Building Back Better, BEST
By June 16, 2021 One Comment 472•
This past Friday marked a major milestone in our recovery with the lifting of all capacity restrictions for businesses. As restaurants fill up with hungry diners, stadiums roar with cheering crowds and residents gather to celebrate Pride, we still have a long way to go on the road to economic recovery from the pandemic.
Throughout the public health emergency, I have fought to ensure that our communities, small and local business owners, and workers have the resources they need to thrive. In the fall, the Council passed emergency legislation that I co-authored to extend our restaurant streateries program by more than one year to give business owners and hospitality workers the assurance and certainty they needed. I also introduced the “Great Streets Amendment Act” to make Ward 2 and Georgetown businesses eligible for grant funding from the Department on Small and Local Business Development as we focus on economic stimulus.
I know more support is needed, which is why last week I introduced the “Business and Entrepreneurship Support to Thrive (BEST) Amendment Act of 2021” to streamline the licensing process for new and existing businesses. Incorporating or starting a business in the District of Columbia has proven exhaustive, unnecessarily complex, and expensive, especially for those entrepreneurs without adequate financial resources. Doing business in D.C. should be accessible, efficient and cost-effective.
Georgetown is a major retail and commercial corridor and hub for education and culture, and we must provide the relief needed to keep our existing businesses in operation and doors open for entrepreneurs across our city.
Building on the funds I secured for the Jelleff Recreation Center feasibility study in last year’s budget, this year’s budget includes a proposed total of $28 million for a full modernization of this centerpiece of the community. I will continue to work with my colleagues to target funding for projects that will improve the overall quality of life in Georgetown. These include a Volta Park re-turf, the Canal Project and Georgetown Visitor Center, a transportation study and an EV charging station. Financing these important projects not only serves Georgetown but our entire city.
With creative strategies and community engagement, I know that we are on the path to recovery. I am grateful for the partnership of the Georgetown Business Improvement District, Georgetown Main Street, Citizens Association of Georgetown and Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2E in our efforts to prioritize the needs of Georgetown and direct resources towards projects that will keep Georgetown as a thriving place for families, businesses, and visitors.
Brooke Pinto represents Ward 2, which includes Georgetown, on the Council of the District of Columbia.