The Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp. (AAEDC) launched its “Shop Safe. Shop Local. Shop ArundelBiz.” marketing campaign to highlight the importance of patronizing small businesses in Anne Arundel County.

“Many locally-owned shops, restaurants, services and organizations have pivoted their operations to help keep their customers and employees safe,” said AAEDC CEO Ben Birge. “We hope customers can appreciate the significant investments in these new tools and procedures and support our small businesses. Remember when we buy local, we support jobs in our county and ensure that our tax dollars stay here, too.”

The campaign coincides with the Anne Arundel County Council’s resolution declaring September Back to Business Month. Campaign elements include a website advertisement and radio commercial that will run on local media outlets. The AAEDC will share these and other creative elements on its digital channels and also with local business associations to expand the promotion’s reach.

AAEDC also will promote the county’s farmers markets and agricultural businesses during the campaign. Customers can easily buy local by visiting and searching the online Arundel Grown Guide at

Additionally, AAEDC is partnering with local business groups to distribute cloth masks to area companies.  The masks are from the inventory of the Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management and AAEDC staff will be delivering boxes to its partners. Businesses do not have to be a member of the organization to receive the masks.

AAEDC’s marketing campaign comes on the heels of its successful Customer and Employee Protection (CEP) Grant Program. The initiative was supported by $5 million from Anne Arundel County’s allotment of funding from the CARES Act. The grants allowed small businesses to purchase items and services to enhance safety practices, e-commerce and virtual customer engagement.

From inception on June 3 to the program’s end on June 24, AAEDC approved 788 grants with an average grant amount of about $6,370.