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Senator Cardin Visits Laurel Business Owners

Tough economic times continue to plague Main Street, says owners.

Business owners along Laurel’s Main Street told Sen. Benjamin Cardin today they are still weathering the economic downturn.

Cardin (D), who is seeking reelection in November, stopped by Laurel for a tour of Main Street and the Laurel Mall site and to hear an update on local economic development throughout the city.

Local business owners told the senator they continue to suffer in a sluggish local economy.

“People just aren’t spending. They don’t have the income,” said Debbie Zook, owner of along Main Street.

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Zook told Cardin that she’s faced increased competition from online vendors. Over the last six years, she’s had to lay off over half of her staff of 22 employees, she said.

“I don’t want to let anyone go but I struggle,” she said to Cardin.

Cardin said he implores state residents to shop local as vital tool to strengthen the local economy.

“It’s support for our own,” he said. “My message to all Marylanders is to ‘Buy Local.’ Small businesses are the driving force behind job creation in America, but they need our support to drive our economic recovery.”

Locally, the Laurel Council has . But owners complained that times are still tough.

Bill Miles owner said he’s been breaking even at best, but has seen an improvement since last year.

“Last year was pretty bad,” he said. “It’s decent, not making any money but I am still here.”

Mayor Craig Moe invited Cardin to the city and said his visit shows that politicians still care about local business owners.

“It sends a signal that we haven’t forgotten [local business owners],” Moe said.

Bonnie Oskvarek August 31, 2012 at 12:23 PM
I have recently walked my dogs down Main St and was saddened and a bit surprised at the kind of stores/shops that are open for business. Not much that I would consider patronizing, I'm afraid. Since we are such a local community with many dog owners, I've always thought that it would be nice to have a place of respite (much like Gavrilles use to be) where we could walk our pups, sit down for a coffee and sandwich and visit with our neighbors. Parking would not be a concern, since everyone would be on foot. Perhaps I've missed it, but I don't find anything like that on Main St now. It's a wasted opportunity with so many potential customers being within walking distance. We currently take our dogs to Annapolis when we want a "dog-friendly" city to explore and possibly to shop.
Joshua Garner August 31, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Could more variety of stores attract shoppers to Main Street or is it more of a lack of purchasing power from shoppers?
tanisha September 02, 2012 at 10:29 AM
"Mayor Craig Moe invited Cardin to the city and said his visit shows that politicians still care about local business owners." Specially with elections in November.
tanisha September 02, 2012 at 11:57 AM
@Joshua- I think it's a combination of both. Lack of purchasing power, lack of variety and not an attractive area to shop.
Aviator September 02, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Yeah, a bit queer that Cardin has the good graces to show up now to visit with the "common people". Where has Cardin been for the past two years? I am a life long Democrat but I am not voting for Cardin again. I am not switching political parties but I cannot stomach supporting Cardin anymore.

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