Increase in Wholesale Jewelry Sales Threatening Brick and Mortar Stores

The jewelry industry in the United States is currently worth 39 Billion dollars, projected to grow at a rate of 7 billion dollars each year. That impressive number makes sense, especially when considering the current average of marriages per year in the U.S. sits around 2 million. Generally, jewelry is sold by traditional brick and mortar stores, meaning they are marked up and resold by large retailers for a profit. This has been the status quo for decades, but a new trend has been disrupting the industry: wholesale jewelry. With the spike in wholesalers selling to the general public, brick and mortar stores are beginning to feel the heat. Here’s what you need to know about wholesale jewelry. (Md. Reporter)

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IKEA Seeks to Reimburse Md. for Unemployment Benefits Paid to Furloughed Workers

IKEA wants to reimburse the state of Maryland for the unemployment benefits the state paid to the retail giant’s furloughed workers during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a letter obtained by Maryland Matters that was sent late last month to Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R), IKEA USA President Javier Quiñones outlined the IKEA US Community Foundation’s plans to cover the state’s $2,136,346 in payments to the company’s furloughed workers while the two Maryland stores, in College Park and Nottingham, were closed. (Md Matters)

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Baltimore Entrepreneurs Band Together To Make Special Face Masks, Earn Money During Pandemic

When a local group of entrepreneurs in Hampden saw business dwindling during the coronavirus pandemic, they decided to band together and create some very special face masks. Every stitch in these face masks have a little bit of Charm City love sewn right in. “At the beginning of the COVID crisis, we decided that three small local companies were going to pivot and we were gonna start making masks,” Jill Andrews, Owner of Jill Andrews Gowns, said. (WJZ-TV)

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Couple opens Sykesville salon during pandemic, designing space with COVID-19 in mind

While shops shuttered their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year, Mindy and Greg Coles began working to open a second business in Sykesville. The married couple also operates ALC Custom Landscapes, which has been in business 30 years. With one business solidly established, the Coles set out to start their second — right at the start of the pandemic.  “I guess we started looking for places in March, like right at the beginning of the shutdown,” said Mindy Coles, a cosmetologist with 30 years of experience. (Carr Co Times)

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Dick's Last Resort eatery closes for good at Baltimore's Power Plant

Dick's Last Resort at Baltimore's Power Plant is the latest Inner Harbor business to shut down for good. The lively restaurant that served a side of sass with its menu of beer, burgers, ribs and fried shrimp closed its doors last month after 10 years, just as anchor Barnes & Noble next door also closed down after 22 years. (Balt Bus Journal)

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Bed Bath & Beyond to close three Maryland stores, per report

Three Maryland locations are on the list of store closures planned for this year by retailer Bed Bath & Beyond, according to a report in USA Today. The stores are among the 63 locations set to close by the end of the year, according to USA Today, which received the list exclusively. In July, New-Jersey based Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY) announced it would be closing 200 stores over the next two years as the company puts more of a focus on online retailing. (Balt Bus Journal)

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Sinclair hires executive to oversee gaming ahead of push into sports betting

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. has hired a new executive to oversee gaming operations as the TV broadcasting giant looks to make a play in sports betting. Hunt Valley-based Sinclair announced Tuesday that J.R. McCabe has joined the company as chief business officer of D2C/gamification, a newly created position. He will be responsible for launching media assets related to gaming as Sinclair looks to unlock new revenue streams related to its regional sports networks and maximize engagement with viewers. (Balt Bus Journal)

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Maryland Tech Council launches new effort to advocate for equity in tech-related legislation

The Maryland Tech Council has assembled a group of industry leaders to advocate for greater diversity and equity in how tech-related initiatives are applied in the state. Recent events like the coronavirus pandemic, which has been shown to more harshly impact minority communities, and the killing of George Floyd in police custody, have reignited national discussions about persisting racial inequities, and demonstrated the need for more pointed action to fix some of the most glaring racial gaps, said Marty Rosendale, CEO of the Maryland Tech Council (MTC). (Balt Bus Journal)

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