City is failing its small businesses

I feel that it is imperative to the long term viability of Baltimore that both large and small businesses exist in the city. The large companies employ a great many people. The smaller companies tend to be able to supply the daily needs of city residents. However, the problem is that city government ignores the small locally-owned businesses in favor of the big-box stores and national chains. Of course, it is important to have an Amazon come to town ("Baltimore's Amazon site to receive more than $43M in tax credits," Oct. 23) but is it fair to give them $43 million in tax incentives while those companies that have been in existence for years are taken for granted?

Walbrook Mill and Lumber Co. was established in Baltimore in 1918. Recently, the company moved from its West Baltimore location and consolidated in its Cockeysville location. Despite being located in an impoverished area in West Baltimore, Walbrook Lumber was never included in a city enterprise zone. Crime kept customers away. Letters to city officials regarding sanitation problems went unanswered. Sewer gas problems were never resolved. And lastly, outrageous water bills were received.

Unless the city government makes an effort to help small businesses, Walbrook Mill and Lumber Co. and Santoni's Supermarket will not be the last to leave.

Elliot Zulver, Cockeysville

The writer is president of Walbrook Mill and Lumber Co. Inc.

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