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Mayor Bowser Expands Funding for DC Small Business Recovery Microgrants Program

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) announced more than $8 million in additional support for the DC Small Business Recovery Microgrants Program. Award notifications began today and will continue through May 8, 2020.

“In this unprecedented time, we know the local need for economic support is outpacing the available resources,” said Mayor Bowser. “While we started with $25 million to our Microgrants Program, we’ve added another $8 million from local and federal sources to support as many local businesses as possible. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and we’ll continue to be there for them as we recover together.”

The DC Small Business Recovery Microgrants Program, housed at DMPED, was created by the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 on March 17, 2020. The Mayor invested $25 million in the fund to provide relief to local small businesses for expenses such as employee wages and benefits, rent, and other operating costs. One week later, the application period opened on March 24 and closed on April 1, 2020. DMPED received over 7,000 applications from small businesses, nonprofits, and independent contractors/self-employed individuals.

To grow the pool of resources to meet need, DMPED is partnering with the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and Events DC and directing $3 million in federal relief funds to the grant program. DHCD will support a portion of applicants with $1.35 million. Events DC is providing approximately $4.2 million in financial assistance from its $18 million hospitality and tourism relief package. Through its own program, Events DC will provide grants to hotels.

“With this economic recovery effort, Mayor Bowser directed DMPED to establish the District’s Economic Recovery Team and to implement programs that provide relief to our local economy, and to provide as much as support as we can,” said John Falcicchio, Acting Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. “Recovery will be a community-wide effort – and thanks to the creative thinking of the DMPED staff, and partners such as DHCD and Events DC, we can help as many local businesses as we can to get through these unforeseen circumstances.”

notifications are made, funding will be dispersed through local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) including City First Enterprises, Industrial Bank, Latin Economic Development Corporation (LEDC), Life Assets and Washington Area Investment Community Fund (WACIF). In accordance with the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, which established the microgrants program, DMPED will make public the grant awardee information no later than June 1, 2020, or five days following the end of the public health emergency, whichever is earlier.

For more resources and information about the District’s response to COVID-19, visit