The newly proposed Georgetown Main Street program, the subject of the Georgetown Business Association’s July 19 networking reception at Ella Rue, now has a website: georgetownmainstreet.com.
GBA has taken the lead in coordinating the application process for the program, which would cover Wisconsin Avenue from K Street to Whitehaven Parkway. The association is asking Georgetown business owners to send letters of support to email@example.com. Click here to download a sample letter of support.
The Main Street program was originally created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to help preserve and revitalize historic commercial districts. There are 12 D.C. Main Street programs — from Eastern Market and Shaw to Columbia Heights and Tenleytown. Each district’s designated nonprofit receives a grant from the D.C. government through the Department of Small and Local Business Development.
“I used to think Georgetown’s small businesses didn’t need our help,” said Ana Recio Harvey, the department’s director, appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser in 2015. “But after meetings the past year with small business owners about their many challenges, even on Wisconsin Avenue, Georgetown’s District councilman Jack Evans was able to successfully allocate funds for a DSLBD Main Street project dedicated to Georgetown.”
The fiscal 2018 D.C. budget allows for four new Main Streets — and Georgetown is one of the contenders. A decision on which neighborhoods get one will be made by October. The new programs could be up and running as soon as November.
Projects must fall within a four-prong approach: commercial revitalization; promotion (i.e., branding campaigns and special events); design and streetscape projects, including those improving the appearance of business storefronts and interiors; and economic vitality projects to help businesses with retention, recruitment and expansion.
“Main Street projects have absolutely transformed H Street, Shaw and Barracks Row commercial districts,” said Harvey enthusiastically. “We’re very excited for the prospects of the newest one, Eastern Market, and looking forward to what Georgetown Main Street will do.”