Publisher’s Note: The call to arms by local organizations, businesses and indiviudals has been significant since the July 30 flood in Ellicott City. Following are just a few of those who are reaching out. The Business Monthly will continue to report on these efforts in the following months. Send your news to [email protected].
MPT to Provide Documentary About Ellicott City to Promote Post-Flood Economic Development
Maryland Public Television (MPT) will contribute to the rebuilding effort in Ellicott City in the aftermath of the July 30 flood. The channel will cover all expenses connected with the creation and broadcast of a TV documentary, “Our Town Ellicott City,” that will showcase the area for economic, residential and tourism development.
The documentary will be made available without charge to economic development, tourism, chamber of commerce and business groups to use as a recruitment, economic development and promotional tool as the city gets back on its feet. In addition, the station will telecast the documentary throughout Maryland and make it available to public TV stations in surrounding states.
In addition to the documentary, MPT will provide some small financial relief to residents of Elliott City zip codes 21042 and 21043 by extending any of their MPT memberships by a full year at no cost upon request. The station also will give a free, one-year membership to any other resident of Ellicott City upon request. To request the free or extended membership, residents can simply phone MPT’s Member Services team at 410-581-4292.
“The governor asked state agencies to pitch in,” said MPT CEO Larry Unger, “and so we’re looking forward to collaborating with local Ellicott City officials and residents to create a documentary that captures the appeal of this special area.”
Turf Valley Resort Hosts Displaced Shops From Main Street
Turf Valley Resort, of Ellicott City, is hosting some of the shops that have been displaced due to the flooding on Main Street of Ellicott City. The shops were invited to set up a store with the inventory that they have remaining from the storm, as well as additional inventory that they continue to receive, in an effort to recreate the atmosphere.
They have located on the lower level of the resort beginning Friday, Aug. 26, and will be open to the public on Fridays (11 a.m.–7 p.m.), Saturdays (11 a.m.–7 p.m.) and Sundays (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
Eleven shops will be open at Turf Valley, including Southwest Connection, Still Life Gallery, Boliwalou, Zebop, Simply Divine Boutique, The Vintage Vault and Gallery, Sue Langert, Matcha Time Café and Gift Shop, Syriana Gallery, Park Ridge Trading Co. and Attic Antiques.
Turf Valley Resort is offering this space to the tenants free of charge to help them recover from the flooding that occurred during the storm on Saturday, July 30. General Manager Pete Mangione and his family, who own Turf Valley, feel that “giving back to the community and fellow business owners is the right thing to do,” he said. “Having a gem like Historic Ellicott City so close to the resort has certainly been a wonderful asset for Turf Valley guests to visit and explore, and we want to do as much as we can to help the merchants who lost so much.”
Merriweather Hosts Old Ellicott City’s Main Street Music Fest
The 5th Annual Main Street Music Fest will be held Saturday, Sept. 24, at Merriweather Post Pavilion, in Columbia, after the devastating flood in Old Ellicott City forced the relocation of the event. Merriweather will donate 100% of its event proceeds to Ellicott City Partnership (ECP) and its efforts to assist those merchants and residents impacted by the flood.
Representatives from Merriweather contacted the Ellicott City Partnership, which sponsors the festival, shortly after the flood, offering to host the event. “We all saw the news of the flood and, like a lot of people, wanted to pitch in to assist in the recovery,” said Jean Parker, general manager of Merriweather. “Hosting the Main Street Music Fest represents a way to help in the way we know best.”
The event, which has traditionally been a fundraiser for the ECP hosted on and around Main Street in Old Ellicott City, will serve to raise funds for the flood relief fund established in the wake of the deadly flood. “Our organization is excited to work with Merriweather to continue one of our signature events even though we cannot host it in our hometown,” said ECP President Karen Besson.
Main Street Music Fest will feature dozens of bands and singer/songwriters across six stages at Merriweather. “The Merriweather folks have been amazing, working with us to maintain the ethos of the event while allowing an exciting opportunity to expand it in order to help raise funds for those impacted by the flood,” said Andy Hall, co-founder of the event. In addition, the layout of the event will feature a vendor area where merchants and restaurants displaced by the flood can sell their wares.
Tickets to the festival can be purchased at Ticketfly.com or service-charge-free at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 9:30 Club and Lincoln Theatre during normal box office hours. Tickets are $12 for adults and children 12 and older; children under 12 will be admitted free. Those who wish to contribute to the flood relief efforts can visit www.helpellicottcity.com.
Howard Bank Responds to Ellicott City Flood
Relationship managers from Howard Bank have reached out to clients in Downtown Ellicott City. All but one were deposit customers; the sole client suffering severe damage has two small Small Business Administration loans with the bank, which has suspended payments on those loans for 90 days.
Howard Bank also has worked with the Ellicott City Partnership to open an account at the Centennial Branch to receive donations for business recovery efforts. Initially, donations came through the partnership’s website and were processed by PayPal, which charges a 3% fee, with the remainder deposited at Howard Bank. To avoid those fees, the bank worked with its merchant processing partner, BluePay, which is now processing donations for a smaller fee.
