City to study ways to improve Baltimore's economic and business climate

Texas-based consultant hired for up to $167,500

December 03, 2013|By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Development Corp. will pay a Texas-based consultant up to $167,500 to develop a strategy for the city to improve its economic and business climate, the mayor's office announced Tuesday.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the effort is intended to bolster job creation, revitalize neighborhoods and attract new investment. The consultant, AngelouEconomics, will include input from local businesses, community leaders and city residents in its plan. A series of public forums is scheduled over the next week, beginning with a session on Tuesday.

Rawlings-Blake said the strategic plan will provide a "clear road map."

"Creating jobs and spurring new investments in Baltimore has to be a top priority," the mayor said.

AngelouEconomics of Austin, Texas, also has worked with New Orleans and Cincinnati to develop similar plans.

Community forums are planned for 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Southeast Anchor Library, 3601 Eastern Ave.; 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday St. Francis of Assisi Church, 3617 Harford Rd.; 6-8 p.m. Dec. 10, University of Baltimore, Learning Commons Town Hall, 1415 Maryland Ave.; and 7-9 p.m. Dec. 11, Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church, 4640 Edmondson Ave.

Recommendations from targeted small-group discussions and an online survey also will be included in the economic development plan.

"This process is the city's chance to take stock of its existing conditions, chart its future, articulate its aspirations, and then commit to focusing its resources accordingly," Donald C. Fry, president of the Greater Baltimore Committee, said in a statement.

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