Meetings are held on the last Tuesday of each month at 9 am
Agendas and Minutes
Tues, Aug 25, 2020 – Virtual – Conference Call
August Meeting Notes:
President, Suzanne Einstein called the meeting to order at 9:01 and introduced speakers.
Jamie Williams, KC Economic Development Director noted that the departments have been combined. Emily McCoy is leaving Economic Development to work at the KC Health Dept. Working through CARES grants to provide assistance to businesses; half through getting checks to businesses. There is grant money available to change your business or structure as a result of COVID. 15 businesses (including 1 from Rock Hall) have received marketing grants.
Jana Carter, Tourism Development Assistant Director reported that she is working on the COVID modification grants. The FY2021 Tourism Marketing Plan will be presented at the Commissioners Meeting today, 8-25. The County applied for “All American Road” Destination. Work continues on a video of the 10 Museums of Kent County. September is Underground Railroad Month and the Network to Freedom. One location in Kent County has been designated as an Underground Railroad site. Sept. 18-27 is the 1st statewide Maryland Restaurant Week. Register online to participate.
Sam Shoge, Executive Director of the Kent County Chamber of Commerce said he is working on having the Chamber take a more active role in the community and facilitating and communicating information through conference calls, including weekly COVID Updates, Grant Opportunities and featuring businesses that have pivoted during the pandemic. He is recognizing and broadcasting member businesses, with networking and blog posts. He will leverage social media. Contact Sam at SShoge@kentchamber.org and visit www.kentchamber.org
Member Comments: Debra Woodruff-Capper reported there will be no Lions Club Community Yard Sale. Lions Club is looking for fundraiser ideas; They need to generate $5000 which they donate to people in need of dentistry and eye glass services. The Mainstay has virtual and livestream concerts and classes. The Eastport Oyster Boys Concert will be on Oct. 3. Details to follow.
Main Street Rock Hall will have a second round facade grant. Info available in January, with applications due in March. The virtual Pirates and Wenches event was held with the goal of reminding people of 2021 event. 49 T-shirts were sold, 1 left.
WCTR will have their Rock Hall site located at Harbor Shack up soon with live broadcasts.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:57.
Cindy Genther, Secretary GRHBA
Tues, July 28, 2020 – Virtual – Conference Call
July Meeting Notes:
23 people participated in our 7/28/2020 GRHBA conference call. President Suzanne Einstein opened the call at 9:02 am.
Jamie Williams, Kent County Economic Development reported 36 applications were received for the Kent County CARES Act Grant program Checks are being delivered to businesses this week. 15 businesses will receive marketing grants. Webinars about these grants to come. David Caines has been brought onas a consultant by Kent County to assist businesses and organizations with PPP loan forgiveness and other needs during these challenging times. David’s contact info is:
Jana Carter of Tourism said they are working on the 2021 Marketing Plan. 25,000 Kent County Visitors Guides were recently inserted into the Washington Post. Tourism is working on an All American Roads designation. Tourism is also working on a video for the Museums of Kent County and has established a “Kent County Tourism” You Tube Channel with Playlists for “Inns”, “Main Streets”, etc. and will add the Main Street Rock Hall Welcome Back video to the channel. Sandy Scott has 2 boxes of Visitors Guides at the Hickory Stick if anyone wants some. More Visitors Guides are available from Tourism. Bernadette Bowman announced she will retire from Kent County. We wish you all the best and thank you for your help Bernadette.
Laurie Walters with Main Street Rock Hall stated the first round of Facade Grants had been awarded. A second round will begin early next year, so businesses and property owners should start thinking about project they want to get done. The Welcome Bank video has been posted on the MSRH website and shared and boosted on FaceBook.
Laurie also mentioned Pirates & Wenches Weekend will be a virtual event this year. T-shirts (Lost at Sea theme) are available for sale at Hickory Stick or on Bonfire website. There will be a House Decorating Contest, a Boat Decorating Contest, and a Costume Contest (on Zoom). Judging will be on or around August 15. There will also be a Photo Contest from Past P&W events. Please help get the word out and share P&W info on your business and personal Facebook pages.
Bob Tacher said restoration work on the Clam House started. Building will be power washed and mural repaired.
Leslie Sea said WCTR is putting a aatellite station in Rock Hall near Harbor Shack. Hoping to have it up by Pirates & Wenches. Come in to visit and talk about your business.
Debra Woodruff-Capper said the Lions Club will have a small version of their Community Yard Sale in the Fall. The Mainstay is doing live streaming and will include our ads on their walls in the streams. Mainstay needs someone to make drawings for their new deck and roof. Anyone interested should contact Debra.
Deborah Reese announced Cinnamon By The Bay will be opening August 12.
