Jos. A. Bank parent plans to close up to 500 stores, lay off 20% of corporate positions

The parent company of Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank plans to close up to 500 stores and lay off 20% of its corporate positions as the retail industry continues to suffer the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. Houston-based Tailored Brands Inc., whose brands also include Moores Clothing for Men and K&G, attributed the operational and organization changes to "unprecedented and industrywide business disruptions." (Balt Bus Journal)

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First Phase Of Mixed-Use Development Towson Row Opens In August, Will Include Whole Foods, Burgerfi and Altus Student Apartments

The first phase of a $350 million mixed-use development is set to open in Towson next month. Towson Row, which will be anchored by a Whole Foods Market, will also include Altus student apartment building with 214 units as well as shops and an eatery, Burgerfi. The student housing, which will be developed and managed by Gilbane Development Company, will be located at the corner of Susquehanna Avenue and Towson Row. (WJZ)

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Did PPP shut out minority entrepreneurs? Here’s why SBA can’t say.

Small-business advocates have been hoping for a clearer picture on whether — or, perhaps, to what degree — Black and Latinx business owners were unfairly shut out of the Small Business Administration’s popular Paycheck Protection Program. But they won’t be getting that information from the agency. The SBA said it is legally unable to require applicants to submit demographic data as part of the $659 billion forgivable loan program, likely dooming efforts to learn whether it disproportionately boxed out women or entrepreneurs and owners of color. (Wash Bus Journal)

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Niche industry springs up around disinfection as Baltimore businesses look to keep Covid-19 at bay

Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday defended his decision to hold a traditional election in November, despite growing concerns from voting rights advocates and election officials about the impact of his choice amid a global pandemic. Hogan (R) said he opted for a “normal” election instead of a “vote by mail only” because of the chaos that occurred during the June 2 primary, when the state mailed ballots to every voter and opened only a few polling sites in each jurisdiction. Far more voters than expected opted to cast their ballots in person, leading to huge lines and hours-long waits in many places. (Wash Post)

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Towson developer buying Village of Cross Keys in Baltimore for $27 million, plans upgrades amid coronavirus

A Towson-based developer plans to complete on Tuesday its $27 million purchase of the troubled Village of Cross Keys, salvaging a deal that nearly crumbled in the months after the pandemic arrived in Maryland. Caves Valley Partners planned to purchase the North Baltimore mixed-used center from Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., a New York real estate firm that also owns downtown Baltimore’s Harborplace, which was placed in court-ordered receivership more than a year ago. Under the Cross Keys deal, Caves Valley will assume $20 million in debt. (Balt Sun)

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Maryland-based defense contractor to pay $1M to resolve overbilling claims

An Maryland-based defense contractor has agreed to pay nearly $1 million in a settlement over claims that it overbilled the National Security Agency for contract work, federal authorities said Monday. The settlement agreement resolves civil claims the federal government had against iNovex Information Systems Inc. under the False Claims Act, U.S. Attorney Robert Hur's office said in a news release. (Balt Sun)

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Students, city lawmakers call on Comcast to expand free Wi-Fi, hotspot access

Fueled by a youth-led grassroots push to boost internet access — both in speed and affordability — for families during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, lawmakers from Baltimore, Philadelphia and Detroit are taking that message to city council chambers. Baltimore Councilman Zeke Cohen will introduce a resolution Monday night calling on the telecom giant to increase download and upload speeds for its Internet Essentials program, extend that program beyond when schools can physically reopen and to open up all public hotspots for free access.  (Balt Bus Journal)

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Howard County RISE Business Relief Grant Program Helping Businesses Impacted By COVID-19

Howard County has allocated millions of dollars to help small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. County officials have allocated $5.7 million dollars in CARES Act funding toward the new HoCo RISE business relief grant program, aimed at providing financial assistance to businesses in targeted sectors that have been most impacted by the coronavirus. (WJZ)

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