Sinclair Broadcast boosts revenue and profit but feels impact of sports shutdowns amid coronavirus

Sinclair Broadcast Group’s stock price dropped 10% Wednesday after the company reported weaker than expected revenue and profit in the second quarter as the coronavirus continued to hurt advertising and postpone televised sports. Sinclair shares lost $2.15 in value during Wednesday trading, closing at $19.32 a share. The drop came even as Sinclair boosted revenue and profit thanks to its recent sports network acquisitions because those results missed Wall Street estimates. (Balt Sun)

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Three Maryland casinos see revenue growth in July despite Covid-19 restrictions

Three Maryland casinos grew their year-over-year revenues in July despite a state mandate restricting them to 50% capacity amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. The latest financial report released by Maryland Lottery and Gaming on Wednesday offers the first picture of a full month in business under the new restrictions on the casino industry, which was shuttered by the virus for three months, from mid-March to mid-June. The closures resulted in the industry's revenue falling by more than a quarter in fiscal 2020, which ran through June. (Balt Bus Journal)

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With loan money gone, restaurants are at mercy of virus

The check has arrived and beleaguered restaurant owners across America are looking down on their empty wallets. Government coronavirus loans in the spring helped eating establishments rehire laid-off employees and ride out the pandemic’s initial surge and wave of shutdown orders. But that Paycheck Protection Program money has now been spent at many restaurants, leaving them in the same precarious position they were in during outbreak’s early days: Thousands of restaurants are being forced to close down again on mandates from state and local officials combating the virus’s resurgence, particularly in the South and West. (Daily Record)

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During roundtable with Franchot small business owners call for tax credit

Retailers feeling the economic pinch of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic said a tax credit could help ease their pain. The call for a tax credit came during a roundtable discussion between more than a dozen retailers — mostly small business owners — and Comptroller Peter Franchot that was hosted by the Maryland Retailers Association. The call came in advance of tax-free shopping week, an annual event that exempts clothing and shoes under $100 from state sales taxes and has typically signaled the back-to-school shopping season. (Daily Record)

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Md. cannabis dispensary trade association launches diversity initiative

Maryland's trade association for cannabis dispensaries has launched a new initiative aimed at promoting inclusion and diversifying workforces. The Maryland Medical Dispensary Association (MDMDA), which represents about 30 licensed dispensary businesses in the state, recently began the first phase of a new program it is calling the Dream Initiative. Tracey Lancaster-Miller, chair of the MDMDA, said many cannabis business owners are motivated to help increase access and opportunities for minority workers within the industry, but may not have the resources or know-how to make a meaningful difference on their own. The Dream Initiative seeks to be a collective force for change. (Balt Bus Journal)

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Maryland, other states settle fraud claims against Novartis for $678 million

Maryland and 26 other states settled Medicaid fraud allegations against the Swiss-based pharmaceutical giant Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., for $678 million, state officials said Wednesday. Maryland’s share was more than $4.4 million to resolve the allegations that Novartis paid kickbacks to doctors to prescribe various drugs to treat hypertension and type 2 diabetes from 2002 through 2011, said Attorney General Brian E. Frosh. (Balt Sun)

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Maryland State Fair canceled due to coronavirus, some livestock shows will still go on

Maryland State Fair officials said this year’s event at the fairgrounds is canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. “There will be no rides, no racing, no public buildings, no commercial buildings, no indoor entries, no farm and garden entries,” general manager Andy Cashman said Wednesday afternoon. “The only thing we’re going to have at this year’s fair will be the junior and open livestock shows...[and] no public will be invited.” (Balt Sun)

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Baltimore liquor board cites five more businesses for alleged coronavirus-related violations

Five more Baltimore City restaurants are set to go before the city’s Liquor License Board later this month over concerns that they violated Gov. Larry Hogan’s coronavirus-related executive orders. Restaurante El Salvador, Special P Bar & Lounge, Shipyard Pub, Angie’s Seafood and Lust are scheduled for an Aug. 18 hearing, and they’ll face allegations that they illegally served alcohol when Hogan’s orders prohibited it or overcrowded their facilities. (Balt Sun)

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