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Bowser Administration Launches Small Business Census

Tuesday, May 14, 2024
DMPED Encourages DC Small Business Owners to Participate

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) announced the launch of the DC Small Business Census, an effort to better understand who makes up our small business community and ensure that DC is a place where small business owners of all backgrounds can thrive.

“DC’s small business community is the backbone of our local economy, and we want to ensure DC is a city where small businesses can thrive” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Nina Albert. “In the Comeback Plan, Mayor Bowser set a bold goal for expanding the share of minority-owned businesses in the District. The Small Business Census will help us accurately capture the current landscape and reach businesses that may not have engaged with the government before.”

Small business owners should participate in the DC Small Business Census if their business is headquartered in the District. Starting in May and continuing through the summer, businesses may receive a call or in-person visit from a member of the Small Business Census team, and can choose to take the census in English, Spanish, Amharic, French, Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese.

The District’s Small Business Census will be conducted by the team of BBC Research and Consulting and two Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs), Pantera Management and Tiber Hudson. The Small Business Census will enable District Government to baseline and make progress on its minority-owned employer business goals set forth in DC’s Comeback Plan by conducting a census of all District small businesses with a focus on identifying minority- and women-owned businesses that may not have engaged previously with District government agencies through CBE registration, grants, or other channels.

Mayor Bowser unveiled DC’s Comeback Plan in January 2023. The Plan sets six goals to be achieved over five years, including increasing the percentage of minority-owned employer businesses in the District to 33% of all employer businesses. The Small Business Census fills a data gap and will enable District government to take action on this goal by enabling more comprehensive outreach and support to small employer businesses across DC and increase inter-agency collaboration to streamline small business’s interactions with District Government.

The BBC-Pantera-Tiber team previously assisted District government in conducting the 2021 citywide disparity study to examine the availability and utilization of minority- and women-owned businesses under DC procurement and contracting activities. BBC Research and Consulting (BBC) has conducted more than 125 disparity studies for different organizations across the country, including recent studies for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the city of Virginia Beach, the City of Boston, the City of San Diego, the City of Indianapolis, and the City of Denver. The firm has also provided extensive litigation support in the successful defense of numerous minority- and women-owned business programs. Pantera is a Black American-owned CBE and a local leader in the regulatory compliance field, specializing in contract compliance, prevailing wage compliance, business inclusion certification, and procurement outreach. Tiber Hudson is a premier Washington, D.C.-based law firm specializing in government contracting, CBE certification and compliance, and minority- and women-owned business programs.

DC hosts a thriving business community, supported by a robust network of District agencies, community organizations, and other technical assistance providers. As noted in the Comeback Plan, DC has the highest 5-year business-survival rate among its peers, and DC-based start-ups created nearly 90,000 net new jobs between 2009 and 2019. As of 2021, DC had the fourth highest percent of minority-owned businesses in the nation.

Learn more about the DC Small Business Census at To read the District’s Comeback Plan, visit To learn more about resources and funding to support DC’s small businesses, visit


Benjamin Fritsch (DMPED) – (202) 308-8640; [email protected]