(WASHINGTON, DC) – In honor of National Small Business Week, Mayor Muriel Bowser has declared April 30-May 6 as DC Small Business Week to acknowledge, assist, and honor the exceptional small business proprietors across the District. Throughout the week, various events, workshops, and seminars will provide small business owners with the tools they need to succeed. The DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) will host and support these events in partnership with local sister agencies and partner organizations.
“We at DSLBD understand that our small businesses are the pillars of our local economy. They create jobs, provide critical goods and services, and help keep our communities vibrant and strong,” said DSLBD Director Kristi C. Whitfield. “Our mission is to ensure that these businesses have the resources and supports they need and by investing in small businesses, we are not only creating economic opportunity, but we are also investing in the future of our District and local residents. Supporting small businesses is not just a job; it's a responsibility we all share.”
This year, DC Small Business Week will focus on celebrating the resilience and innovation of local entrepreneurs and small business owners. Mayor Bowser’s Administration has made it a priority to ensure that DC Small Business Week 2023 is free to the public but note that there may be limited space. Attendees are encouraged to register for the virtual and in-person experiences listed below.
The following schedule of events includes celebrations, networking opportunities, workshops, and resources available for the entrepreneurial community in DC.
May 2: Power Up DC Since its inception in 2015, POWERUP DC has been a valuable resource for the District’s small business community. Hosted by DC Health Link, its small business partners, media partners, and the Small Business Brain Trust, POWERUP DC was developed to celebrate and support the small business community. POWERUP DC provides enriching business experiences, resources, and networking opportunities through cutting-edge seminars, special events, and focused presentations. During POWERUP DC, government and private sector representatives present the latest business trends and contracting opportunities for small businesses.
To learn more, visit: dchealthlink.com
May 3: Mayor Muriel Bowser Presents: DC Business Expo: The DC Business Expo: Resources for Financial Success is a way for local-based businesses to succeed by learning about critical financial and other resources available from DSLBD, the Department of Insurance Securities and Banking (DISB) and DC Public Library (DCPL), and community partners. The Expo activities will include panel discussions, consultations with lenders and experts, computer training, maker tool demos, and rooftop networking.
To learn more, visit: dslbd.dc.gov/DCBusinessEXPO
May 3: Prosperity NOW Presents: Learn and Grow Series: Strengthening Black and BIPOC Entrepreneurship Serving Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs): CDFIs provide financial services that meet the needs of traditionally underserved communities. This session will kick off the Learn & Grow webinar series with a conversation on ways to mitigate risk, match opportunities to diversified funding sources, and build relationships with funders, investors, and community partners.
To learn more, visit: prosperitynow.org
May 4: Language Justice for Business Development Organizations: Business Development Organizations (BDOs) will work with business owners and entrepreneurs of all backgrounds, including those who do not speak English as a primary language. To better meet this segment of the small business community, participants will examine and understand how language shapes their lives, communities, and work environments. We will introduce language justice concepts and “better practices” and use a visualization activity to begin envisioning how language justice can support your organization's goals.
To learn more and register for this online event, visit www.lisc.org
May 4: Wacif (Re)Connect Networking Event: This event will provide an opportunity to help small business owners craft strategies to grow and thrive. It will be held at the LINE DC and is entitled The (Re)Connect, powered by the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif). Participants will be able to hear from entrepreneurs from Wacif signature program initiatives, learn how Wacif can support your small business, and network with representatives from institutions that support small businesses.
To learn more, visit dslbd.dc.gov/dcsmallbusinessweek
May 6: Flowers By Alexes Ribbon Cutting and Small Business Community Discussion: as District Government will join a celebration of the grand re-opening of Flowers By Alexes, a floral shop located in the heart of Petworth. Flowers by Alexes is a legacy business that was originally opened by her father, Bernard Haggins. Alexes, who grew up in her father's florist shop, quickly gained a passion for the work and wanted to follow in his footsteps. When her father became ill, she tried to take the shop over but, unfortunately, was unsuccessful. Now, 18 years later, Alexes is now building on that same legacy by re-opening Flowers By Alexes. Join us as we celebrate the grand re-opening of Flowers By Alexes. It will be a day full of entertainment, networking, words from local officials, and much more.
To learn more, visit dslbd.dc.gov/dcsmallbusinessweek
May 9: DC Chamber of Commerce DC Small Business Summit: The DC Chamber of Commerce 2023 Small Business Summit will convene leaders from across local and federal governments and the small business industry for a deep dive into the state of the District of Columbia's small business industry and the future vision, policy, and programs for all businesses. This year's summit will also feature a dedicated retail track with educational content tailored to our small retailers. Join us and be part of shaping the future of small businesses in DC and beyond!
To learn more, visit dcchamber.org
For more information on DC Small Business Week 2023, including a full list of events and activities, please visit the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development's website at dslbd.dc.gov.
Further, to learn about additional funding and grant opportunities, visit obviouslydc.com.