Ocean City Among State’s Newest Main Street Programs

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City has been designated as one of the three new Main Street Maryland programs.

“The Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) is very pleased with Ocean City’s new designation as a Main Street Maryland community,” OCDC Executive Director Glenn Irwin said. “There are a number of benefits for Ocean City being designated a Main Street community.”

Irwin added that benefits include training and networking opportunities from the state and other Main Street communities, on-site technical assistance and promotion by the State of Maryland of Ocean City as a designated Main Street community.

Irwin furthered that although this designation does not come with direct financial assistance it does give priority consideration of funding from the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development and other state agencies.

“This is a major plus for the OCDC and Town of Ocean City since the pursuit of state grants have become more competitive each year,” Irwin said. “This designation will open the door for Ocean City to apply for other state programs that we were not eligible for previously such as the Be Smart Business & Home Loan programs that promote energy efficiency products.”

The OCDC has been implementing many of the Main Street Program approaches since it started in 2000, including design standards, special events and the façade program. However, the Main Street Program will provide additional expertise in business assistance and business recruitment that will be beneficial for the downtown area.

Irwin has been named the designated Main Street Manager. The Main Street application was completed by the City’s Community Development & Planning Department and OCDC staff. The new OC Main Street boundaries include the Boardwalk and downtown area between the Inlet and 4th Street.

"I’m happy to welcome Centreville, Ocean City and Sykesville to the Main Street Maryland program," said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Secretary Raymond Skinner. "With public and private investment in our traditional commercial districts, we can enable entrepreneurship and job creation in these communities. The Main Street Maryland program has a proven track record of using precious state resources to support local strategies and expertise as well as leveraging community resources to create a better future for our cities and towns."

Main Street Maryland was created in 1986 as a comprehensive downtown revitalization program. The program strengthens the economic potential of Maryland’s traditional main streets and neighborhoods. Main Street Maryland selects communities which have made a commitment to revitalization, and helps them increase private-sector small business investment, and improve the appearance and image of their core business districts.

"Strong Main Streets with thriving business districts and neighborhoods are the foundation for healthy, sustainable communities," said Governor Martin O’Malley. "These three towns will be great additions to the Main Street Maryland program due to their strong commitment to downtown revitalization, and they will surely serve as great examples of Smart, Green & Growing communities."

Smart, Green & Growing is a multi-agency, statewide initiative launched by Governor O’Malley to help Maryland achieve a more sustainable future by linking community revitalization, transportation improvements, economic development, smart growth and environmental restoration efforts.