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Old Ellicott City has grand reopening celebration

Old Ellicott City is a path many students take to get back to campus and holds a special place in people’s hearts. Business owners were happy to get Old Ellicott City up and running since the flood this summer for Small Businesses Saturday.

Small Businesses Saturday, an American Express-created event, seemed like the perfect opportunity for Old Ellicott City to hold their Grand Reopening Celebration. Shoppers who bought something at an Old Ellicott City business were able to receive a free commemorative T-shirt.

Many came to celebrate, including Congressman Elijah Cummings, County Executive Allan Kittleman and Senator Ben Cardin. These individuals spoke at the celebration. Senator Ben Cardin and Elijah Cummings cut the ribbon to celebrate the reopening of Old Ellicott City.

“When we saw our neighbors create the human chain-remember that? And to save folks; that’s what America’s all about, that’s what Ellicott City’s about, that’s what Howard County is about. Us coming together to lift each other up,” stated Cummings.

Senator Ben Cardin advised attendees to “open up [their] wallets and buy some things today.”

Some of the shops had stalls open for individuals to purchase items such as food (including fruit, vegetables, empanadas, jam and more) and items from individual stores (such as ornaments, toys and more). There was music playing throughout the streets, people dancing and singing and a sign for people who support Old Ellicott City to write their names on.

Some stores, such as The Wine Bin, Little French Market, Cottage Antiques, Sweet Cascades Chocolatier, Sweet Elizabeth Jane and A Journey From Junk, opened up to the general public. Recently, The Wine Bin has opened up space for  Sweet Cascades Chocolatier.

While many stores have reopened to the general public (70 of the 90), many are not ready to do so just yet, such as Bean Hollow, a coffee shop. Bean Hollow was one of many stores that suffered substantial damage.

According to the Baltimore Sun, throughout Old Ellicott City, “Visitors peered into storefronts to find gutted buildings with partially exposed cinder block walls and many former shops and restaurants remain boarded up.”

However, considering all the damage that Old Ellicott City businesses have suffered, many of them were listed in Howard Magazine’s Best Restaurants 2016. Some of these include Tersiguel’s, Portalli’s, Phoenix Emporium and Bean Hollow.

According to WTOP, Kittleman stated, “This is the most important time for everyone here, so please from now and the end of the year, please shop in Ellicott City.” He added, “Help these business owners to get back on their feet and nothing is going to help them more than just coming here to shop.”