WASHINGTON — Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development revealed DC's Comeback Plan, a tool for setting D.C.'s economic development goals for the next five years.
The plan serves as the District's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and will be submitted to the U.S. Economic Development Administration in the Department of Commerce. It will also allow the District, local non-profits, and universities to pursue certain types of federal funding.
“This is a comeback that is focused on equity. This is about making sure we have the revenues to support our world-class city services, our robust network of social programs, and the resources – like our schools and rec centers – that keep people in D.C.,” said Bowser.
The Comeback Plan will center around making the District a place for successful businesses, opportunity-rich neighborhoods, and thriving people, according to a statement released by Mayor Bowser's office.
“People stay in and come to Washington, D.C. because they want to change the world – because they recognize D.C. as a place where you can bring big ideas to life. Our comeback is about unlocking the full potential of our people, our neighborhoods, and our businesses,” Bowser noted.
The Comeback Plan sets six goals to achieve by 2028, these goals are listed as follows:
- Add an addition of 15,000 residents to the Downtown population by providing seven million square feet of residential units
- Increase economic prosperity in D.C. by raising the median household income of Black residents by $25,000
- Retain current residents and reach a population of 725,000
- Increase access to opportunity for residents and eliminate key amenity gaps (food, internet, and housing) across the neighborhoods in the District
- Create 35,000 new jobs in high-growth target sectors:
- These sectors include: Education and Research, Communications and Design, Consulting Services, Hospitality, Tourism, and Entertainment, Life Sciences and Health Tech, and Technology (e.g. Cybersecurity, Al)
- Increase the share of minority-owned employer businesses to 33% of all employer businesses
With intentions to reach the goal, action will be required by building better education to workforce pathways, bringing amenities and assets to all eight wards, and attracting business.
A new tool the District will utilize to attract business is called The Vitality Fund. The Vitality Fund is "a new multi-year, performance-based incentive program designed to support existing companies in target industries actively planning to relocate, expand, or retain their physical location" in the District. The Vitality Fund hopes to encourage employers to move to the District and create jobs.
“We are thrilled to help Virtru grow in D.C. It’s a win-win. The companies benefit from our incredible talent, amenities, and city services, and we win by creating jobs for our residents," Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio said. "This is exactly what Mayor Bowser meant when she said, ‘You win by winning...every day, every project, every initiative.'"
For more information about the DC's Comeback Plan can be found by clicking here.