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Mayor Bowser Launches New $40 Million “Bridge Fund” to Support Small Businesses

Monday, January 24, 2022
Grant Program Will Prioritize Businesses in Restaurant, Entertainment, and Retail Industries That Have Not Received Federal Relief Funds

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) announced a new $40 million round of the Bridge Fund Grant Program that will provide financial support to brick and mortar businesses grappling with the COVID-19 public health emergency in the restaurant, entertainment, and retail sectors.

“Our small businesses are still recovering from revenue losses experienced during the first two years of the pandemic and the impact of the new COVID variants,” said Mayor Bowser. “They continue to need flexible financial support to ensure they can nimbly respond to ongoing challenges. I thank the DC Council for their partnership in making this new Bridge Fund round as flexible as possible and look forward to working together to ensure local businesses make a strong comeback in 2022.”

The grant program will provide flexible financial relief to brick and mortar small businesses and food trucks that experienced revenue loss during the Public Health Emergency related to COVID-19. Grantees will be allowed to use grant funds for needs such as rent, payroll and labor, inventory, and operating expenses. Awards will range from $20,000-$100,000. The program will prioritize businesses that have not received federal relief funds and microbusinesses with $2.5 million or less in revenue. The program will be managed by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and administered by City First Enterprises (CFE).

“In the past two years, DC’s businesses have repeatedly proven their resilience in the face of evolving circumstances,” said Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio. “Mayor Bowser is proud to launch this new round of the Bridge Fund to provide small businesses flexible financial support as we support their recovery and growth.”

Eligible businesses include restaurants, retailers, or entertainment small businesses located in the District of Columbia with an active DC Basic Business License, less than $5 million in gross receipts each in 2019, 2020, and 2021, and the ability to demonstrate at least a 30% loss of revenue during the period of April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021.

Since the COVID-19 public health emergency began in March 2020, the District has made available more than $155 million to support relief to local businesses through funding opportunities such as the Small Business Microgrant Program and prior rounds of the Bridge Fund.

The application for the Bridge Fund opened today, January 24 at 12 pm. For more information, visit For questions regarding the grant and application, please contact [email protected].

For more resources and information on additional FY22 business funding opportunities visit