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Councilman Marks: It’s time to reopen small business in Baltimore County

PERRY HALL, MD—Councilman David Marks on Wednesday evening issued a statement on Baltimore County’s reluctance to fully enter Phase One of Governor Larry Hogan’s Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.

Councilman Marks’ statement reads as follows:

“It’s time to reopen small business in Baltimore County – with safety precautions.

“That’s what more than 1,000 people have told me in emails and phone calls over the past week – and what you have shared with me in discussions with entrepreneurs from Towson to Kingsville. That’s what I also told the County Executive today.

“My constituents want to can get a haircut, make a purchase, and provide for their families without going to a Walmart or Target (which have remained open). I believe we can accommodate customers much like Harford County has done since Friday, in limited numbers and with social distancing.

“That’s the reality – thousands of my constituents have easily poured over county boundaries since Governor Hogan announced a “localized” approach, leaving hometown businesses shuttered.

“Many of you have talked about ending the State of Emergency. Unfortunately, that removes the county’s flexibility to purchase medical equipment and to award hazmat pay to our police and firefighters.

“End the shutdown, implement aggressive public health measures for businesses, continue our testing – but retain the county’s ability to pay first responders and nimbly respond to the coronavirus.”

Chris Montcalmo, NottinghamMD.com founder and president of the Parkville Carney Business Association, was one of those who reached out to Councilman Marks.

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“It’s past time to reopen,” Montcalmo said. “Small businesses need to be able to safely reopen so employees can be paid and so business owners can feed their families.  I fully support an extension of the State of Emergency so that first responders still receive essential duty pay.  At the same time, however, businesses should be allowed to reopen and churches should be allowed to begin holding limited services.”

“If we don’t act soon, the small businesses that comprise wonderful groups such as the Parkville Carney Business Association and Perry Hall/White Marsh Business Association will be gone,” Montcalmo added.

Montcalmo was, this week, asked to serve on County Executive Johnny Olszewski’s Business Association, Chamber of Commerce, and Retail Work Group.

Harford County fully entered Phase One on Friday, May 15th.

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