(Washington, DC) – Today, the DC Chamber of Commerce Small Business and Economic Development Summit, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) announced that four businesses that have been selected to receive a total of $600,000 through the Locally Made Manufacturing Grant program.
“Creating a stronger and more equitable economy is a large part of what our Comeback Plan is about. It’s about supporting local businesses in all eight wards. It’s about making sure more DC residents, especially more women and more people of color are starting and growing businesses and getting opportunities with DC Government,” said Mayor Bowser. “Today, we are advancing that vision by announcing four DC businesses that will receive support through our Locally Made Manufacturing Grant program, which supports businesses that manufacture products in DC. These are businesses that are creating opportunity and jobs, helping other local businesses grow, and diversifying our city’s economy.”
The Locally Made Manufacturing Grant program supports local businesses that engage in manufacturing by providing funding for capital or tenant improvements of a commercial property with a designated industrial use. The program is intended to grow the District’s local business economy, bolster manufacturing, and strengthen supply chains within the city. Launched in 2021, this will be the third round of grant funding through the Locally Made Grant Program—marking a total of more than $1.9 million spent so far on local manufacturing businesses in the District.
The four anticipated grant recipients announced today are a small-scale cannery, a consumer-packaged goods manufacturer, a spicy rum distillery, and a multi-functional fashion space, and include:
- EatsPlace: $125,000
EatsPlace, also known as the DC Can! Project, is a small-scale industrial cannery that cans large volumes of fresh produce in glass bottles and pouches.
- ZJ Liquors LLC: $150,000
ZJ Liquors is a distillery making Chacho, a spicy rum.
- Union Kitchen - Eckington Facility CPG Manufacturing: $200,000
Union Kitchen is a manufacturing facility enabling multiple businesses to start and scale their product to market locally and regionally.
- iConiq Style: $125,000
iConiq Style, also known as the Style Studio, is a multi-functional fashion space that utilizes upcycled textile and the implemented Green Garment Cycle processes for fashion design, manufacturing, and retail merchandising.
“At DMPED, we continue to look for new ways to support the 70,000-plus small businesses located in the District,” said Interim Deputy Mayor Keith Anderson. “The disruption of supply chains due to the global pandemic has made us recognize the increasing need to manufacture and procure consumer goods here in DC, that’s why I am proud to announce that our Locally Made Manufacturing Grant program will support four businesses.”
The Mayor also reminded attendees that the grant application is now open for the $7.5 million DC Family Fun Destinations grant program. The program invites qualified organizations looking to create or enhance public spaces, exhibits, or activities to attract families to the District’s Central Business District or other nearby commercial corridors to apply for the grants. Awarded grant amounts will range from $250,000 to $3 million in funding and will pay for up to 50% of a project cost. Applications for the Family Fun Destination Grant close on June 2. More information can be found at obviouslydc.com.
The Mayor emphasized the importance of programs that are funded in her Fiscal Year 2024 Budget proposal that will support local businesses and support DC’s comeback, and encouraged the local business community to advocate for full funding of these programs, including:
- Additional $3 million for the Great Streets and Small Business Fund, for a total of $10 million.
- Additional $3 million for the Food Access Fund, a critical tool for expanding restaurants and other food access points in Wards 7 and 8, for a total of $24 million for small food businesses.
- Additional $1.5 million for the Festival Fund, also known as the Special Event Relief Fund, which helps to offset costs for community organizations hosting events in DC.
Last week, the Council proposed cuts to these three programs, including the elimination of the Festival Fund.
The Mayor’s investments support DC’s Comeback Plan, which outlines a three-pronged approach to the transformation and revitalization of downtown: fill the space, change the space, and bring the people. DC’s Comeback plan sets six goals to achieve over the next five years, including increasing minority-owned employer businesses to 33% of all employer businesses, adding 15,000 residents downtown, and creating 35,000 new jobs in high-demand sectors.
To learn more about resources and funding to support DC small businesses, visit obviouslydc.com.