater light back on Harkins also announces Memorial Day parade, fireworks to commemorate 200th anniversary of DeBraak sinking By Dennis Forney Delaware River and Bay Au- thority (DRBA) plans to take over operation of the East End Light on the Delaware Breakwater as soon as the federal government turns ownership of the historic structure over to the state of Delaware. Mike Harkins, executive direc- tor of DRBA, told a crowded meeting of the Lewes Chamber of Commerce at Lighthouse Restau- rant last week that the state has agreed to give the lighthouse to the authority for $1 a year to oper- ate. "We want to get the light turned back on and work on an educa- tional program, involving the light, with the state Division of Parks and Recreation and others," said Harkins. The light has been dark for well more than a year since the federal government declared the structure surplus and stopped maintaining it for navigational purposes. Harkins also told chamber members that DRBA is planning a parade on Memorial Day, Mon- day, May 25, to mark the 200th anniversary of the sinking of the English warship DeBraak off "the point of Cape Henlopen in 1798. He noted that Delaware is in the process of installing a new exhibit of DeBraak artifacts in the Zwaa- nendael Museum in Lewes. The artifacts are part of the thousands of items discovered when the ship was located and subseqUently raised by treasure hunters a number of years back. He said the parade will also mark the opening of the new ex- HARKINS hibit and the day will end with a fireworks dis- play launched near the breakwater inside the point at Cape Henlopen. DRBA operates the Cape May to Lewes ferry system and the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The bistate compact under whose au- thority the organization operates was amended a few years back to allow it to use surplus funds for projects benefiting the communi- ties in which its operations are lo- cated. In his talk before Lewes Cham- ber, Harkins also updated mem- bers on the following items: The $8 round-trip Fare To Re- member program has added 100,000 foot passengers going each way, toward Cape May and toward Lewes. "Those are people-who never rode the ferries before," said Harkins. "We have transportation links on both sides of the bay that allow the passengers to get around New Jersey and Delaware when they arrive. The ferries lose $3.5 million each year because part of DRBA's charter mandates that the ferries operate as a transportation link year-round. So we have 12 months of overhead and far fewer days when there are enough pas- sengers. Still, we're trying to add business by making our ferries the best boatride in'America and making them an important part of the tourism business for both sides of the bay." The DRBA, said Harkins, plans to stage another July 4th concert this year. "And we hope to raise as much as we did last year for the hospitals serving our ferry communities on both sides of the bay - $75,000 for Beebe and $75,000 for Burdette-Tomlin in Cape May Courthouse. I can't tell you who we'll be having but I can tell you it won't be Jimmy Buffett. He wanted half a million and I said 'no way.' But we will be having the concert back at Hud- son's on Route 1 and we're al- ready making plans." Harkins said ferry schedules have been adjusted to allow for more trips during the times when people are traveling. The sched- ule changes for the winter months include having ferries leaving Lewes and Cape May simultane- ously each morning for the day's first runs at 8:40 a.m. and also The Delaware River and Bay Authority plans to take over operation of the East End Light on the Delaware Breakwater, according to Mike Harkins, executive director. leaving the two ports simultane- ously for the day's last run at 5 p.m. The schedule change means that a ferry remains in Lewes each night, which has not been the practice for many years. The reservation system added three years ago has grown from 30,000 per year to more than 150,000 in 1997. "That's a sys- tem that many people told us would never work," said Harkins. "We're very pleased with the sue- cess." New England states banded together a number of years back to attract foreign visitors - particular- ly English and German - and have been very pleased with the results, according to Harkins "We're looking at working with USAir and its flights from Frankfurt and Germany to give out brochures for bed and breakfasts to attract trav- elers flying into Philly. They could add a day and a half to their trips to the area and benefit tourism to our area." Harkins also brought smiles to many faces when he agreed to have DRBA be i.he first sponsor for a new classical music concert series being planned for Lewes and agreed to pay for refurbish- ment 'of a Lewes Chamber of Commerce billboard that greets ferry travelers when they leave the terminal. He also agreed to look into DRBA funding for repaying the shoulders of Cape Henlopen Drive to its intersection with Sa- vannah Road as part of a Freeman Highway repaving project sched- uled for this calendar year. Collateral control a tool to motivate suppliers What could you accomplish if vent the best techniques while cash and subsequent balloon pay- company treasury. Here's how it you had sufficient capital? People in business and people who want to own a business share a common problem - money. Specifically, not enough money at the moment they need it. Your lack of capital for the business you own or want to own or sell is a hindrance you can overcome - with street-smart knowledge of finance. Take these three steps to pre- pare yourself, so you can get the money you need when you need it: Properly prepare yourself- to attract money. Know all the techniques - and how to choose the applicable ones. Know sources of funds - and the best way to approach them. This article will give you an overview. Subsequent articles will delve into each of the three steps. The goal of this service is to be an authoritative, useful and credi- ble source of essential facts, tips and strategies on the subject of fi- nancing for small and midsized businesses. FINANCIAL FOCUS Clint Phillips Impracticality prevails. There is a glut of superficial, illegitimate information available. Local bookshops have dozens of titles on business finance. Too bad most of the published information re- lates to large, publicly traded firms, is wrong, or touts wishful thinking. Since a compendium of practi- cal financing ideas useful to fami- ly businesses has not been previ- ously available, my goal is to pre- omitting the impractical and rarely effective concepts. Financing techniques. These techniques are useful to business owners who want to squeeze more cash out of their company, to busi- ness brokers who want to main- tain the company's solvency after it changes hand - so it's capable of retiring acquisition debt from the business' cash flow instead of the buyer's personal funds. Assignment of rent, royalty, commission, note and tax re- fund. If money is due you from a creditworthy source, sell to an in- vestor or lender you fight to re- ceive some or all of the pay- ment(s) in return for cash up front to you. Balloon downpayment. If you do not have [he full downpayment a seller desires, make up the short- fall by giving him a short-term note with one or more balloon payments. A balloon note with a term of less than a year is almost as good as cash. If the seller ac- cepts your downpayment which you make in two parts (up front ment), you will get control of the company's assets. This gives you time to raise the balance of the downpayment before the balloon note is due. Warning: A note due in less than two years is a short fuse note. Loans with near-term balloon payments are called short-fuse notes because if you do not handle them carefully, they can be time bombs that put you and your busi- ness in jeopardy or bankruptcy. Bonded warehouse. Establish a bonded warehouse on your premises. This enables you to maintain inventory, which your supplier continues to own. Your vendor invoices you when you ship inventory to your customer. Collateral control services. Collateral control services compa- nies exist to help you overcome your bank's reluctance to loan money against your inventory. Look into a collateral control ser- vice.if your lender is concerned about the possibility that you might abscond with the inventory or misappropriate funds from the works. You pledge to your lender your inventory as you receive it. Agents of the collateral control firm visit your company to make sure you are properly handling in- ventory and cash. They submit re- ports to your lender. You pay a fee for the collateral control service of 5 percent to 1.5 percent of the amount you borrow. A collateral control service may also come in handy.if you are a re- tailer or wholesaler wanting to es- tablish a relationship with a new supplier. The collateral control service may provide your vendor with the peace of mind it needs to ship to you on credit, and give you other, more favorable terms than the vendor would without the pro- tection of the control services. Think of a collateral control ser- vice as a tool to motivate your suppliers to put goods in your dis- tributorship o.r retail shop almost as if the goods are on consign- ment. Clint Phillips is a certified busi- ness counselor. He can be reached at 645-6176.