Happening this week around the county …

With Tropical Storm Isaias in the rear view mirror, some Cecil County businesses are in recovery mode including Showcase on Main and Art Space on Main in Elkton and Snatcher’s Creekside in North East.

Showcase on Main, already impacted by the pandemic that closed its doors in March, suffered huge losses when the storm surge flooded their Elkton performance center at 112 West Main St.

Clean out started this week with the removal of mud, debris and damaged property.

Snatcher’s Creekside remains closed while owners Lynn and Larry Bollinger clean up their popular restaurant that sits right alongside the creek that winds through town.

The good news is the restaurant itself was not damaged. However the basement was wrecked, Lynn Bollinger said.

”We had 12 feet of water,” she said of the property she has rented for the past two and-a-half years. “We had no clue that was going to happen.”

”We lost supplies and all our office equipment and paperwork,” she said. “And we had no flood insurance.”

Lori Willing said her potters studio sustained flood damage in the basement, but she was prepared for that to happen.

”We lost a lawn mower and a snow blower,” Willing said Monday, “But we had other stuff on platforms and the heater hangs from the ceiling because it’s in a flood area.”

Willing said when Big Elk Creek left its banks a foot of water came into the building at 138 West Main St. in Elkton.

”Things were floating around,” she noted.

The good news is her husband owns a flood restoration business and her landlord hired him to do the clean up, which Willing said is necessary.

”Really everything that comes up from the creek is poop water. It’s dangerous,” she said, adding that full clean up and disinfecting is needed.

The North East community has rallied around Bollinger, setting up fundraisers, feeding her and her employees as they work every day to clean up, and making donations to help with the cost.

Bartenders at Cecil County Memorial VFW Post 6027 donated their tips last Saturday and a matching grant was combined to present Bollinger with a check for $4,444. Meanwhile, another fundraiser will be held this Saturday at the post at 815 Turkey Point Road in North East featuring live music, raffles, a silent auction and food from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Bollinger and her crew will help with the event, so fans of Snatcher’s Creekside can come out and see them and support their efforts to re-open, which is set to happen Aug. 20.

Willing has notified her 40-plus members that the doors will re-open Sept. 1 with all COVID-19 precautions in place.

”We’ve put up Plexiglas everywhere and divided the sinks in the back so we can split people up to wash their stuff,” she said. Containers of bleach water, and a lot of hand sanitizer will also be available. “My husband will fog twice a week with an anti-bacterial. We are working really hard. We want to make Art Space on Main a place where they don’t get it.”


Thrivent, which is represented by Marcia Upton in Oxford, Pa., is offering a free economic update webinar with Vibhu Sharma Aug. 19 at 11 a.m. It’s available to anyone whether a Thrivent customer or not. Sharma, Thrivent’s senior vice president and chief financial officer will share the latest news as it pertains to your financial future in these uncertain times.

No products will be sold.


North East Grocer closed Saturday at the end of its business day because of the school and daycare situations connected to COVID-19.

”This is the best choice for my family,” Ericka Alton, who owned the business only a year, said. “I have a kindergartner and a third grader. If school is going to be closed then I need to be home with my kids.”

In the first three months of the pandemic Alton struggled to care for her kids, attend to their school work and run the business. With both schools and daycare closed it was more than she could handle.

”This is more than a full-time job,” she said of the community store on South Main Street in North East. “I don’t have the time.”

The current plan for Cecil County Public Schools is to continue with distance learning, but open classrooms incrementally, focusing first on the students at most need of face-to-face time. While daycares have been allowed to re-open with CDC guidelines in place, some still remain closed.

Alton said her choice was clear; her kids come first. However she will miss North East Grocer.

”It’s a great store,” Alton said. “I do hope someone takes over. I’ve met a lot of cool people in town.”


A virtual long term care roundtable will be held Thursday from 1 until 2 p.m., hosted by the Cecil County Chamber of Commerce. All professionals in this or allied fields are invited to attend the free seminar. Contact Debbie Brown via email at dbrown@cecilchamber.com to register and receive login information.


The next Northeastern Maryland Technology Council Zoom Cast will help employers help employees with telecommuting. Rick Casteel, director of information technology for the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health will discuss virtual reality and how it can be used to make employees more efficient. Register for the free “VR 4 Work” seminar, which runs from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Aug. 19, at nmtc.org/events


La Comunidad Hispana has reached an agreement with Oxford to take over the former Sewer Authority Building at 14 South 3rd St. Not only is the building more than four times larger than its current location, it also is more accessible according to interim co-CEO Margarita Garay Zarco.

“We are thrilled to have found a space that is walkable and more central to town,” Zarco said. “At LCH, we have a long, proud history of addressing barriers to health care, and physical location is a significant factor for our patients.”

The downtown location is expected to open in early 2021.


Marathon Petroleum has announced its plans to sell its convenience store arm to 7-Eleven for $21 billion in cash. Based in Ohio, Marathon expects the sale to profit the company about $16.5 billion, which will be used to pay off debt and return capital to shareholders.

Part of the acquisition includes a 15-year agreement for Marathon to provide fuel for the new 7-Eleven stores.

The transaction is due to be completed in the first quarter of 2021. At the conclusion 7-Eleven will add 3,900 stores to its brand in the US and Canada.


Elkton Nursing and Rehabilitation, 1 Price Drive in Elkton, is hosting a Car Show Aug. 29 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. All proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. Owners of classic and vintage cars are invited to participate and win prizes. There will be door prizes, live music and food for all. Call 410-398-6474 for details or registration information.

Business Beat is a weekly column on business happenings in and around Cecil County. If interested in having your business featured in this column, contact Jane Bellmyer at jbellmyer@cecilwhig.com or 443-245-5007.

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