BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Small business owners met with Congressman Kweisi Mfume on Tuesday in East Baltimore to talk about the challenges they have been facing as they recover from the pandemic.

“This was an opportunity, a very important opportunity to hear first-hand from small business owners in the Greater Baltimore area,” said Congressman Mfume.

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The congressman hosted a roundtable discussion with Baltimore small business owners at the East Baltimore Historical Library to learn more about the problems they are facing.

Barnett Carroll, the president of Aegis Mechanical Corporation (a commercial mechanical contracting company), was one of the owners invited to the discussion. He told WJZ that many small businesses are facing a slew of problems right now.

“Delivery times, lead times for equipment and materials, escalating prices, there’s no shortage of challenges,” said Carroll.

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Inflation, supply chain, hiring problems and issues working with the Small Business Administration are some of the difficulties the owners brought up during the discussion.

Congressman Mfume, who is the vice-chair of the House Committee on Small Business, said it is important to hear directly from small business owners so he can take their feedback back to Capitol Hill.

“It’s very important for me to come into communities like this to hear this and to have the right sort of take away to go back to congress and to make adjustments,” the congressman said.

Caroll said he is hopeful that the meeting will help make a difference.

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“I’m optimistic that some notes were taken and there’s going to be some follow up on some things that don’t just impact me but impact on a lot of people,” he said.

Stetson Miller