Five months ago, which was the last time the Chestertown Spy checked in with Kay Macintosh, the town’s economic development and Main Street coordinator, the coronavirus crisis’s full financial impact was still very much undetermined. CARES funding was starting to come through, and Governor Hogan was slowly easing up on the state’s stay-at-home orders for retail and hospitality businesses, but it was far from clear if Chestertown, or any other small town, could withstand the enormous economic stress the pandemic was creating.
Given all that, we were both surprised and relieved when we sat down with Kay at the White Swan Inn’s living room last week to check in with her. Given the circumstances the country still faces with COVID, it was a remarkably optimistic report.
Starting with the reassuring fact that there are no existing empty storefronts in downtown Chestertown, and shortly followed by higher than expected out of town visitors, high real estate sales, restaurants succeeding in mastering the art of outdoor dining, the soon to be completed Kent Cultural Alliance building, and a unified front with Chestertown’s Main Street, Kent County’s Economic Development office, the Downtown Chestertown Association and members of the Arts District, all provide ample evidence that the town is weathering this storm remarkably well.
The Spy talked to Kay on all these vital signs and more last Thursday.
This video is approximately six minutes in length. For more information about Main Street Chestertown please go here.