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Black-Owned Businesses Get A BOOST

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Downtown Partnership of Baltimore
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At the announcement of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore-Fearless 'BOOST' program: 'Black-Owned and Occupied Storefront Tenancy.'

Retailers and consumers are navigating a challenge: looking ahead to buying and selling post-pandemic while keeping commerce alive now. The Baltimore Downtown Partnership is focused on both, with BOOST, which stands for 'Black-Owned and Occupied Storefront Tenancy.' It pairs Black-owned businesses with vacant storefronts and wraparound services like tech and marketing support.

Delali Dzirasa, himself a successful entrepreneur with his tech company Fearless, talks of the responsibility to nurture new ventures. And Shelonda Stokes, president of Downtown Partnership, describes the kind of business they want to boost: “We want organizations that are going to contribute to downtown, organizations that are going to thrive and employ other people in here. That’s a win. And that’s what we’re looking for.”

Plus, Tanisha Taliaferro, a bold shop owner, tells why she opened Style Haven boutique during the pandemic.

Links: BOOST, Style Haven boutique, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, Fearless, Hutch, Hack Baltimore.

Sheilah Kast is the host of On The Record, Monday-Friday, 9:30-10:00 am.
Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record. She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks." Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'