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'Shop Local Challenge' aims to create a more profitable and safe Baltimore

Posted at 8:37 AM, Feb 01, 2019

BALTIMORE — Some say there's safety in numbers, and that's just one reason why a Baltimore City Council member is asking people to take on the Shop Local Challenge.

It's something you usually hear being pushed during the holidays, but the need to drive the local economy and support small business owners is year round. First district Councilman Zeke Cohen is continuing the Shop Local Challenge to support Baltimore neighborhoods like Highlandtown, and see what they have to offer.

Whether you're shopping for food to put on the table, or art to put on a wall in your home, many locally owned businesses could use your support.

"I think about the impact on jobs, and all the young people who’ve been able to get summer jobs and year round jobs, through places like Cinco De Mayo and more. I think about these business owners, who are innovating, who are being creative, who are producing things that we didn’t have," explained Cohen.

We've seen a few local favorites go out of businesses recently, so Cohen hopes the Shop Local Challenge will encourage more people to get offline, and come out to shop in store.

For people who live in Fells Point, Highlandtown, Canton, Little Italy, or Harbor East, shopping locally may have more than just an economic impact. Cohen says he believes strength in numbers will not only help create a more vibrant business district, but a safe one as well.

"We know that when people come out of their house, when they walk, when there’s feet on the street, when they shop at local businesses, we all do better. That’s why I’m pushing the Shop Local Challenge, because if we want to live in a city that’s safe, that has businesses that celebrate all of our cultures from around the world, we need to come out and do it," said Cohen.

One of the largest impacts Cohen says small businesses have on the local economy are the opportunities for young people to get full time or summer jobs.