Baltimore owes a debt to its small businesses | READER COMMENTARY

Baltimore owes a debt to its small businesses | READER COMMENTARY

Paula Fargo operates a business establishment in the city of Baltimore, and for that, she is castigated by a letter writer for her complaints about a brick thrower who smashed the glass of her business and the lack of follow-through and consideration by the Baltimore Police Department (“City store owner shouldn’t complain about brick thrower,” Dec. 25). She is condemned as one of the privileged.

Ms. Fargo’s business, Curry Printing, has paid taxes to the city and licensing fees continually in all the years of its existence. Small businesses often are the place of the first job anyone has, and that first job is essential in getting a leg up economically. It may be the first time many learn how to act right. Her firm looks to directly employ more than 20 people, and the persons and firms affected by her print shop are in the hundreds. There are possibly hundreds of people who had their first jobs there and moved on.

An owner of a small, time-sensitive business is on call 24/7, supplying others with their needs. Ms. Fargo likely has had to go in on a Sunday and knockout jobs or correct errors, make sure payroll and taxes are paid. When the receivables don’t come in to meet the payables, it’s her check that doesn’t get cut.

Commercial real estate brokers have contacted her about other locations outside of the city. The city of Baltimore has to do right by its business community or it will continue to fade away, taking jobs and revenue with it. It is Curry Printing’s privilege, and other small businesses’ option, to decide where to share the bounty they bring to the table.

— Lawrence Silberman, Burtonsville

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