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The DC Retail Summit Returns for Third Year with Focus on Forecasting Our Future

Monday, August 30, 2021
Summit aims to celebrate local business resilience and plan for the future

(Washington, DC) - Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), and the Washington DC Economic Partnership announced the return of the DC Retail Summit for the third year in a row. This year’s summit will include a half-day virtual session of one-on-one conversations and panels under the theme, Forecasting Our Future. The retail community will explore how local businesses have pivoted over the past year and what’s next for DC retail and restaurants. The Summit is online, free, and open to the public on Thursday, September 9, 2021 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“Local businesses have sacrificed so much and supported our community throughout the pandemic, and as we continue forward, we are constantly thinking about new ways we can support our workers and businesses,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “This year’s retail summit is another opportunity to hear from businesses, share ideas, and understand how we can work together in the weeks and months ahead.”

The lifting of some pandemic restrictions and the uncertainty of new COVID-19 variants have both resulted in many questions about the places and businesses we love most. Is it safe? How can businesses attract new employees? What has worked - and what hasn't - to balance safety and profitability? Participants will hear from local business owners, thought leaders, and community stakeholders who have insights to share based on their experience and best practices.

“The pandemic has been tough, but we are tougher and we will show we are the District of Comebacks,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “During this year’s Summit we will hear best practices, success stories and more from local businesses and the ways the District government has stepped up to support them. We look forward to engaging with entrepreneurs of all types as we continue our economic recovery.”

This year’s summit will touch on managing the current economy, equitable growth and social responsibility. Discussion topics include exploring where to invest, how to improve DC’s workplace communities, how to demonstrate measurable actions and the commitment to the future of retail.

#DCisOpen for business because of the business owners and consumers who continue to push through difficult times. During the DC Retail Summit, we'll celebrate that resilience and share stories that inspire hope for what's to come.

Summit participants include:

  • James Rhee, John H. Johnson Endowed Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship, Howard University
  • Bryan Myers, President and CEO, Solidcore
  • Harold Fisher, Daily Drum, WHUR 96.3FM
  • Anika Hobbs, Nubian Hueman
  • Victoria Lai, Owner, Ice Cream Jubilee
  • Anna Valero, Owner, Hook Hall
  • Sarah Frimpong, Founder, Wellfound Foods
  • Dr. Claire Nelson, Chief Ideation Leader, The Futures Forum and Forbes Top 50 Female Futurist
  • Gautham Vadakkepatt, Founding Director, Center for Retail Transformation, George Mason University School of Business

For more information and to RSVP, visit