Local BusinessWilliam J. Ford

Amid COVID-19, New Business Still Coming to Maryland

Jeff Brown has been a trainer and fitness enthusiast for more than 25 years.

Brown’s passion to maintain a healthy lifestyle led him to become owner of the first franchise in the D.C. area and entire state of Maryland named after boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The 3,200-square-foot Mayweather Boxing & Fitness center in Bowie plans to open next month or in February with six full and part-time employees.

“Prince Georges County is the ideal location to have and support a black-owned business,” Brown said in an email Dec. 15. “There [is] a wealth of opportunities here and the residents deserve services and amenities that are local and relevant to their needs and interests.”

According to the Mayweather Boxing & Fitness website, about 18 are open nationwide at locations such as Chicago, Los Angeles and Tampa, Fla. Mayweather retired in 2017 and launched the franchise a year later.

Mayweather, considered one of the best fighters of all time with a career record of 50-0, will be inducted in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in June 2021.

Some of the exercises at the Bowie gym will include “bag work,” a class that features boxing techniques used by Mayweather.

Through the advice of health officials, state and local lawmakers have instituted certain protocols to combat the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Locally in Prince George’s County, Brown’s business is to open after the county’s COVID-19 restrictions are scheduled to end Jan. 16. One of them includes decreasing the indoor capacity from 50 percent to 25 percent at retail businesses, fitness centers and the MGM casino and resort at National Harbor.

The pandemic hasn’t stopped some job growth in the state of Maryland, according to preliminary data released Friday, Dec. 18 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The federal agency states Maryland added 24,100 jobs and the unemployment rate decreased to 6.8 percent in November, the lowest since the pandemic began.

The top three fields that experienced the highest gains came from the professional and business services sector at 7,200 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities increased by 6,700 jobs; and education and health services by 4,800 jobs.

Although leisure and hospitality jobs showed an increase by 3,000 jobs, the pandemic still affected thousands of business owners in Maryland.

Gov. Larry Hogan announced last week in Annapolis an economic relief package of $180 million.

Some the funding includes $50 million for hotels, motels and other hospitality businesses toward payroll expenses, rent and utilities.

About $40 million will provide a boost in temporary cash assistance slated to help 66,000 families and another $40 million to disability care providers that will help more than 17,000 people.

The other funding includes:

• $30 million for restaurants.
• $15 million for the Main Street program through the state Department of Community Housing and Urban Development.
• $5 million to help “socially or economically damaged businesses,” with a specific focus for those located in rural counties.

“We will continue to take every action we can at the state level to help those most in need,” Hogan said.

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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