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OPINION: City and County need to let the world know we are open for business

| May 15, 2020, 10:23 AM

Rams Head

Many of us received a Federal stimulus check. Some of us are receiving unemployment insurance. And if you own a business you may be receiving a grant (if you are lucky) or a low interest loan to make ends meet. But for any business that is simply not enough.

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Rams Head

Recently, Mayor Buckley took to the pages of The Capital to discuss all that the City is doing about the COVID-19 response. To be honest, it seemed more fluff than substance as the lion’s share of the response falls to the County and State. The County has been explaining what they are doing as well via various town halls.

We do know that the County received more than $100 million so far for the COVID response.

We aren’t really sure if the City has applied for any Federal money. I have heard three different scenarios–the County is giving them some of their money, the City is expecting $4 million, and the City is expecting $1.5 million. So, I guess we will wait and see.

And I am sure there are plenty of expenses on the County part for COVID efforts–much less for the City; but I hope that the County Executive and Mayor plan to earmark a  generous amount for marketing.

As a town that is largely dependent on tourism, we need to get the word out….

ANNAPOLIS IS OPEN!

People are going to be hesitant to fly for vacations so they are looking to drive. We will be competing with Ocean City, Rehoboth, the Jersey shore, and any number of tourist focused destinations; so we need to get on the stick.

Look to Philly, Pittsburgh, DC, Richmond, Charlottesville—all the driving destinations and embark on a sizable marketing initiative to bring those residents to Annapolis.

Normally we might rely on VisitAnnapolis to help out. But currently they are with out an Executive Director and honestly they may be close to broke—remember, the lion’s share of their income is derived from hotel taxes, of which there have been few since early March.

For Annapolis to come out on the other side, we need to have people here. Locals and visitors. We have a fantastic Fourth of July Celebration, the Boat Shows are forging ahead for October. We have a Navy Football season, the Maryland Seafood Festival, Dinner Under the Stars, First Sunday Arts, the Lifeline 100 bike ride, the Military Bowl, Midnight Madnesses, and the list goes on.

We need to let the region know that we are here and open for business. Come for  a show at Rams Head On Stage, come to the boat show. Stay in one of our local B&Bs or a full service hotel if that’s a preference. Tour the Academy. Get out on a Woodwind sail or a Watermark cruise. Dine in some of our unique restaurants like Vin 909, Preserve, and Chick and Ruths Delly. Eat a crab. Stroll our streets and re-live our history at the William Paca House or Banneker Douglass Museum.

We are looking at a protracted down turn in Annapolis and as we turn the corner from “closed,” we need to shout

ANNAPOLIS IS OPEN!

Please Mr. County Executive and Mr. Mayor, don’t let our businesses and residents down.

Rams Head

Category: Annapolis Gives, COVID, OPINION, Post To FB

About the Author - John Frenaye

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for nearly 25 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news–and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009.

John’s background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.

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