Grow Baltimore. That is Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s mantra, her goal in the next 10 years and in her term as mayor. In remarks honoring winners of the 2011 Mayor’s Business Recognition Awards on Dec. 5, the mayor pledged to help businesses grow in Baltimore City.
“Let me be clear,” she said, “if you have a plan to build a business, if you have a project or idea that will create jobs, strengthen our neighborhood and grow our city, I will fight for you. I stand ready to be your partner. Our No. 1 goal in the next 10 years must be to grow Baltimore, attract new people and create new jobs.”
Rawlings-Blake touted the 13 award winners for their roles in bettering Baltimore through the community initiatives they and their employees partake in. They, and many businesses like them, are influential both in their business practices and in the communities they serve.
“Together, I know we will succeed in this very important mission and today’s awards are a big part of that solution,” Rawlings-Blake said. “These are businesses who say it’s not enough to be successful and to make a profit. You believe you are a part of something much bigger. You believe you should commit to giving back because we know we are all in this together.”
Before going through a list of new projects that have popped up recently to make Baltimore a more attractive city to live and work, Rawlings-Blake highlighted two grocery stores — ShopRite, which is under construction in Northwest Baltimore’s Howard Park, and the newly-opened Harris Teeter in Locust Point’s McHenry Row project.
The major benefit from the city’s perspective at McHenry Row is the job creation it is likely to elicit. Rawlings-Blake said Harris Teeter alone hired more than 90 Baltimore City residents so far, filling 80 percent of its job allotment.
“All of the stores and offices at McHenry Row will create or retain approximately 450 permanent jobs for the city,” Rawlings-Blake said. “And these jobs are for Baltimore City residents in a time where we need them most, just another great project moving forward and making it more attractive for families to live in Baltimore and to stay in Baltimore.”