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Mayor Bowser Announces Additional $2 Million Available to Support Local Small Businesses

Monday, June 26, 2023

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) announced that an additional $2 million is being made available for the next round of the Small Medium Business Growth Fund grant program, which aims to retain and expand District-based small businesses by supporting large scale capital improvements, critical equipment purchasing, and technological advancements in experiential retail, green innovation, health technology, immersive entertainment, incubators (outdoor fresh food markets in Wards 5, 7, and 8 only), and professional service industries. Grants of up to $100,000 will be awarded to eligible businesses.

“We launched the Small Medium Business Growth Fund as another way to show local businesses that we have their backs – that we are here to help them grow and innovate,” said Mayor Bowser. “Small and local businesses are the backbone of our economy – they create opportunity, hire DC residents, and keep our neighborhoods vibrant. When we invest in our small businesses, we’re investing in our community and in DC’s comeback.”

The Small Medium Business Growth Fund, administered by the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF), is a competitive grant program that targets new and existing businesses. Eligible businesses for the second round of grant funding include:

  • New businesses
  • Existing businesses headquartered in the District, which are independently owned and operated
  • Must generate less than $15 million in annual revenue
  • Must operate out of a physical space and not from a personal home
  • Must not have more than 100 employees
  • Must have site control (a lease or deed)
  • Business owners have not previously been a recipient of the Great Streets Retail Small Business, Locally Made Manufacturing, Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, or Small Medium Businesses Growth Fund
  • Must have proof of an active DC-based business license

The application for the Small Medium Business Growth Fund is now open and will close on Friday, July 21 at 6 pm. For more information and to apply, please visit HERE.

“At DMPED, we are constantly looking for new ways to support the 70,000-plus small businesses located in the District,” said Interim Deputy Mayor Keith Anderson. “That’s why the continuation of this Small Medium Business Growth Fund and programs like this, is so important.”

On Wednesday, June 28 at 6 pm., DMPED and WACIF will also hold an information session on the Small Medium Business Growth Fund at Sycamore & Oak on the St. Elizabeths East Campus. Interested participants can RSVP HERE. For questions regarding the grant and application, please contact [email protected].

Mayor Bowser launched the Small Medium Business Growth Fund in 2022, and 63 businesses have received over $5.1 million so far under the categories of Locally Made, Retail, Small Business Investments and Technology Advancements. Previous grant recipients of the program represented a broad range of industries, including Roses Restaurant Group LLC, Andean Consulting Solutions International, and Health It 2 Business Solutions.

For more resources and information on additional FY23 funding opportunities, visit