Economic Development continues to be a major concern of elected officials throughout the county, state, nation and throughout the world.
Without a strong economy, communities stagnate. People need good jobs to pay the bills, fund public services and maintain self-respect.
Cecil County officials have been working for decades to enhance the local economic climate. It is a many-faceted issue. There have to be good public schools, technology training and higher educational opportunities. Young people have to be taught the soft skills such as dressing properly for work, arriving on time and proper job behaviors. Businesses look at the education, population and locations close to where they intend to send their goods and services. There is another important consideration that weighs significantly in a business location decision – quality of life.
Cecil County has been able to check the boxes for most of the business site issues. When it comes to quality of life – we have a lot to offer with historic sites, entertainment and miles upon miles of waterfront.
That is why tourism has become a serious part of the county’s economy. It also enhances the quality of life for residents.
For the past 20 years, county Tourism Coordinator Sandy Turner has led the push to encourage local tourism-related businesses and to promote Cecil County in the region and beyond.
The efforts have worked. The state is always measuring various economic indicators. Results for Cecil County, when it comes to tourism, continue to show higher figures.
The last year tallied is 2016. The nation was still recovering from the recession, but people still splurged on their various tourism pursuits.
In that year, more than one million tourists visited Cecil County. They spent an estimated $168 million in the county. That expenditure resulted in $24 million in local and state tax revenues. Tourism businesses provide jobs for an estimated 2,400 people in Cecil County.
In Maryland, if the tourists stopped coming and spending their money, the average household would have to pay $1,080 in taxes to make up the losses in tourist-related tax revenue.
Take a drive around Cecil County during May, which is tourism month. Check out the Paw Paw Museum and new visitors center in Port Deposit. Walk on the dock in Perryville, check out Rodgers Tavern, the model train exhibit, Hollywood Casino and new Perry Point Museum. Enjoy the waterfront in North East and Charlestown, the Decoy Museum and shops. Rising Sun has a lot of history and events. Elkton has Elk Landing and events such as the Car Shows, First Friday and concerts. See ships along the C&D Canal in Chesapeake City, enjoy the canal trail, canal museum, boat rides and the quaint town. The Cecilton area has a lot to offer including Mt. Harmon Plantation and an Alpaca Farm. Enjoy the many restaurants, wineries and new breweries. Invite family and friends to visit and see the wonders of Cecil County through the eyes of a tourist.