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Morriss Forms Task Force To Reopen Cumberland

May 11th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

Cumberland Mayor Ray Morriss released the following statement Monday:

Let me begin by expressing thanks and appreciation to the citizens of Cumberland and all of the essential workers who serve our city and its residents. Your patience and your resolve in this public health crisis is a credit to our proud community history.

Beginning with the City Council’s approval of funds to create a modest $106,000 loan fund that helps our local merchants and service providers during the shutdown, Cumberland is initiating a high-priority effort to keep our business community alive and to reopen our downtown for commerce as soon as the time is right. Current efforts also include helping Cumberland business owners navigate COVID-related insolvency and business loss issues with state and federal programs – and working to help businesses be ready to open as regulations relax.

Now we are organizing a hands-on workgroup of professionals and practitioners to create a marketing program to effectively reopen our city for business. We need to be ready to configure and promote our downtown for safe and successful business operation.

Reopening Cumberland will focus on two things. First, maximizing and advertising new downtown activity as it is allowed in each phase of Governor Hogan’s state-wide reopening plan. Second, expand promotions geographically outward as more of our event programming and business activity comes back on-line.

Ultimately, our goal is to offer a resurgent and right-sized visitor experience that will contribute more than ever to Allegany County’s tourism appeal when recreational travel fully recovers in the Mid-Atlantic.

I have tasked an initial workgroup composed of CEDC, DDC, DCBA, City Police, and our contracted marketing communications firm McClarran and Williams to develop and execute Reopening Cumberland projects in coordination with the Allegany County Department of Tourism. This workgroup will be reaching out to downtown stakeholders, including merchants, restaurants and bars, office operations, cultural organizations, heritage non-profits, business groups, and tourism attractions to gather input and partner in programming already under consideration.

A straightforward game plan for Reopening Cumberland will be available through social media and on-line through a variety of websites on Monday, May 11. I encourage everyone with an interest in Cumberland’s future give it a look, share your knowledge with the team and assist us in sending the word that Cumberland is a thriving safe community and a great place to do business.

We can do this together. In fact, we MUST do this together because it will take all of us to get our city back to business. Despite the deep and personal impact of the pandemic, there will be opportunities for some communities to rise as part of a New Normal. Our goal is to have Cumberland be one of these places.

2 Responses to “Morriss Forms Task Force To Reopen Cumberland”

  1. May 11, 2020 at 5:45 pm, jim said:

    With all of the requirements that will go with the genius phases plan, consumers will not be spending their money on watered down restrictive experiences. They won’t spend money on unnecessary good while there is uncertainty about employment. Consumer spending will not be back to normal and time will be wasted trying to make it so. It must completely be reopened. The city and businesses should buy stock in Walmart and Amazon until then.


  2. May 11, 2020 at 8:51 pm, Dan said:

    What a joke Mayor. Just open crap up


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