Development agency to lay off 8 of 45 on staff Baltimore group hit by budget cuts

January 20, 1993|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,Staff Writer

Baltimore Development Corp., the city's primary economic development agency, will lay off eight of its approximately 45 staff members in response to state budget cuts, the agency's president said yesterday.

"It's painful, but part of a downsizing that has to go on," said Honora Freeman, president of the BDC. "As with all city government agencies, we've had to absorb cuts passed from the state to the city."

Ms. Freeman said the agency will cut three professionals, including an administrator whose duties included writing grant proposals. Another employee had helped run a program in which BDC granted small business loans or helped business owners obtain loans through banks or government programs.

Five people to be let go are on the support staff, Ms. Freeman said.

She said the agency will be able to absorb the staff losses more easily because there has been some duplication of duties since the BDC was created by the 1991 merger of Center City-Inner Harbor Development Inc., which guided downtown development, and Baltimore Economic Development Corp., which promoted economic development citywide.

The BDC is a nonprofit corporation whose biggest client is the city of Baltimore, which Ms. Freeman said was giving the corporation about $3 million a year in general funds before the recent cuts. She would not say how much money had been cut from BDC's budget.

"I don't want to go into that," she said.

A spokesman for Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke could not be reached.

The affected employees were notified Monday and their terminations will become effective in about three weeks, Ms. Freeman said.

"It was not a performance evaluation at all," Ms. Freeman said. She said the agency hopes to help the displaced workers find new jobs.

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