Walmart employees say they’re preparing for job cuts as retailer rolls out its ‘Great Workplace’ program

Walmart last spring said it was testing a sweeping overhaul that would make its stores better run and create more opportunities for employees to “do meaningful work.” The “Great Workplace” initiative, the retailer said, would be “the key to winning the future of retail.” But nearly a year in, workers say the effort, which will reach 1,100 of the company’s 5,300 U.S. stores by year end, has led to widespread confusion. (Wash. Post)

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Mount Airy to hold quasi-judicial hearing on Vosloh property by Md. 27

The Mount Airy Town Council will hold a slightly unusual hearing in order for council members to determine if a property near Md. 27 should be rezoned. DMS Development LLC requested that Mount Airy change the zoning of a parcel of the Vosloh property, the piece of land bordering South Main Street and Md. 27, from residential to community commercial with the goal of bringing a Wawa there. (News-Post)

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Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy amid wave of potential lawsuits

Facing a wave of lawsuits over allegations of sexual abuse, the Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy. The long-anticipated Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing will allow the Boy Scouts to keep operating as it reorganizes its finances and handles claims from hundreds of potential victims. It will also give victims a limited amount of time to come forward before being barred indefinitely from seeking compensation. (Wash. Post)
 

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3 suburban Maryland federal leasing trends to watch

While Northern Virginia solidified its foothold with the technology sector, suburban Maryland has been quietly hoisting itself up in a similar fashion with another industry: life sciences. Between the I-270 biotech corridor, home to more than 500 life science companies such as Thermo Fisher and Westat as well as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Federal Drug Administration (FDA) within the market, Montgomery County in particular has emerged as a prominent life sciences cluster within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Pier 1 Files For Bankruptcy

Pier 1, the troubled home furnishings retailer that has closed hundreds of stores in recent years, filed for bankruptcy Monday. The company, based in Fort Worth, Texas, released a statement saying that it reached a plan with lenders to provide it with $256 million. It will try to find a buyer for the company. Pier 1 previously announced it will close up to 450 stores, including all its locations in Canada. (CNN)

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Coworking spaces gaining popularity, especially on smaller scale

From startups to companies looking to expand, coworking arrangements have increasingly become a viable alternative to traditional office space leasing. While there have been some setbacks, experts predict that the industry will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. Coworking, where multiple companies or individuals share a single office location, has experienced continuous growth since first gaining popularity in the early 2000s. It is a worldwide phenomenon, and the United States ranks eighth in coworking growth, according to a 2019 study by Coworking Resources. (Daily Record)

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Cannabis brand hosts clinic to expunge hundreds of marijuana convictions

Lawyers, public officials and cannabis industry representatives gathered to help 173 people expunge about 405 cases from their criminal records last week in Baltimore. The expungement clinic was held at the Liberty Rec and Tech Center in Northwest Baltimore on Feb. 7. It was the first of its kind organized by a new social justice group from Select, a national cannabis brand owned by Curaleaf, and was hosted with the goal of helping Baltimore residents cleanse their criminal records of past non-violent offenses, especially any marijuana-related convictions. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Customer review sites: A help or hindrance?

Customer review sites, such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, have changed the way in which consumers buy. According to a 2019 survey by Bright Local, the average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a local business. The same survey also noted that “positive reviews make 91% of consumers more likely to use a business, while 82% will be put off by negative reviews.” So what is a small business to do? (Daily Record)

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