D.C. Awards $6.8 Million to Local Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses


Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio announced on May 26 the latest round of awardees of the $2.5 million Great Streets Retail Small Business grant program, the $317,000 Locally Made grant program, and the $4 million Neighborhood Prosperity Fund.

Two Georgetown businesses were the latest beneficiaries of the Great Streets program: Tugooh and Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, both on Wisconsin Avenue.

According to the Office of the Mayor, “These grants build on the more than $350 million in recovery support that the District has invested in D.C. businesses since 2020 and continues Mayor Bowser’s effort to increase employment for residents and offer light manufacturing opportunities that provide economic stability, mitigate blight, and add vibrancy to our designated Great Streets corridors.”

“We know how difficult the past two and a half years have been for local businesses, but we’ve been working hard to understand the needs of the small business owners in the District,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “And since the pandemic started, my administration, with the Council’s support, has invested over $350 million to support D.C. businesses.”

Led by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, the Great Streets Initiative is a capital improvement grant that invests in new and existing retail storefronts in 13 emerging corridors known as great street corridors, to create walkable and shoppable amenities for residents to experience in all neighborhoods. This year, Great Streets Initiative awarded 36 businesses across all eight wards, plus the 18 businesses receiving Ward 2 expansion funds.

The Locally Made Manufacturing Grant is for qualified small business and real estate developers whose core business aligns with light manufacturing. The four businesses awarded will be able to use grant funds to support capital or tenant improvements of commercial property with designated industrial use located in a Great Streets corridor.

The Neighborhood Prosperity Fund invests in development projects to fill the gaps in non-residential components of a mixed-used project, real estate, or retail development project in targeting underinvested communities to create jobs and amenities. The seven businesses awarded can use the funds to support architectural, engineering, and construction costs, tenant, and historical preservation building improvements. To date, $19 million has been invested into projects across the city.

“The District intends to continue supporting local business owners as they adapt to the shifting landscape of our economy post-COVID,” said Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio. “We know the importance of small business owners and what their resiliency represents for the community, and we want our efforts to be intentional and reflective of their entrepreneurial spirit.”

The Fiscal Year 2022 grantees include a wide range of local businesses, including restaurants, breweries, fitness studios and more:

Ward 1: The Outrage, Momentous Sports Medicine, DC Dry, The Printer Cleaners, Shop of Flowers, Mint, La Cabana Restaurante, The Coupe, Because Science

Ward 2: Pearl’s Bagels, Tugooh, Market Square Cleaners, Secrete Fine Jewelry, 1333 14th Street NW, Yoga District, Lee Café Fairfax, BardiBari Restaurant, Greek Deli & Catering, Luna Café, Glass House Coffee, O Street Museum Foundation, Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, Flight, Transformational Acupuncture, ExPats Theater, Maxwell Park Shaw, Nari, Penn Quarter Sports Tavern

Ward 3: Le Chat Noir, Italian Pizza Kitchen, Blue 44

Ward 4: Atxondo, Zuri Bistro, Kukus Beauty Supply, Zeman Market, J and J Tover, The V.I.P. Room, Deset Ethiopian Restaurant

Ward 5: Sunrise Grocery, Soul Kitchen, City-State Brewing Company, Think Italian, Excel Pilates DC, Hospitality in Transit, Via MRG, Jabbo’s Compact Market, G & K DC, Cotton & Reed, Right Forward, Don Ciccio & Figli, The Outrage, Black and Forth

Ward 6: Sewing Opportunity Never Ending, Pursuit Wine Bar – H ST, Osteria Taqueria, Cane, Pho Viet Restaurant,

Ward 7: Deanwood Valet, City Interests Development, Mamatoto Village, ADP Group

Ward 8: Project Create, Tasting Lab DC, Washington Area Community Investment Fund

Additionally, the Department of Small and Local Business Development highlighted the recent awardees of the Equity Impact Enterprise grant. The EIE Grants were created in order to provide additional direct support to District-based businesses that are certified as small, resident-owned, and disadvantaged. Out of the $1.5M allocated for this grant, each qualified applicant was eligible to receive up to $5,000 in financial relief to assist in sustaining operations and promote overall economic resiliency as the District recovers from the effects of COVID. Accordingly, these grants could be used for reimbursement of expenses incurred between October 1, 2021 and April 25, 2022. Allowable expenses included employee/owner wages and salaries, insurance, rent, utilities, inventory, cleaning supplies, taxes, accounting and bookkeeping, and marketing, office equipment, and certifications, among other operational costs. To date, DSLBD has awarded this grant to over 215 Equity Impact Enterprises. To view a list of recipients, please visit: dslbd.dc.gov/equity-impact-enterprise-grants.

“As the advocates for the small business community, DSLBD is so proud to have extended this first-of-its-kind grant opportunity to the District’s Equity Impact Enterprises,” said DSLBD Director Kristi Whitfield. “This impactful grant was an opportunity for us to continue to further Mayor Bowser’s mission of keeping local dollars local by investing in those businesses that are small, resident-owned, and disadvantaged. We know that when businesses are supported, they thrive. And when they thrive, they are better positioned to compete for government contracts and procurements. As this Administration continues to prioritize equity, we are making certain that every business and entrepreneur get a Fair Shot.”

There are 13 Great Streets corridors located across the District that aim to transform developing commercial corridors into thriving and inviting neighborhood centers: Pennsylvania Avenue, SE; Georgia Avenue, NW; Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE; 7th Street, NW, North Capitol Street, NW & NE; Rhode Island Avenue, NE; Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE and South Capitol Street, SE; Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road, NE and SE; Bladensburg Road, NE; Connecticut Avenue, NW; U Street – 14th Street, NW – Adams Morgan; Wisconsin Avenue, NW; H Street-Bladensburg Road, NE.

Through Great Streets, more than $40 million has been awarded to over 400 small businesses creating more than 4,000 jobs.

For more information on additional business funding opportunities and initiatives, visit obviouslydc.com.

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