Historic Ellicott City Takes Major Step Toward Main Street Maryland Designation

New Partnership with Howard County Economic Development Authority Allows Hiring of Executive Director

Ellicott City is one big step closer to achieving the Main Street Maryland (MSM) designation thanks to a memorandum of understanding signed by the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) and the Ellicott City Historic District Partnership (ECHDP).

Under the new agreement the HCEDA will provide $100,000 over a period of three years to help cover the cost of hiring a Main Street Manager. A dedicated staff person is a prerequisite for application to the Main Street Maryland Program.

The ECHDP also announced the hiring of Debra W. Korb for the Main Street Manager position. Korb has more than a decade of experience in corporate and non-profit businesses, and a passion for historic preservation and smart growth. She most recently served as Executive Director of Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate, a National Historic Landmark property in Lexington, Kentucky.

“Historic Ellicott City is one of our county’s signature communities,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.  “We are already committing millions to capital projects to make the Main Street area friendlier to pedestrians and the environment, and to help merchants and residents.  We want to ensure that Ellicott City is vibrant and thriving for decades to come and this partnership to help us gain the Main Street Maryland designation will help us achieve that goal.”

Main Street Maryland strives to strengthen the economic potential of Maryland’s traditional main streets and neighborhoods. Using a competitive process, the program selects communities who have made a commitment to succeed and helps them improve the economy, appearance and image of their traditional downtown business districts.

“Thanks to the HCEDA support we’re confident we are well on our way to achieving the Main Street Maryland designation,” said Andy Hall, ECHDP President. “Efforts like this require great partnerships and we delighted to be working closely with all of the stakeholders concerned about the future of Historic Ellicott City.”

“By achieving Main Street status Ellicott City can build on the momentum that’s growing in the historic district, increasing business and becoming even more of a focal point for economic opportunities in Howard County,” said Economic Development Authority CEO Lawrence F. Twele. “We’re proud to partner with the ECHDP and fully support furthering their mission of promoting the heritage and vitality of Historic Ellicott City.”

Recent studies show that communities involved in such programs have increased the number of businesses, jobs, retail sales and property values, while leading to a reduction in vacancy rates.


About HCEDA: The Howard County Economic Development Authority is a public-private partnership whose primary goal is to promote economic growth and stability by supporting existing businesses, targeting new businesses, and attracting corporate/regional headquarters. The Authority also maintains several programs aimed at the special needs of small and agricultural businesses. Additionally, the Authority strives to preserve the distinctive quality of life in Howard County. The Authority can be reached at www.hceda.org.

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