On July 30, 2016, Old Ellicott City experienced devastating flooding when nearly six inches of rain fell in less than two hours. The town was declared a Federal Disaster Area and Main Street was shut down for two months as cleanup efforts commenced.
The 2016 Economic Impact Study for the Ellicott City Flood highlighted that the flood caused a reduction in economic activity of $67.2 million, reduced labor income of $27.2 million, and brought about the loss of 151 jobs and a decrease in county government revenue as much as $1.3 million. But that was last year.
On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the flood, Old Ellicott City is “back on its street.” About 90% of the businesses have reopened, and they have been joined by 15 new ventures, demonstrating the vitality and spirit of this small town.
The Ellicott City Partnership (ECP) is leading this Maryland Main Street Community into a bright future. “The strong partnerships we’ve forged with our business community and Howard County Government agencies, especially with Tourism and Howard County Economic Development Authority,” said ECP President Karen Besson, “will be key in the continued economic recovery of our historic town. We’ve been presented with the unique opportunity to revitalize our business district.”
Also, the ECP has engaged the services of retail and restaurant industry specialist and high impact consultant Garrett Glover for one year. So far, 70 businesses have taken advantage of Glover’s advice on a variety of topics, including business improvement, appearance, strategic growth, media and marketing programs — free of charge — thanks to the U.S. Small Business Administration and the College Park-based Small Business Development Center. The results are notable.
• 12 businesses have added e-commerce to their sites.
• One local business was recently nominated for 2017 eBay Shine Awards’ Global Small Business of the Year.
• In addition to one-on-one consultations, monthly peer-to-peer dialogues give merchants the opportunity to discuss ideas and share successes.
Howard County is currently developing a master plan that will take a fresh, creative look at potential long-term flood mitigation solutions and strategies, as well as new infrastructure design concepts. This comprehensive, community-driven vision for rebuilding a stronger and more resilient Ellicott City is the future.
Go to www.VisitOldEllicottCity.com for more information.