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Baltimore City retailer opens business ahead of schedule, hopes to encourage others

Posted at 5:10 PM, Jun 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-09 17:10:31-04

BALTIMORE — Beth Hawks, owner of Zelda Zen in Fells Point, is opening her store in defiance of Baltimore City regulations.

WMAR-2 News spoke to Hawks last week when she voiced her frustration with Mayor Jack Young and his lack of response in the reopening of small business.

On Monday, the city entered Stage 1 of Gov. Larry Hogan’s Roadmap to Recovery plan. Young mandated in-store retail be closed to the public despite neighboring county allowing stores to reopen.

While curbside retail is allowed, Hawks said it's not enough to keep retail shops afloat.

"I actually opened up on Sunday because after Mayor Young chose to open up nail salons and massage parlors before retaiI," said Hawks. "When he said that I was done. We couldn’t lose another beautiful weekend in Baltimore city. We need to pay our bills."

Hawks has received support both online and in her store.

Customer Andrea Hubbert drove in from Baltimore County. She told WMAR-2 News she supports the owner's decision to reopen.

"It’s extremely important," she said. "I love to support local businesses especially creative local businesses because they are getting harder and harder to find. It’s harder for them to survive."

Hawks said small business survival is difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic. She hopes to inspire and encourage other business to open up ahead of schedule.

"I already know of retail businesses that are doing things discretely," she said. "It's not a secret, I'm just more vocal about it."