Small urban retailers struggle to adapt to a changing landscape

For years, customers found their way into the Natty Boh Gear shop in Fells Point — families heading to Orioles or Ravens games, tourists enjoying a day in the city, convention-goers who’d stop in for an “Utz Girl” or “Mr. Boh” T-shirt or glass. “The city was just popping; it was the place to be,” said store owner Todd Unger. But in 2015, the year of Baltimore’s riots, the store’s sales plummeted 75 percent and never recovered. On New Year’s Eve, after a dozen years, Unger closed his doors for good. “We just dried up and no one wanted to come downtown, and it just was deemed unsafe,” Unger said. (Balt. Sun)

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Regi's American Bistro in Federal Hill listed for sale

A Federal Hill institution is on the market. Regi's American Bistro, a neighborhood mainstay for 40 years, is listed for $600,000 on the online marketplace BizBuySell. The 3,252-square-foot red brick building at 1002 Light St. has a seven-day beer, wine and liquor license and can seat about 60 people, with bar seating for 10 and space for 28 on the patio, according to a brochure advertising the sale. The listing says Regi's brings in about $1 million a year in gross revenue. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Cecil County hospital to join LifeBridge Health system

Union Hospital of Cecil County and its affiliates plan to join the LifeBridge Health system. The nonprofit hospital's board signed a letter of intent to join LifeBridge, and the two have entered a period of exclusive negotiation and due diligence. An official agreement is expected to take several months to finalize, and will need approval from the health system's boards, as well as federal regulators. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Did Baltimore's rash of bad news push Amazon away?

Baltimore was already coming off a string of bad news — record homicides, unheated schools, an alleged patient dumping — when Thursday morning brought yet more: The city had failed to make the list of 20 finalists for Amazon’s much-coveted second headquarters. Did the former contribute to the latter? “It’s hard to say what contributed to Amazon’s decision,” said Staci M. Zavattaro, an expert on city branding and associate professor of public administration at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. But, she added, the cities that rose to the top for Amazon generally have “pretty positive brand images. (Balt. Sun)

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Report: Maryland can give minorities a leg-up in entering legal marijuana market

Discrimination in Maryland’s broader business climate would justify giving minority and women-owned businesses preferences for entering the state-regulated medical marijuana market, according to a report released Wednesday. The long-awaited report, ordered by Gov. Larry Hogan (R), gives lawmakers the justification they need to pass legislation to help more minorities break into the industry. (Wash. Post)

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Franchot continues push for brewery reform

Peter Franchot is on something of a crusade. The Maryland comptroller is pushing for a series of reforms to the laws regulating breweries, and painting himself as the champion of the state’s beer makers. Franchot has been a regular presence at events with Frederick brewers to push new legislation. (News-Post)

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Sinclair Broadcast will test new broadcast standard in Dallas market

Sinclair Broadcast Group and several partners plan to build out the infrastructure to run a trial of Next Generation TV, a new mobile-friendly broadcast transmission standard, in the Dallas television market. Hunt Valley-based Sinclair and partners Nextstar Media Group and Univision Local Media said Wednesday they had reached an agreement with American Tower Corp., a wireless and broadcast infrastructure provider, to build and operate single-frequency network sites to broadcast the signals around Dallas. (Balt. Sun)

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Ocean City business owners decry sick leave measure

Maryland's General Assembly may have overturned Gov. Larry Hogan's veto of a controversial bill requiring many employers to offer sick leave, but Eastern Shore Republicans say the fight isn't over. “I don’t think the end of the story’s been written yet," said Delegate Chris Adams, R-37B-Wicomico. “I’m getting calls regularly from business people now that they see the bill is now going to be in effect." (Daily Times)

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