M&T Bank has launched a new small business initiative inside its Federal Hill branch in downtown Baltimore, where a pop-up shop will feature a rotating lineup of minority- and women-owned retailers through mid-August ― including two from Howard County.

Through Aug. 18, seven different Baltimore-area small business customers of M&T Bank will occupy the free space inside the branch to showcase their brands, reach new audiences and expand their customer base.

The first business to occupy the space is Queen’s Temple Handmade, a body care business owned by Richelle Johnson, of Columbia. It specializes in eco-conscious handmade bar soaps, raw shea body butters, sugar scrubs, hair growth elixir and aromatherapy products through June 9. Another Columbia-based entrepreneur, Althea Becke of Althea’s Almost Famous, a catering company that focusses on the food and flavors of Jamaica, will occupy the space from Aug. 7-11.

The other Federal Hill Spotlight Shop occupants, which are based around Metropolitan Baltimore area, also include:
● Sweet Fortune’s Unlimited (June 12-16 and Aug. 14-18)
● Hon’s Honey (June 19-23)
● Kiki Thunda Cosmetics (June 26-30 and July 5-7)
● AppleCore Bake Shoppe (July 10-14 and July 17-21)
● Sunday Morning Roasting Company (July 24-28 and July 31-Aug. 4)

This is not the first time M&T Bank offered its Spotlight Shop concept to its small business customers in Greater Baltimore. M&T initially launched its Spotlight Shop in 2019 in a mobile retail kiosk located along Pratt Street in the Inner Harbor. Twelve different businesses rotated through that shop over six months.

In addition to the Federal Hill Spotlight Shop, M&T’s mobile kiosk also will be in Baltimore on June 3 for the Charles Street Promenade Pedestrian Takeover.
The launch of M&T’s in-branch Spotlight Shop comes during National Small Business Month.

Several Baltimore-area businesses also are part of M&T’s online Spotlight Shop, an online platform that promotes more than 170 small businesses across M&T’s footprint. Small businesses interested in being featured in the M&T Spotlight Shop can learn more at www.mtb.com/spotlight.