DOVER — Opening a brand new enterprise in downtown Dover throughout the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t appear to shake Priscilla Rainey, who graduated from the College of South Florida and likewise gained information and useful contacts by attending NCALL’s Launcher Program for aspiring entrepreneurs in 2018.
So when Ms. Rainey reduce the ribbon to formally open her Tax-E enterprise at 31 W. Loockerman St. on Friday afternoon, together with members of the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce and native dignitaries, she made it recognized that she plans to be round for some time.
“Really, to be trustworthy, COVID offered for me a possibility to excel,” Ms. Rainey mentioned, “as a result of I’m a necessary enterprise. And with all of the totally different PPP’s (Paycheck Safety Packages) and totally different tax credit and issues which might be occurring with individuals’s unemployment and all of those newly launched methods of getting income, it’s going to be so complicated for most individuals.
“There’s going to be lots of people who need assistance, so it’s really labored out for me.”
The personable Ms. Rainey has lived in Florida the previous 18 years, however she is not any stranger to Dover, having commonly visited her mom — who lives within the state capital — over that time-frame.
When she found her mom had breast most cancers lately, she determined to maneuver to Dover to be beside her as she fights her battle.
“I began off with a small workplace above Governor’s Café and I noticed the necessity for the demand, so I figured I’d develop and convey on extra brokers,” mentioned Ms. Rainey.
Therefore, her dream of opening an workplace downtown was born.
Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen took half in Friday’s ribbon-cutting and mentioned the entrepreneur ought to function an inspiration to all throughout the pandemic.
“The larger factor about it’s it’s a minority- and female-owned enterprise,” Mayor Christiansen mentioned. “I feel that’s an important sign to the remainder of the neighborhood that in the midst of a pandemic individuals are really prepared to take the prospect on downtown Dover. Despite what individuals would possibly say, we’re alive, nicely and kicking in downtown Dover.”
Ms. Rainey mentioned that she couldn’t have completed it with out the assist of Will Grimes, who oversees the NCALL’s Launcher Program and is the neighborhood revitalization coordinator of the group’s Restoring Central Dover initiative, and Janaid Kareem, proprietor of Janaid’s Salon for Males on West Loockerman Avenue, who teaches the entrepreneurs in this system.
“With the Launcher Program it launched me to lots of different entrepreneurs and likewise launched me to lots of sources within the metropolis of Dover,” Ms. Rainey mentioned. “What it did for me was it helped me acquire the arrogance. Earlier than, I labored from house after which I opened up a small workplace, and with the Launcher program and being in fixed communication with Janaid (Kareem), it helped me to essentially really feel snug and know that I may very well be profitable.
“He’s the trainer of this system, however he’s greater than only a trainer, he’s like a mentor for everyone. He positively goes over above and past to guarantee that everybody not solely will get their enterprise off the bottom, however that it’s profitable. He’ll maintain your hand during and years later down the road he’ll see one thing and name you up and say, ‘Hey, it’s essential to do A, B, or C.’ He’s like a chunk of glue who connects individuals.”
Mr. Grimes has been overseeing NCALL’s Launcher Program because the fall of 2017. He mentioned Ms. Rainey is one among a number of success tales which have sprouted from this system.
“We’ve obtained just a few (Launcher Program graduates) which have opened up companies down right here,” Mr. Grimes mentioned, of downtown Dover.
“This system is excellent and simply to see the fruit from that 12 weeks of labor within the class, to see it come to fruition like this, is simply great. It’s good for this system, it’s good for downtown Dover and it’s good for the town of Dover.
“Janaid (Kareem) is the gasoline in this system that makes it go. He’s a dynamic facilitator and he has actually taken our program a good distance. We simply graduated our fifth class final month, and we’ll be beginning up one other class in January. There’s one distinction, we’ve needed to make a shift to digital lessons because of the pandemic.”
Ms. Rainey, who grew up in Philadelphia, feels proper at house in her workplace in the midst of the downtown Dover hall.
“I really feel like that is good for a tax workplace as a result of we get foot site visitors and with this sort of enterprise you need foot site visitors,” she mentioned. “Phrase of mouth is nice, however with me being new to Dover — I didn’t develop up right here and I don’t know anybody — so foot site visitors is what I want.”
One factor Ms. Rainey is bound of is that she and her workers have at the least one factor that makes them stand aside.
“We care about getting individuals probably the most (cash) that they will get and the most effective profit that’s allotted to them,” she mentioned. “We wish to be certain that everyone just isn’t paying pointless taxes and that they’re really getting the utmost (profit) that they will presumably get.
“We wish to guarantee that individuals are not being victims to tax fraud and we wish to guarantee that individuals are protected and protected and conscious of what’s out there to them. We care. I educate my brokers myself. I practice them to search for every little thing that’s out there to each single individual’s particular person state of affairs. That’s what makes us totally different.”
One other factor that makes them totally different is their dedication to the local people.
Ms. Rainey has expanded her annual Toy Drive for the vacations this yr and invitations the general public to drop new toy donations off to her new location on West Loockerman Avenue.
“Not solely will we do an annual Toy Drive, however this yr with the brand new workplace I simply figured we’ll do it greater and that is simply an effective way to provide again to the neighborhood and provides a superb introduction to the neighborhood that we’re right here and we give again,” mentioned Ms. Rainey. “There’s so many households in want proper now, so if we have now the means to assist, I wish to assist in each method.”