Small Business Saturday aims to help locally-owned stores

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BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will be touring small businesses in the city to highlight a recently established loan program to help local firms hire new employees.

The visits are part of "Small Business Saturday," a day conceived by American Express on which shoppers are encouraged to patronize local specialty shops instead of the big-box stores that dominate Black Friday.

The loan program was established this week. Eligible businesses can receive loans from $5,000 to $30,000 to help them hire employees. To be eligible, businesses must bring in less than $1 million in annual revenue, and the owners must have good credits scores.

Rawlings-Blake plans to visit several businesses Saturday afternoon. 

Dozens of small businesses across Maryland, Virginia, and the District will take part in the nationwide “Small Business Saturday” event, which was founded in 2010.

For a list of some participating small businesses, click here.

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