"I think they love their location. We love having them here," she said.

Other business and economic development groups took comfort from the news that most options under consideration keep Price in the city.

"Certainly, they have a storied tradition in the city," said J. Thomas Sadowski, president and CEO of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore. "The good news is they are looking to stay."

Even when Price expanded into Owing Mills, he added, the company remained open in its commitment to Baltimore city and the region.

Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, said Price has always had a significant presence here and he would even like to see it expand operations in the city.

"It is not uncommon for a company, out of due diligence, to consider a location in Baltimore County, especially recognizing that it has a presence there," Fry wrote in an email.

He called the prospect of losing Price to the county a warning to city officials.

"This underscores the importance to Baltimore City of being competitive in the cost of doing business and not imposing financial burdens on city businesses that place the city at a disadvantage compared to surrounding counties," he wrote.

eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com

twitter.com/eileenambrose

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