The bank’s marketing department added an information banner at the top of its website guiding people wishing to help to the various relief organizations, including the partnership and the United Way. In addition, the bank has pledged $10,000 for disaster relief through the partnership and the Maryland Banker’s Association, which has reached out to all banks in Maryland to encourage them to join us in this effort.
Howard Bank has also initiated discussions with a statewide nonprofit organization, Preservation Maryland, to develop a banking relationship to manage its loan fund(s) for its “Six to Fix” program. The initiative identifies six projects around the state each year to focus architectural assistance, state and federal grant funds and community support for the preservation of historic buildings and other “treasures.”
Volunteer Registration for Ellicott City Flood Recovery Moves to VolunteerHoward.org
The Volunteer Center Serving Howard County, a program of the Columbia Association and a local clearinghouse for volunteerism, will be the new entry point for volunteers interested in helping with flood recovery efforts in Historic Ellicott City.
VolunteerHoward.org, an online service, will make it easier for individuals and groups of volunteers to be organized for recovery missions as they arise. Ellicott City residents and business owners impacted by the flooding and in need of assistance should continue to use the county’s call center at 410-313-2900.
Main Street Brewer Sets Up Funding Page
The Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, located at 8308 Main Street, has set up a Go Fund Me site to support its employees who won’t have jobs while the brewery rebuilds. It can be found at www.gofundme.com/ellicottmills.
Grassroots, CFHoCo Working With Flood Victims
Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center has learned that there are about 20 households seeking housing assistance. All beds in Grassroots are currently filled, and funds are needed to temporarily house these families in local motels. The cost of a hotel room for one week ranges from $350 to $450.
Some generous families in Howard County have opened their private homes or vacant rental properties to a few individuals and/or families who are now temporarily homeless. These shelter arrangements can be coordinated with guidelines for expected length of stay, safety and occupancy rules through the team at Grassroots by calling 410-531-6006.
To make a donation to the Howard County Community Relief Fund or if you have a donor-advised fund with the Community Foundation of Howard County (CFHoCo), go to the Donor Central login at www.cfhoco.org and make a grant to the Foundation for the purpose of supporting the Howard County Community Relief Fund for housing or for general fund purposes.
If you don’t have a donor-advised fund and wish to make a donation, click on Howard County Relief Fund and insert Howard County Relief Fund housing and your donation will be used for that purpose. Donations can also be made by mailing a check payable to the Community Foundation of Howard County, 10630 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 315, Columbia, MD 21044, noting Howard County Community Relief Fund for housing or general fund purposes on the memo line. For more information, call at 410-730-7840 or email at [email protected].
M&T Offers Assistance to Businesses, Residents Impacted by Flooding
M&T Bank announced charitable donations and a small business loan program to help residents and business owners in Ellicott City recover from the impact of the flood. M&T is contributing $10,000 to the Ellicott City Partnership to assist merchants and residents with flood recovery. In addition, M&T is contributing $2,500 to the Community Action Council of Howard County to support a food bank serving residents impacted by the flood.
M&T also has created an Ellicott City Business Recovery Program to assist small businesses impacted by the flood. The program offers special rates and flexible credit options on gap funding through term loans and lines of credit for qualified borrowers and also deferred payment options for existing loan customers.
“Ellicott City embodies the charm and spirit of small-town America and is home to many of our customers and colleagues,” said Brian Walter, president of the Chesapeake market for M&T Bank. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and property damage that occurred there, and we want to do what we can to help Ellicott City recover. As a community-focused bank, M&T is committed to strengthening the neighborhoods and towns we serve.”
For more information regarding the Business Recovery Program, contact M&T Business Banking Relationship Manager Andy Kim at 410-964-6878.
HCAC Helps Ellicott City Artists
Many artists with studios and galleries in Historic Ellicott City suffered substantial losses of artwork and studio space during the recent flood, severely impacting their ability to earn a living. To provide assistance, the Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) is establishing Re-create: Ellicott City Artist Relief Fund to aid these artists on their road to recovery.
The HCAC will extend its current exhibit, ”Paint It! Ellicott City 2016,” which showcases artwork created during the July 2016 plein air paint-out, through Sept. 30, with a portion of the proceeds donated to the fund. Several Paint It! artists have already agreed to donate 100% of their sales to help the relief effort. The council is also accepting individual donations and is actively seeking a funding partner to match all donations to Re-create.
Visit the Howard County Center for the Arts to see the “Paint It! Ellicott City” show and check out the artwork available for purchase, and donate to the fund on the Support the Arts page at hocoarts.org; also, join the HCAC on Sept. 16 from 6–8 p.m. for its Annual Meeting & Grant Awards reception or attend the closing reception for “Paint It!” on Sept. 30, from 6–9 p.m.
Help Main Street Ellicott City in Style
In an effort to raise donations and awareness for people whose lives have been impacted by the historic flood in Downtown Ellicott City, Maryland My Maryland, an area apparel company, has created a T-shirt design to benefit the Ellicott City Partnership’s Flood Relief Fund.
This fund has been created to assist merchants and residents with their recovery from the flood, and 100% of the profits from this T-shirt, which costs $19.99, will be donated to the partnership. To order, go to www.mdmymdgear.com/ellicott-city.