$15K grant will help push small business crowdfunding investment in Baltimore’s Market Center

A local nonprofit focused on grassroots wealth-building has teamed up with a downtown merchant association to help bring more investment to small businesses — particularly from their own neighbors and customers. The new initiative from Community Wealth Builders and the Market Center Merchants Association (MCMA) will aim to educate and recruit community members and small business owners in the 27-block Market Center area on the west side of downtown to try out crowdfunding investment. (Balt Bus Journal)

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Day cares are reopening. But they can only serve small groups and fear for their survival.

Six months into the coronavirus pandemic, more than half of the District’s 456 licensed day-care facilities are open, and officials said they expect more to welcome students in the coming weeks. But they currently serve just a fraction of the number they enrolled before the pandemic, and their financial futures are uncertain. The industry already operates at the margins, and facilities that are open are running undercapacity to comply with strict health guidelines. Many centers have delayed paying their rent or mortgages until they can afford it. Owners say that many workers have left for babysitting gigs or other minimum-wage jobs that reopened sooner. (Wash Post)

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Despite Purple Line problems, Maryland will pursue public-private partnership for toll lane plan

Even as Maryland’s $5.6 billion public-private partnership for the Purple Line project is on the verge of collapsing mid-construction, the state is continuing to pursue a similar arrangement to add toll lanes to the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270. State highway officials said they will work with companies earlier on the toll lane project to refine designs and cost estimates before any deal is signed. (Wash Post)

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McCormick donates $500K to social justice organizations in support of Black communities

McCormick & Co. Inc. has unveiled a list of more than 25 organizations to which it will donate a total of $500,000 as part of the spice maker's commitment to standing up for Black lives announced earlier this year. Greater Baltimore's largest public company, like many other companies across the U.S., promised a renewed focus on diversity and inclusion in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police this past spring. (Balt Bus Journal)

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With Save A Lot closing in Oliver, East Baltimore’s food desert grows

Protective metal barriers have been pulled down over the entries and windows of the Save A Lot grocery store in Oliver, and no shopping carts remain in the parking lot. In the same shopping center, the Chinese takeout spot, as well as the Hip Hop Fish & Chicken, appear to be doing just fine. Save A Lot, at 929 North Caroline Street, closed this week following a 50%-off sale, leaving no more fresh food options in this East Baltimore community located just west of the Johns Hopkins Medical complex. (Brew)

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How Under Armour is using technology to help consumers during the pandemic

Amid the turmoil caused by the Covid-19 pandemic this year, a bright spot for Under Armour Inc. has been the success of the sportswear maker's digital fitness applications and technology-connected footwear. Baltimore-based Under Armour had just unveiled a new major marketing campaign when the term "novel coronavirus" first became a part of the everyday lexicon at the beginning of the year. The company had to change its messaging and find a way to continue connecting with consumers as their behavior changed during lockdowns.  (Balt Bus Journal)

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Montgomery Co. apartment complex backs down on attempted rent increases

An apartment complex in Montgomery County, Maryland, has decided not to raise rents for residents during the coronavirus pandemic following an outcry from residents and county leaders. Montgomery County councilmember Tom Hucker said Park Montgomery Apartments on Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring backed down Friday on its attempt to illegally raise rents by as much as 33% during the pandemic. (WTOP)

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Demolition of East Baltimore’s McGarvey Industrial Park marks first step of ‘Equality Equation’

When the hulking, abandoned McGarvey Industrial Park complex on Belair Road comes down Monday, the demolition not only eliminates a grimy eyesore, but signals the first step in a wave of change a Baltimore couple hopes to bring to this area south of Clifton Park. Elizabeth and Pless Jones Jr. can claim credit for the building’s demise, as well as the broader vision for the more than 200 acres in the neighborhood that they hope to transform into a thriving community of homeowners. (Balt Sun)

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