(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
On Main Street in Ellicott City, the sounds of construction make one thing plainly clear: Recovery is still in progress from last summer’s devastating floods.
Inside a former bank on Thursday morning, Lawrence Twele talked about how the recovery has progressed in six months, but it’s not done yet.
“Rebuilding a town doesn’t happen in four months or six months. It’s a sustained effort,” said Twele, the CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority.
The refurbished building, now called Millworks in deference to the town’s history, is one sign of that sustained effort.
It will house organizations supporting the small businesses on Main Street, including HCEDA, as well as One EC Recovery Project and the nonprofit Ellicott City Partnership. But it’s also looking to add something new.
The building has a coworking space on the first floor that’s designed to give the community room to work. There’s also free WiFi.
“We want to stimulate activity and if folks need a place to land for a short period of time, let this be the first part of that,” Twele said.
One of the building’s tenants is looking to help drive digital traffic to the area. NextLOGiK CEO Kirk Couser said several of the company’s 20 employees will be based in a second floor office at the Millworks building, specifically aiming to help the small businesses by working with the other organizations there.
“We work with a lot of nonprofits doing website work, mobile app development and marketing services, and they thought it would be a great opportunity,” said NextLOGiK’s Helen Little. “A lot of the businesses here in EC that are struggling are having a hard time getting the word out.”
HCEDA worked with The Verve Partnership on design of the space, and Harkins Builders helmed construction.
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