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Neighborhood Businesses Are Hoping For Miracles This Holiday Shopping Season

Joshua Thompson, Morgan State University SCOM Student | 11/26/2019, 11:14 a.m.
“Hopefully we can drive more patrons to our businesses, highlight the existing businesses that are in our Main Streets communities ...
Baltimore Main Streets managers huddle around the Highlandtown information table to discuss ways to attract holiday shoppers to local neighborhoods during the 15th annual Miracles on Main Streets kick-off event at the Brown Advisory November 21, 2019 in Fells Point. Joshua Thompson

Business owners scattered across Baltimore neighborhoods are hoping people think local when shopping this holiday season.

That was the message of the 15th annual “Miracles on Main Streets” event at the Brown Advisory November 21, 2019 in Fells Point.

“This event is to acknowledge the holiday shopping season and how important it is to the financial health of our local neighborhoods and our city,” said Verna Jones-Rodwell, Director of the Baltimore City Main Streets Coordinating Program. “We are calling on residents and visitors of Baltimore to come out to shop local, shop small, and shop often.”

Baltimore Main Streets neighborhoods include: Belair-Edison; East Monument Street; Federal Hill; Fell’s Point; Hamilton-Lauraville; Highlandtown; Pennsylvania Avenue; Pigtown; and Waverly. During the kick-off event, each neighborhood representative highlighted the diversity of shopping options as well as interesting things to see and do in those neighborhoods while shopping for the holidays. Some neighborhoods will offer free holiday festivities and free parking to woo potential shoppers. The goal is to uplift the city’s historic neighborhoods and shopping districts.

“Hopefully we can drive more patrons to our businesses, highlight the existing businesses that are in our Main Streets communities and of course attract new businesses,” said Angela Akes a Main Streets Manager in charge of Bel-Air Edison Neighborhoods.

Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young visited each of the tables representing Main Streets neighborhoods learning about their businesses and wishing them luck this holiday season.

“Tonight’s turnout I thought was great. We had all of our Main Streets managers here. We had our community here,” said Young. “This is important because local businesses hire local people. We have to keep them in business so that they can hire people that live in our neighborhoods.”

According to the city, Baltimore has the third largest urban Main Streets program in the U.S. designed to spur economic activity through marketing, streetscape improvements, and access to grants, for example.

Main Streets managers said although the focus right now is on the holiday shopping season, the work that they are doing has important impacts all year long.

“We want to make sure that the neighborhood stays vibrant that blight isn’t created by empty storefronts and empty businesses,” said Frieda Ulman, Marketing and Special Events Manager for Pigtown Main Street. Our goal is to maintain a clean and green place where people want to work, shop, and live.”

To learn more about holiday shopping activities in the Main Streets neighborhoods you can visit the Baltimore Main Streets website