The president of a new partnership between two different Main Street groups hopes that their combined efforts can make Ellicott City's Historic District more attractive.
This June, the Ellicott City Business Association (which works on business issues in the historic distric) and the Ellicott City Restoration Foundation (which focuses on historic preservation and economic revitalization) formally combined their efforts under the Ellicott City Historic District Partnership.
"It became apparent to people in both organizations that we were both working toward the same goal," said the partnership's interim president, David Andrew Hall, a local attorney who has an office on Main Street.
Hall said the flooding that struck the western part of the historic district during Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 was the impetus for the group.
"That even demonstrated to people that the community as a whole has issues they need to deal with," said Hall.
The partnership's current goal is to apply for the Maryland Main Streets Program, which will allow the Historic District to apply for state and federal grants only accessible to member cities and towns.
Hall said becoming a member of the program will also give Main Street greater recognition.
"It gives us something on our resume as a town to say there's a lot going on here," said Hall.
He said the city was previously in the program in the 1990s, but its membership lapsed when Main Street wasn't able to keep a full-time employee on staff, a requirement to be in the program.
So now the partnership is in the midst of a fundraising program to raise the necessary funds to hire a full-time employee, as well as additional funds to market Main Street.
The employee will serve as a point person for groups who want to do Main Street events, be a social media manager and help market the historic district, according to Hall.
"Our overall goal is to raise $150,000 to $200,000 per year," said Hall.