Tag: small business

Small Business Saturday is November 24


This year, Small Business Saturday is on November 24th, the Saturday following Thanksgiving and marks the start of the holiday shopping season.

Introducing FROATS: Gilman Alum Produces Line of Fresh Boat Shoes



The Froats line of colorful, patterned boat shoes.

In 2014, Baltimore native Will Rienhoff left a steady job at a tech start-up in Thailand for a new chapter and a bit of adventure as an entrepreneur.

Gov. Hogan Will Fulfill His Pledge to Veto the Paid Sick Leave Bill that Finally Passed

Still via Gov. Larry Hogan/Facebook

Making good on a two-month old promise, Maryland’s governor today vetoed a bill that would have required small businesses across the state to give employees paid sick leave.

Small Business Administration Inducts Kevin Plank into its ‘Hall of Champions’

Courtesy Maria Contreras-Sweet/Twitter
Courtesy Maria Contreras-Sweet/Twitter

Under Armour is by no means a small business today, but 19 years ago, it was a seedling of its current form with $17,000 in annual sales. This morning, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) honored Kevin Plank for transforming the company into a global brand over the last two decades.

Baltimore City Eliminates Bike Rack, Mural Fees for Small Businesses

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announces the policy at High Grounds.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announces the policy at High Grounds.

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.

Roller Girls Win Canton Billboard

Charm City Roller Girls' billboard in Canton.
Charm City Roller Girls’ billboard in Canton. Photography by Dean Alexander. Makeup by Leah Basset.

Earlier this year local advertising agency MGH, Inc., launched “Make It Big,” a contest to award one small business in Maryland a free billboard designed and placed by MGH. After narrowing it down to four finalists, public voting commenced, and The Charm City Roller Girls edged out the competition. The winning billboard now sits prominently on 95-S just before the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel and O’Donnell Street exit – the same exit people take to see the Roller Girls play at the Clarence “Du” Burns Arena on Ellwood Avenue in Canton! The billboard will be up for one month.

MGH launched Make It Big to honor its own humble beginnings, and to help one Maryland-based small business start off 2013 with a bang. MGH hopes the billboard gives a boost to the Charm City Rollers Girls and increases attendance at their bouts. The Roller Girls’ season lasts through August.

Make It Big background

To qualify as a small business in Maryland, businesses entering the Make It Big contest had to make no more than $5 million in annual revenue, be a for-profit venture, reside in Maryland, and the business owner(s) must be U.S residents at least 18 years old. Public voting on MGH’s Facebook page for the four finalists began on Feb. 20 and ended on March 5. The billboard will be up through June 27.

Brewing in Baltimore: A Conversation With Patrick Beille of Peabody Heights Brewery



Courtesy Citybizlist – Who would have imagined that co-working had arrived in the world of brewing beer? I had a chance to wander around one of the nation’s first cooperative breweries, sample beers made by what one would otherwise assume are competitors and yet were made collaboratively in adjoining tanks. It’s a fascinating story of following one’s passion, never wavering from making a product that you believe in, one of sharing expertise and equipment, all with the curious aftertaste of rapid growth. And as the news of what they were doing spread, other brewers are lining up to work together. Patrick Beille’s story, and this column, isn’t about beer, it’s about what happens when entrepreneurs in the same “competitive” market figure out how to collaborate and as a result success is unleashed.

Citybizlist Rewards Launches in Baltimore


In this day and age, it would be hard to find an internet user who doesn’t belong to a group deal site.  Most people belong to several; it’s easy to be lured in by their promises of grandeur and their seemingly insider info. We join because the concept is great and the potential deals are so tempting.  And yet, once you’ve joined, you realize that the deals are rarely applicable to you.  Yes, 50% off laser hair removal sounds great, but the drive back from York, PA sounds like it would be unpleasant.  Sure, that 50% off a bushel of crabs sounds nice, until you realize it’s only valid from November 30-January 30.  And, frankly, if we were going to skydive, we wouldn’t want to do it on the cheap.

Thankfully, an alternative to the woes of “horizontal” deals is coming to Baltimore.

Citybizlist, a site dedicated to bringing relevant local business news to business owners, executives, and professionals, is launching Citybizlist Rewards, a program that will offer deals their targeted demographic actually wants to use.

Edwin Warfield, CEO of Citybizlist, wrote in the launch email that the launch is “a tremendous step forward for readers and advertisers….Our fast-growing audience has demonstrated a passion for the quality business and financial content curated by our editorial team, and we believe they’ll be similarly excited by the deals we’re finding for them.” 

Warfield touches on a key point: the relationship between reader and advertiser is key in group sites.  With horizontal group sites, companies know that so many readers will see their offer and at least some of them will likely be interested.  The risk always looms that the deal won’t work.  Citybizlist solves this problem by offering relevant companies a pipeline to their target audience, and in doing so, offers its readers deals they actually want to use.  It’s a symbiotic relationship. 

“We’re offering a limited number of advertisers the chance to put their business in front of a very high profile audience of business executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals. We will be offering real rewards for our readers that you don’t see anywhere else; our philsophy is ‘you’ve worked hard, you’ve earned it, now enjoy yourself,’” says Warfield. 

Best of all, the program is launching in Baltimore, with additional cities to follow over the next year.  This month’s deals will include an overnight stay at The Inn at Black Olive in Fells Point, Custom-tailored suits by Victor Pascal, Easton’s Promise B&B, and more.  

The uncertain market for deal programs (local daily deals have had only modest success in Baltimore so far and Groupon is reevaluating the wisdom of preparing for its IPO), the new twist of Citybizlist Rewards could be just what we need.  Are you ready to make a deal?