Main Streets DC’s Budget Increase Bodes Well for Georgetown

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The Georgetown-Burleith Advisory Neighborhood Commission passed a unanimous motion April 3 supporting a Georgetown Main Streets Program. Many persons are asking about what the nonprofit is and what it would do. Unlike business improvement districts, which are funded through a landlord tax for a specific area and have large budgets for cleanup and public safety, Main Street nonprofits in Washington, D.C., receive government grants to promote historic neighborhoods and market small businesses specifically.

Mayor Muriel Bowser’s proposed fiscal 2018 budget — $13.8 billion — for the District of Columbia includes an increase for the Department of Small and Local Business Development, which administers the Main Streets programs.

According to DSLBD, “DC Main Streets is a comprehensive program that promotes the revitalization of traditional business districts in the District of Columbia. Created in 2002 through the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Main Streets serves as the citywide coordinating program that provides services and funding for the twelve Main Streets found in the District of Columbia. Main Streets mission is to support the traditional retail corridors in the District.”

“Main Streets was fully funded in the mayor’s proposed budget for FY18, with a $400,000 increase proposed as well,” noted Martin Smith of Barracks Row Main Street. “So, it’s quite possible that’s funding for two new programs next year, as long as the funding survives the budget hearings.”

Georgetown hopes to start one of those new Main Streets programs.

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