August 30 // Race On officials optimistic as third Grand Prix arrives

Now in its third year, the three-day racing festival begins at 8 a.m. Friday with practices for the various circuits that will race Saturday and Sunday. Ticket sales remain on pace, the race's general manager Tim Mayer said, without elaborating. Seats are available; Race On, the event organizer, said it expects a large walk-up crowd, especially if there's no rain in the forecast. (Balt. Sun)

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Light rail puts Prince George’s on track for more growth, officials say

For Prince George’s County, the Purple Line light rail system is more than just another transportation option; it could be the catalyst needed to revitalize communities and attract more businesses, economic officials said. “I think it is well recognized that mass transit hubs bring a huge economic boost to the regions they’re located in,” said David Iannucci, economic policy adviser to County Executive Rushern Baker III (D). (Gazette)

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Democrat Douglas F. Gansler calls for cut in Md. corporate income tax rate

Douglas F. Gansler, a leading Democratic hopeful for Maryland governor, said Thursday that he wants to cut the state’s corporate income tax rate to the same level as Virginia’s, embracing a cause that has been pushed primarily by Republicans. (Wash. Post)

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Baltimore among the top cities for small businesses

Baltimore ranked fourth on a top 10 list of the best cities for small businesses. NerdWallet, a free online financial service, compiled the list based on evaluating of the 20 largest U.S. cities on local income tax, city property tax, growth rate and license friendliness to compile the list. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Riverboat sold for $357,200 at Canton auction

A Mississippi-style riverboat tied up in Canton sold Thursday for a bid of $357,200 at an auction that drew attention from up and down the East Coast. The sale of the 140-foot Liberty Belle, which once offered dinner cruises on the Delaware River near Philadelphia before being dry docked in Baltimore for repairs, drew about 25 people and lasted about 15 minutes. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland banks post 35% profit increase in first half of 2013

Maryland banks increased their profit 35 percent in the first six months of 2013. The 76 banks in the state posted a combined profit of $116 million through June 30, compared with profit of $86 million in the same period a year earlier, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Thursday. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Grand Prix fails to fulfill suburban hotels' expectations

The Grand Prix of Baltimore has been touted as an event that would draw international visitors and provide a business boost across Greater Baltimore. In three years, it hasn’t lived up to those expectations for hotels in the region. Downtown hotels near the racetrack are selling out of rooms, as they have for the past couple years. But heading into the race’s third run in Baltimore this Labor Day weekend, hotels in the suburbs aren’t getting the sell-out crowds they were initially promised. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Maryland Health Benefit Exchange to unveil marketing campaign

The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange plans to unveil next week a marketing campaign for the new online insurance marketplace. The new marketplace, called Maryland Health Connection, opens for enrollment in October. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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