The mission of Main Street Rock Hall is to develop short and long-term strategies and initiatives to revitalize, re-energize and re-populate Main Street for the enjoyment of both community members and visitors, while also finding ways to extend our tourist season. This mission will be accomplished by identifying ways to attract and retain sustainable and viable businesses serving the diverse needs of visitors and residents throughout the year.
The National Trust Main Street program has identified a four-point approach as the key to a successful revitalization campaign. These four points or categories, listed below, will provide a framework for our initiatives. These categories are: Organization, Promotion, Design, and Economic Restructuring.
Rock Hall’s progression towards starting a Main Street Committee began in 2015, with the Town’s pursuit of a Sustainable Community designation by the State of Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).
As part of the Sustainable Community process, a work group of dedicated citizens developed an action plan for the town in the areas of “Environment”, “Economy”, “Housing”, “Transportation”, “Quality of Life” and “Land Use”. Our Sustainable Community application was approved by DHCD in October 2015, thus opening the doors for us to pursue numerous State funding opportunities for downtown revitalization and other initiatives.
In identifying strengths and weaknesses for the “Economy” section of Rock Hall’s Sustainable Community action plan, an “historic Main Street” was listed as a strength, while weaknesses identified included “vacant storefronts”, “limited job opportunities”, and “seasonal or week-end only store hours on Main Street and for other retail and service providers”.
The above findings were a “call to action” for the Town of Rock Hall which responded by funding a part-time Main Street Manager position in the Town budget for the first time. Rock Hall subsequently became the first community in Maryland to be designated as an Affiliate Member of DHCD’s Main Street Maryland program, as a stepping stone to becoming a full-fledged Main Street Maryland designee.
Communities state-wide that participate in the Main Street Maryland program receive State support and resources to assist with downtown revitalization efforts. In 2017, Rock Hall received a grant from DHCD for Main Street consultant services and marketing monies. These developments set the stage for the formation of Main Street Rock Hall to help guide, develop, and plan Main Street initiatives. A small group of stakeholders was assembled to comprise the Committee, which began meeting in Spring of 2018.
Now that you know more about how and why Main Street Rock Hall was created, we invite you to join us as we strive to re-energize and diversify our historic downtown. We know that community-wide participation and support will ensure our success and strengthen our initiatives. Main Street Rock Hall welcomes your participation!