MD Main Street meeting held in Cambridge

Cambridge seal
CAMBRIDGE – Cambridge Main Street and the City of Cambridge hosted the Maryland Main Street quarterly meeting June 14. More than 15 Main Street organizations from around the state, as well as representatives from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, were in attendance.

The quarterly meetings are used as an opportunity to discuss ongoing business affecting all Main Street-designated towns at the state and national level, as well as potential funding sources. Main Street representatives also discuss impactful projects or ideas, and share experiences.

“When I was new, I learned so much from those meetings,” said Brandon Hesson, the former executive director of Cambridge Man Street and current associate director of Economic Development for the City of Cambridge. “It’s an incredible network of people leading organizations with the same challenges we have here in Cambridge, and it is nice to be in the position to share some of our experiences, and show how they’ve benefited downtown.”

Liv Again hosted the meeting at its location at 317 High St., and acting Mayor and Ward 2 Commissioner Donald Sydnor welcomed the group in the morning, pointing out the community-wide effort and diverse backgrounds that all Main Street organizations must utilize to achieve their missions.

The group held an open discussion during lunch at Jimmie & Sook’s, and took a tour of downtown. Mr. Hesson led the group down Poplar Street, making note of important examples of redevelopment. Joy Staniforth showed the group her artist studios on the second floor of 410 Race St., and explained the importance of Cambridge being recognized by the Maryland State Arts Council as an Arts and Entertainment District.

Chef Patrick Fanning met the group at his newest location, Rock Lobstah, and discussed the importance of eliminating vacant storefronts and the role his group at Cambridge Eateries has played.

Sunnyside Shop, among the longest-tenured retail locations downtown, hosted the group and owner Heidi Greibel spoke about her 12 years in Cambridge. The tour ended at RAR Brewing, which serves as an example that production and small scale manufacturing can thrive in Main Street districts.

“To some extent, as the director of a Main Street organization, you have to be a bit of a historian,” explained Mr. Hesson. “Most of that group has never been to Cambridge, or hasn’t been here in a long time, and it was nice to give some historic context to the Main Street effort here in our city.”

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