WYPR: Baltimore businesses are building bridges to city neighborhoods

Editor’s note: The following commentary aired on WYPR.org on December 8, 2015.

For decades the complaint periodically surfaces by local news outlets suggesting that business interests in Baltimore’s downtown don’t care about the rest of the city.

But there is an abundance of evidence that points to a very different story.

It is one in which many businesses aren’t focused solely on their bottom line, but also care deeply about Baltimore’s communities and residents in need.

In fact, there are many examples of large corporations and small businesses going the extra mile to help improve Baltimore.

This fact was underscored recently when the Greater Baltimore Committee and the Baltimore Development Corporation announced the recipients of the 2015 Mayor’s Business Recognition Awards.

The awards recognize businesses and organizations that engage in civic-minded efforts that significantly benefit Baltimore.

Consider two of the award winners and their programs and you’ll get a sense of the many ways that the business community is assisting neighborhoods and residents in need.

Employees of energy company Constellation have supported Healthcare for the Homeless for many years.

Recent projects have included the distribution of 250 new coats, hats and gloves to the homeless, and free flu shots.

Wells Fargo, meanwhile, has been involved with helping communities in West Baltimore for years.

Among other projects, the bank’s employees support a financial literacy training program at local schools.

Unfortunately, this outreach by the business community doesn’t make front-page headlines.

But the point is businesses in Baltimore care deeply about all of our communities.

And we are fortunate, indeed, for that commitment.

I’m Don Fry, President and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee.

Listen to the commentary here.

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