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DC offering small business, restaurant grants amid closures seen across the District

The fund will provide much-needed capital to assist brick-and-mortar businesses with a $10,000 grant to support business model pivots and much more.
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WASHINGTON — Washington officials announced on Monday that a new Small Business Resiliency Fund initiative will provide $3 million in emergency operational funding for small and local businesses and restaurants located in the District. 

The fund will be housed in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), with an application period for grants starting to be excepted on Tuesday, October 6. 

“Our businesses have been resilient in the face of immense challenges, and we know they still need our support,” said Mayor Bowser. “These grants will help small businesses adapt and implement creative measures so they can stay open and operating during the public health emergency.”

The District has partnered with City First Enterprises, a local U.S. Treasury designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), to oversee and manage the Fund, according to information from Bowser's office.

“Pivoting a business costs money,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “These challenging times are forcing businesses to adapt to a new norm all while trying to keep their doors open. This funding will help alleviate some of the financial burden COVID-19 has imposed on our small and local businesses.” 

The fund will provide much-needed capital to assist brick-and-mortar businesses with a $10,000 grant to support business model pivots, continuity plan and infrastructure development (e.g. e-commerce platform procurement), related COVID-19 marketing expenses, and the purchase of personal protective equipment and/or disinfection products for the business, added District officials.

Applications will open on Tuesday, October 6, at 4 p.m. You can learn more about the grants at the DMPED Weekly Recovery Check-in, tomorrow, October 6 at 4 p.m. The deadline to apply will be October 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

Businesses in DC have already felt the brunt of the coronavirus, with a variety of stores, bars and much more closing shop for good over the last six months. 

Brothers Ian and Eric Hilton announced earlier in September that they would be closing seven bars for the foreseeable future come Halloween, as first reported by the Washington City Paper.

Those include a lot of mainstays in the nightlife scene — American Ice Company, Brixton, Echo Park, El Rey, The Gibson, Marvin, and Players Club.

Ian Hilton shared a statement on Twitter, which reads in part, "When the crisis began, we knew this year would be a tremendous challenge. While we have done our very best to meet those challenges, we no longer have the capability to keep that fight going ... We sincerely hope that in the future, we can all walk together into a brighter day together."

RELATED: The pandemic forced the 9:30 Club to close. Now, its doors are opening to protesters

To learn more about the District’s response to and for COVID-19, visit here.

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