By Devin Bartolotta


BALTIMORE (WJZ) — This holiday shopping season may be over but city councilman Zeke Cohen is challenging Baltimore to continue shopping at local businesses.

Baltimore business owners want you to shop like the health of your city depends on it.

“Our small businesses in Baltimore are the lifeblood of our city,” said Cohen. “And we especially want to support those that support us.”

Cohen is extending the “Shop Small Challenge” aiming to support neighborhoods like Bayview, where JC Romero’s Cafe considers itself a hidden gem.

“Our restaurant is right there in the middle of the neighborhood,” said Cesar Romero. “Nobody knows where we are. So when they come in, they feel like they’re home.”

Home is South Conkling St. in Highlandtown for three art galleries under one roof.

Highlandtown Gallery, Zwiebach Creations, and Night Owl Gallery focus on Baltimore-local art.

“Each of us are female owned galleries,” said Felicia Zannino-Baker of Highlandtown Gallery. “And we’re all MICA grads with different perspectives because we come from different generations. So there’s an awful lot to offer the public, really. Very, very diverse offerings.”

And all the neighborhoods are itching for business.

In Fells Point, Su Casa is in competition with online retailers.

“Shop local is very important because what it does is it keeps the dollars in the community,” said Jeff Brow of Su Casa. “It supports the local businesses networking throughout the community with other businesses. And also, we’re paying people’s salaries that live in the community.”

And keeping cash local is just one way Baltimore residents can do their part.

“We know that our city is facing some serious adversity,” said Cohen. “We know the challenges. But when we work with each other, When we support each other. That’s the Baltimore that I know and love.”

Both councilman Cohen and small business owners hope that when you shop small, you’ll find hidden gems you never knew existed.

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Devin Bartolotta

Comments (2)
  1. ummm…. first, make the city safe.

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