Downtown Hagerstown business owner beating odds to succeed

Maryland

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — When David Altimont Wilks of Hagerstown was released from jail after 20 years for racketeering, he focused on being a solid citizen and running a successful small business.

His Carmen’s Corner Store on East Antietam Street was building a reliable clientele. That is until the coronavirus swept his, and countless other small businesses, into borderline-bankruptcy. But he is grateful for the abundant support that helped him through these past few months of struggling. With the help of his congressman, the Hagerstown Department of Community and Economic Development and his city councilwoman, Wilks feels he has turned a corner.

“The city stepped up,” says Wilks. “Councilwoman Emily Keller, she’s been there. I mean a slew. It really was a village that came to the rescue.”

And Wilks credits the NCLA — the New Civil Liberties Alliance — for helping him get a small business loan, waiving a restriction in the law because of his criminal record.

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