ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — After a trying few years for downtown Ellicott City, there’s a new initiative bringing back hope.

It’s no secret – this historic stretch of downtown Ellicott City has been through its fair share of challenges: two major floods in 2016 and 2018, and then the pandemic crippled businesses.

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“To have a flood and a pandemic happen in such a short time frame, it’s crushed their businesses,” said Richard Plant, a franchise owner of Centennial Wealth Management. “A lot of businesses have left the area and we want to promote Ellicott City and bring these businesses back.”

So, two groups – Centennial Wealth Management and the Ellicott City Partnership – came together with an idea, a wall of hope.

“We wanted to just kind of inspire more people coming down here to patronize small businesses and spread their hopes and dreams for the community,” said business owner David Solomon.

It’s where anyone can grab a marker, a heart and share his or her personal or communal aspirations.

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“You know, if you speak it, then it might come into reality,” said Christopher Pineda, executive director of the Ellicott City Partnership.

And some of the messages on this wall are about success in school, staying safe during Covid and wishing Ellicott City well.”

“I think it’s just a great message for the community,” said Vanessa Kinton of Ellicott City.

This small gesture extends a long way, she said.

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“It shows that the people care and the community will thrive and so little things like this, it will definitely help,” she said.

Rachel Menitoff