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Baltimore Makes List Of Best Cities For Small Business Development

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Small businesses are finding success in Baltimore, according to reviews and recommendations website "Yelp," which analyzed 50 cities nationwide to find the most small business-friendly.

Yelp picked 50 cities where they had lots of data and resources on the ground -- and Baltimore made Yelp's Local Economic Outlook List. Charm City is on the map when it comes to attracting and keeping mom-and-pop businesses.

"It's a pretty exciting time for small business," says Susannah Siger, owner of Ma Petite Shoe in Hampden.

Yelp ranks Baltimore 31 out of 50 most business-friendly, right behind Cleveland and ahead of Los Angeles.

"We're in front of big cities like Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle, Portland, Oregon, San Francisco. So to be in front of those big cities like that is awesome for Baltimore City," says Mayor Catherine Pugh.

More than 150 locally-owned shops and restaurants call Hampden home. It's one of Baltimore's trademark neighborhoods where small business is thriving.

Siger just opened The Sock Shop on the Avenue two weeks ago.

"We shop at each other's businesses, we go to each other's restaurants. We formed this community of consumers and business owners," she says.

By neighborhood, Yelp says a business is most likely to survive in: Fells Point, Downtown, the Inner Harbor, Hampden or Canton.

Yelp's Carl Bialik says although Baltimore as a whole ranks in the middle, the data could help aspiring business owners.

"The things that create business opportunity may not be immediately perceptible to the average person in a community. So we were really trying to capture that."

And in doing so, keep the doors open for business in Baltimore City. Yelp is calling this list of cities the "Yelp 50" and plan on keeping track of how businesses fare in the coming years.

The top 3 cities for economic opportunity were Charlotte, Jacksonville, and Omaha.

To read the whole report from Yelp CLICK HERE.

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