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Week in Review – 5/27/2011

Inner Harbor makeover

Sweeping redevelopment plans for the Inner Harbor — including a $900 million multiplex for a new arena, hotel and expanded convention center, waterfront attractions and a new look for Rash Field — were unveiled Wednesday by the Greater Baltimore Committee.

Whole Foods, small farms

For a $25 weekly subscription fee, Whole Foods customers get a bag of produce guaranteed to have been grown in Maryland. The partnership between the upscale grocery chain and the state’s small farms is called Maryland’s Pick, available at Whole Foods in Annapolis, Silver Spring, Rockville and Baltimore’s Mount Washington.

Job figures bode well

Private employers drove job growth in Maryland last month, adding 16,400 workers to bring the unemployment rate down to 6.8 percent, according to the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. April marks the fourth straight month that the state’s unemployment rate has declined.

P.G. County gets outlets

National Harbor will add a $100 million retail outlet as part of a plan by its developers to expand the convention and resort complex into a one-stop shop for visitors. Tanger Outlets at National Harbor is expected to be home to about 80 outlet designer and name-brand stores in a 350,000-square-foot center on 40 acres.

‘A terrible applicant’

The state of Maryland urged a Baltimore judge on Wednesday to deny a challenge by would-be casino developer Baltimore City Entertainment Group, which sought to secure the lone city gambling license.

O’Malley backs space research

The Department of Business and Economic Development will house a space authority to direct Maryland’s efforts to nurture the space industry. The facility, expected to be located in Prince George’s County, will likely consist of two staffers and have $600,000 in annual funding starting in fiscal 2012, which begins July 1.

Small business boost

Maryland’s small business financing programs will get a $23 million boost over the next seven years, state and federal officials announced Wednesday. The money was earmarked in a federal jobs bill passed in 2010, with the first of three installments to be delivered in the next few weeks, said U.S. Treasurer Rosie Rios.

Transparency panel created

Gov. Martin O’Malley has signed legislation creating a Joint Committee on Transparency and Open Government. Lead sponsor of the bill Del. Heather Mizeur, D-Montgomery, proposes that the committee improve the General Assembly’s website, centralize information and use social media to make the government and legislature more accessible, among other things.

New stem cell projects

The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission has recommended funding 36 new projects with the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund’s $10.4 million budget.

Kick start for tourism

The 36th annual Columbia Invitational Soccer Tournament plays host to 462 youth teams over the holiday weekend, bringing about 6,200 hotel room nights to the area’s lodging industry and boosting revenue at Howard County restaurants and other attractions.

Bankrupt company acquired

The Supply Room Cos. Of Ashland, Va., has bought the Hanover-based Frank Parsons Paper Co. out of bankruptcy. The sale price of the office products company, according to court records, was $2 million and 50 percent of the value of remaining inventory.

Social media’s reach

Ocean City and the National Aquarium, Baltimore will soon start pumping out deals to those who are staying in touch with the tourist destinations via Facebook and Twitter.

New home for ballet

Ballet Theatre of Maryland Inc., the state’s only professional ballet company, has moved into a new space in Annapolis, thanks in large part to community donations. The company includes 35 dancers, and its school houses more than 400 students.