BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Horseshoe Casino wants to help businesses struggling to regain their footing after April’s unrest.
Amy Yensi explains how the casino is pitching in.
This is part of the citywide effort to help local businesses recover, rebuild and rehire.
It’s been a dicey road to recovery for neighborhoods rocked by April’s riots, looting and fires. Nearly 400 Baltimore businesses were affected. Some were vandalized. Others were wiped clean of their merchandise.
Almost three months later, and the trembles of unrest persist.
“I’m really disappointed because this is not what Pennsylvania Avenue used to look like years ago when my mom was my age,” said Charles Wheeler.
The city is in aftershock and some business owners are still unable to rise from the rubble.
That’s why the Horseshoe Casino has donated $50,000 for the Baltimore Development Corporation’s Business Recovery Fund. The money will go towards zero interest loans for affected local businesses.
“We understand the importance of local businesses and the jobs that they provide, the stability that they provide to local communities,” said General Manager Chad Barnhill, Horseshoe Baltimore Casino.
Some in the community say it’s not about getting businesses to reopen, it’s about the types of businesses that open in their community.
“You’ve got six liquor stores in a three block area. You don’t need no more liquor stores,” said Steven Butler.
Residents are calling for investment in people, not just in stores.
“That’s what we need–more people to come into the community and fix the community up,” said Butler.
Even those untouched by the upheaval hope the funds for neighboring shops send vibes of optimism for all.
“This money is going to be like a shot in the arm. It’s a blessing,” said June Crisp.
Some people WJZ spoke to say they’re worried that some business owners just don’t want to reopen.
So far, BDC has awarded 12 loans from the Business Recovery Fund, totaling nearly $277,000.