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Mayor to promote Small Business Saturday

While County's Kamenetz opines that shoppers should go to small businesses "all around the Beltway."

Following the mass consumptive orgy known as Black Friday, a modest promotional effort will take place tomorrow to encourage shopping at small businesses in Baltimore.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will visit five businesses, ranging from a sweets shop in Pigtown to a gifts and consignment store in Mount Washington, to “encourage people to avoid the hassles of big-box stores by shopping at unique locations in the city.”

Accompanied by residents and business leaders, Rawlings-Blake will visit Art of Candy, at [see comment from Pigtown Main Street below] 782 Washington Blvd., at 2 p.m. as part of Small Business Saturday.

Other mayoral stops will include a barber shop on West Baltimore Street (Royal Razor) and a landscape design business on Belair Road (Week End CUTZ) before ending at 5 p.m. at Mount Washington’s La Chic Boutique, according to her official schedule.

Rawlings-Blake is not alone in her devotion to small businesses.

In a dueling press release today, Kevin Kamenetz, the Baltimore County executive, announced his support of Small Business Saturday – but with a different pitch that shoppers should visit “one of the outstanding small businesses in Baltimore County, located all around the Beltway.”

“Let’s make Small Business Saturday a rousing success,” Kamenetz declared.

Micro-Loans to Businesses

For Baltimore’s mayor, tomorrow’s tour will provide a platform to tout her new business initiative, a revolving micro-loan fund to support small, minority and women-owned businesses.

Earlier this week, the Board of Estimates approved $125,000 in general funds to capitalize the program, with a $250,000 supplemental grant expected to come from the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

Dubbed BaltimoreMICRO, the fund will offer $5,000-$30,000 loans to qualifying businesses for the acquisition of commercial property, rehabilitation of existing buildings, leasehold improvements, equipment purchases and “other costs associated with operating a small business.”

According to Rawlings-Blake, the goal is to “provide working capital to businesses to support the creation of full-time, high-quality, year-round employment opportunities and to stabilize existing employment opportunities in Baltimore.”

The micro-loan fund will be administered by the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), an agency that is used to handling much larger tax-relief programs, such as TIFs and PILOTs, for city developers.

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  • http://twitter.com/PigtownMainSt Pigtown Main Street

    The Mayor will not visit Art of Candy, as the business no longer exists.  She will visit Pigtown from 2 pm to 2:30 pm, meeting with several businesses.  Festivities include free gift wrapping, photos with Santa and holiday music.

  • trueheart4life

    BaltimoreMicro for businesses with revenue under $1 Million annually … Promising!

  • cwals99

    I want to thank the mayor for highlighting a great issue and hope that she considers this an interest payment on a broader program.  We know the Board of Estimates not to long ago approved a few hundred thousand…..close to this micro-loan allotment for brass plated sidewalk ornaments for a few blocks in Harbor East. It is clearly a small grant.

    The concept is timely and important.  We need much of what was Enterprise Zones grants over the last few decades to appear now as micro-grants for under-served communities.  Small business development must take a front seat to lift unemployment and address community blight!

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