American, Southwest CEOs ratchet up pleas for more government funding with days to spare

With just days remaining before current government funding runs out, airline chief executives are making a last-minute push for more money. Doug Parker and Gary Kelly, CEOs of American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, respectively, have each spent time in D.C. the past few weeks lobbying the government to extend Payroll Support Program grants for another six months. (Wash Bus Journal)

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As more colleges refuse to accept test scores, a billion-dollar industry is thrown in flux

Never mind that hundreds of schools have made the SAT and ACT entrance exams optional for students applying for entry in the 2021-22 academic year, a new study indicates dozens of campuses won't even consider standardized test scores if they are submitted. That's putting a billion-dollar industry on notice. The findings come from the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit, which identified 60 college campuses that as of this month have either temporarily or permanently gone "test blind" in evaluating student applicants. (Balt Bus Journal)

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$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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