Before Tuesday, it cost money to put a bike rack outside of your small business. A new City policy aims to roll back the small business fees.
Outside High Grounds Coffee Shop in Highlandtown, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced she was eliminating fees that the city charges businesses for making improvements to the exterior of their business.
Under city policy, businesses were charged “minimum privilege fees” for making the improvements. SRB said she frequently hears complaints that business owners are being charged for the very improvements small businesses are being asked to make.
In the case of High Grounds, the City encouraged owner Michael Wood to paint a mural on what was formerly a “brown, boring wall.” When considering the mural and spotlights, along with sidewalk improvements, a bike rack and awnings, he was being charged $500 for upkeep.
“Anytime I do not have to pay a fee or a tax, I can put that directly back into the business. And that means more employees, raises for the existing employees, and I can improve the quality of the coffee shop inside,” Wood said.
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