Marta Kumer reported that Selkie Books will be opening on Monday, Aug 3
Tues, May 26, 2020 – Virtual – Conference Call
May Meeting Notes:
According to the call-in bridge statistics, 12 people called into our GRHBA meeting on Tuesday. The meeting was led by Suzanne Einstein and started at 9:00am.
New board members: Harriet Creighton, Ed Pickering, Meg Scott, and Bob Tacher were introduced.
Economic Development: Emily McCoy reported they received 129 applications for Kent County business grants. 69 have been authorized for payment; 15 are still in progress. EC is looking for more grants and programs to assist businesses with coronavirus-related equipment purchases and business modifications. Details to follow. They are doing promotions for Kent County in regional markets.
Tourism: Bernadette stated studies show people are looking to get out and travel. In Maryland, some town are shutting down streets for restaurant outdoor seating. A study shared by Joanne Rich showed 60% of people surveyed would travel by car immediately; 90% by July 15.
Town of Rock Hall: Bob Resele noted there were lots of people in town this weekend and few problems were reported. They are waiting for Phase 2 to begin soon. Public bathrooms in the Village Shops are open; those in the Civic Center are closed. There was a discussion about removing the tape on the benches in town and replace with appropriate signs. Dawn Jacobs asked what businesses thought about transportation needs this season and attendees overwhelmingly said yes. Dawn reported the town had raised $11,000 which could be applied to vehicle leases. Businesses in attendance stated they are willing to advertise to support as well. Mark Einstein suggested allowing golf carts like Crisfield does.
Main Street Rock Hall: Laurie Walters reported on the “Social Distancing Bingo” cards currently available at local businesses and the Yarn Bomb project going on with kids from RHES.
Feedback from Businesses on Memorial Day Weekend activity:
Ann Bovee said Mariners and Rock Hall Landing Marina are getting cancellations for 4th of July and Pirates & Wenches weekends, but daily and weekend activity is good. Java was down in sales this year vs. last year, but less than expected. Mark & Suzanne said they’ve had good activity for private cruises. Dawn & Jim said the campground was full and turning down reservations. Ann B. said customers are asking about events and requested town website be updated.
Dawn stated town activities (parade & Civic Center) for 4th of July have been cancelled. Fireworks are TBD by RHVFC. Jim Rich said Pirates & Wenches traditional celebration would be cancelled due to concern about too many people gathering. The P&W committee is exploring a virtual event with minor activities. Plans for next year continue. FallFest planning is underway and is still scheduled at this time.
The next meeting is scheduled for June 30 at 9:00am. Details to follow.
Tues, April 28, 2020 – Virtual – Conference Call
April Meeting Notes:
Emily McCoy reported applications are being accepted for EIDL loan and PPP program.There will be a Department of Commerce program coming up and details will be sent to members. Gov. Hogan announced a 3-step program to reopen the economy. Kent County is developing a grant program to award $1000 to up to 65 small (less than 4 employees) businesses in the county. Details to follow in the next week. Jim mentioned Peoples Bank can do PPP loans. Lodging is an essential business that did not need to close. The federal government is releasing funds to counties. Details to follow.
Bernadette Bowman reported surveys show vacationers want to come 90-120 days after reopening. They will be driving, not flying, within 300 miles and we are a target destination. Tourism is working on positioning in print, digital and social media re-starting in June. Messaging will be: “When the time comes to travel, come to Kent County.” Maryland Heritage Area grants are available for 501C3s. The Department of Health has recommendations for cleaning and safety. They are attached below from Economic Development.
Town of Rock Hall
Bob Resele stated town leaders are worried about interstate travel. Kent County now has the 2nd largest per capita cases of Covid-19 in the state. An extra police office will be on duty this weekend. Bob has talked to marinas and boat owners are not to be working on boats. The mayor and council will have a discussion on 4th of July festivities at Monday’s meeting. Watermans’ Day has been cancelled. Dawn Jacobs’s letter can be found on www.RockHallMD.gov. The beach is closed and a 4 ft fence will be installed around the beach today.
The Lions Club needs space to store items for their September Community Yard Sale. Contact Debra Woodruff-Capper if you have space.
The Lions Club will pick up and deliver medications for anyone needing assistance. Contact Debra Woodruff-Capper for assistance.
Bill Weldon commented that it will be difficult to get employees back off unemployment because they will earn more on unemployment. Also, the cost of business will be higher due to higher food costs. He is questioning whether to open at all this year.
Rick Carter said he is concerned about the long term effects on businesses in town. Ours are small businesses and may not survive.
March 2020 – No Meeting
Tues, February 25, 2020
Tues, January 28, 2020