Public-private partnership makes revitalizing investments in Baltimore’s small businesses to boost neighborhood economic resilience

In late August of 2023, revitalizing investments to local small businesses in Baltimore, Maryland were made via the city’s Main Streets Program, showing continued support for Baltimore’s small business community.

The program provides small businesses with the necessary tools and resources to not only survive, but thrive in an ever-evolving economic landscape. While recognizing the challenges small businesses face, Main Streets offers opportunities to highlight their resilience and determination.

Small businesses involved in the program were presented with checks at an event at Baltimore City Hall attended by Mayor Brandon M. Scott, Council President Nick Mosby, Councilman & Committee Chair Eric Costello, the Mayor’s Office of Small and Minority Business Advocacy & Development, and Baltimore Main Streets

As a public-private partnership between the City of Baltimore and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Main Street Center, Main Streets has eight communities under its umbrella; Belair-Edison, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Hamilton-Lauraville, Highlandtown, Pennsylvania Avenue, Pigtown, and Waverly Main Streets.

The presentation of these checks today symbolize not just a promise of financial support, but also a promise of growth, partnership, and progress within our small businesses,” said Mayor Scott.

Our small businesses are the heart and soul of our communities, and their continued presence and contributions is absolutely critical in their neighborhoods. By supporting them through this program, we are investing in our future as a city and building a legacy of life-changing prosperity in our neighborhoods for generations to come,” he added.

The investment checks presented were made possible through the City of Baltimore’s general fund allocations in the SMBA&D budget.

Their support reflects a deep belief in the potential of Baltimore’s small businesses to drive economic growth, create jobs, and contribute to the overall well-being of the community.

The investments into our community businesses symbolize a dedicated investment in the betterment of our City,” said Council President Mosby. “Our small businesses deserve the support and commitment from leaders across the City of Baltimore because we recognize the importance of uplifting our Main Streets District to create equitable opportunities for growth.

Within the Fiscal Year ‘24 budget, the $480,000 is an overall funding increase of $200,000. This increase came from negotiations between the City Council and Administration and represents the shared desire to provide additional support to this important program for small businesses.

The increased funding allocation is not only a financial investment, but also a symbolic one – an investment in the future of Baltimore and the prosperity of our residents,” said Main Streets Interim Director Charlyn Nater.

This investment will provide $60,000 to the eight Main Streets Districts to support the expansion of these commercial districts, facade projects, business resources, events, and community development within the Main Streets Districts.

Making these important funding enhancements for our small businesses throughout the city has been a top priority and I’m proud that we were able to come together to get it done,” said Councilman Costello. “Presenting these checks to Main Streets marks a significant step forward in our collective support for the Baltimore business community and a public commitment to all those who are hoping to grow their businesses right here on our city’s historic main streets.

Main Streets support a four-point approach of Economic Vitality, Design, Promotion, and Organization. The investments underscore the commitment to fostering an environment where local businesses can thrive and contribute to the vibrancy of Baltimore.

As the Main Street program expands to greater heights, this investment serves as a testament to our commitment to our entrepreneurs, and innovators,” said Lundy. “The small businesses within our City not only provide goods and services, but also livelihoods and a sense of identity.

This investment reaffirms the City’s commitment to empowering Baltimore’s small businesses to drive economic growth, which will ultimately contribute to job creation and improve the overall well-being of small and minority business owners.

Photo of downtown Baltimore via Pixabay.

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