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DC Council bill to offer incentives to restaurants that set up east of Anacostia River

A Ward 8 ANC commissioner says there are only 3 sit-down restaurants in that part of D.C.

WASHINGTON - A DC Council bill looks to provide incentives to restaurants located east of the Anacostia River.

On Monday, the Committee on Business and Economic Development, held a hearing to discuss the proposal at the Wilson Building.

The bill would provide start up grants and loan financing to support new eateries in Wards 7 and 8. It would also provide one-on-one small business enterprise coaching to restaurant entrepreneurs in those areas.

"I think we have to do what we can to entice others businesses to come," said councilmember Trayon White, who introduced the bill.

READ: Ward 7 and Ward 8 Restaurant Incentive Program Establishment Act

Salim Adofo is the ANC Commissioner of 8C07. He also testified in support of the bill.

Adofo said there are only three sit-down restaurants in his ward and people in his community deserve better.

"It (the bill) serves as an opportunity for some of the most marginalized communities to get access to the technical training, access to the funds, the business coaching that's necessary to help develop sustainable businesses," he said.

Adofo also supports the bill because it would keep prospective employees and customers east of the river all the while giving locals and place where they can meet up and discuss important matters.

"That helps build up community," he said. "That helps build up the neighborhood."

However, Adofo did make one request of the DC Council. He said if the bill were to pass, it would be imperative that the DC Council work to make sure residents in the community are aware of the benefits it can offer to them.

"Often times, information is just left for them to go and find on the internet and Twitter and social media," Adofo said. "However, I think that we need to do our due diligence as elected officials and make sure that we can get that information to the hands of the residents."