From the Director's Desk
Dear Washingtonians,

Over the last few months, DSLBD has worked very hard to provide small business owners with access to funding, support and resources to ensure small businesses in the District are thriving. 

As a result of DSLBD's great work and collaboration with partners, we are excited to announce the following achievements:
  • Released over $1.5 million in funding to D.C. based small businesses
  • Increased the D.C. Plug CBE participation requirement from 35% to 100%
  • Partnership between The District Wharf and DSLBD's Made in DC Program
  • Celebrated D.C. Small Business Week 2018 across all 8 wards
  • Launched a streamlined certification process with the first phase release of the DSLBD Enterprise System (DES)

Since the start of my tenure, I have continued to visit small businesses and Main Streets throughout the District; I have used feedback from small business owners and community leaders to place priority on making capital accessible to D.C. based small businesses. As your advocate, I am committed to ensuring that DSLBD provides optimal resources, effective programs, and a seamless certification process.

I would like to thank the DSLBD staff for their commitment to assisting small businesses and ensuring that we continue to accomplish our agency goals. I look forward to continued feedback from small business owners and community leaders as we strive to create an environment of connectivity to local, federal, and global opportunities, and access to capital for DC businesses.


Director Kristi Whitfield
See What We've Been Up To!
DSLBD Awards over $1.5M in Funding to D.C. Small Businesses
We are pleased to announce that DSLBD has awarded over $1.5M in funding to local businesses and area organizations through the following grants and programs:

2018 Emerging Business District Grant

Ward 8 Grocery Grant

Ward 8 Equitable Food Incubator Grant

Grown in DC Pilot Program

Ward 7 & 8 Microbusiness Dream Grant

District Capitalized Program

Loan Loss Reserve Fund Grant

2018 Emerging Business Grantees :
Historic DuPont Circle Main Streets
H Street Main Street
Marshall Heights Community Development Organization
Mid-City BID (working through Barracks Row Main Street as a fiscal agent)
North Capitol Main Street
Rhode Island Avenue Main Street
Shaw Main Streets
Tenleytown Main Street

Ward 8 Grocery Grantees :
Capital Area Food Bank
Community Connections
Good Food Markets

Ward 8 Food Incubator Grantees :
Dreaming Out Loud
Washington Business Group

Ward 7 & 8 Microbusiness Dream Grantees :
Angelique iCONiQ
Haul Master's
Madelynn's Bake Sale
Wanda's World
Penny Brew
Pinke's E.A.T.S.
Plum Good
SMILE Therapy Services
Define Design Group
Brightspring Solutions
Little Big Chair Farm
MW Consulting
TBL Paintball
The DC Event
Trajectory Learning Partners

Grown in DC Grantees :
Congress Heights Community Development Corporation
Dreaming Out Loud

District Capitalized Program:
Awarded $500,000 to the Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WAICF) to manage micro-loans for small businesses that have trouble accessing capital, with a focus on Wards 7 & 8. 

Loan Loss Reserve Fund Grant
Awarded $200,000 in grants for collateral support to three SBA micro lenders so that they can offer $1.3M in microloans to DC businesses and DC residents exploring entrepreneurship that traditional lenders may not consider or may deem at risk. 
Made In DC at The District Wharf - Summer 2018!
The Department of Small and Local Business Development Made in DC program in partnership with The District Wharf presents: MIDC in The Park @ The District Wharf.

MIDC will host a pop up shop with several vendors located at The District Wharf - 7 th Street Park SW (next to Hanks Oyster Bar) every weekend from Friday -Sunday,
12:00 pm – 8:00 pm beginning July 4, 2018. 

Please be sure to visit our Makers and join us at the 7th Street Park during our special kick off week from July 4- 8, 2018, 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm .

About Made in DC
Made in DC is a program of the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development which aims to support and promote businesses that design, make, produce, and/or assemble products in the District of Columbia. As a response to the momentum and growth of the maker and creative economy in Washington, DC, Made in DC functions as a citywide campaign and platform to create opportunity for maker businesses. Made in DC brings businesses together for resource and experience sharing, as well as function as a conduit and messenger between makers and local government.The Made in DC Program promotes Member products, makers, and events across the District, and provide exposure to vital business development resources. Opportunities for capacity building workshops, networking, and resource-sharing are also provided to members. There is no cost to enroll in the Made in DC program. Made in DC enrollment is valid for three (3) years.

About The District Wharf
The Wharf reestablishes Washington, DC, as a waterfront city and destination.This remarkable, mile-long stretch along the Potomac River comes to life with restaurants, retailers, residences, and businesses—all complemented by monumental views and a vibrant culture.
The DSLBD Enterprise System (DES) is HERE!
Recently, DSLBD released the first phase of the DSLBD Enterprise System (DES). The objective of DES is to streamline the processes within DSLBD’s business areas (Certification, Compliance, Grants Management, and Business Opportunities) and integrate collaboration between our external (DC Government and DC Community) users. The DES will help us respond to questions about supply (who are our SBEs and CBEs) and demand (where are they needed in DC Government). By answering these types of questions, we will be able to funnel more contracting opportunities to SBEs and CBEs as well as develop programs targeted to the needs of the government which will prepare more businesses for DC Government contracting opportunities.

The first phase of our city-wide system (DES Release 1.0 Certification) was released to the public on Monday, April 30, 2018. The city’s investment is set to start paying off dividends for our CBEs and new applicants for certification.
  • Certification through the DES is compatible with Chrome, Safari, and all other commonly used browsers. 
  • The certification application process has been reduced from 16 steps to 8 steps.
  • The recertification process has been streamlined significantly to focus on the change the business has had since their last certification.
  • The DES can be accessed using mobile devices.
Small Business Week 2018
This year, DSLBD celebrated Small Business Week 2018 with local events, social media engagement, workshops, and visits to small businesses.

In partnership with CNHED, DSLBD kicked off Small Business Week 2018 with a reception at Shop Made in D.C. followed by a canvassing of small businesses in each ward. Throughout the week, DSLBD served as a partner at Power Up DC 2018: “Movin’ Your Business Forward: Start, Grow and Prosper“; hosted a Small Business Networking Mixer in partnership with M&T Bank; and participated in the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) Small Business Resource Center (SBRC) 3rd Annual Business Speed Coaching event. DSLBD also co-hosted the 2018 Small Business Economic Summit with the DC Chamber of Commerce where Mayor Bowser was awarded the Small Business Champion of the Year award. DSLBD Director Kristi Whitfield also presented the following small businesses with the DC Department of Small & Local Business Awards:
  • Shea Yeleen, DC Maker of the Year
  • Sou Sou Investment Solutions, Sustainability & Innovation Business of the Year
  • JLAN Solutions LLC, Certified Business Enterprise of the Year

DSLBD rounded out Small Business Week with social media integration as we introduced and provided demonstrations of the upcoming Business Toolkit 2.0 via Twitter Live, followed by the launch and demonstration of the Made in DC website via Instagram Live.

Small Business Week 2018 was a success for everyone involved! DSLBD would like to send a special thank you to our event partners and to everyone who attended and/or participated in events throughout the District.

View photos from Small Business Week 2018 HERE
Uptown Main Streets Designation Ceremony
Mayor Muriel Bowser, Councilmember Brandon Todd and DSLBD Director Kristi Whitfield celebrated the latest addition to the DC Main Streets program, designating the area near 14 th and Kennedy Streets, NW as Uptown Main Stree t. 

The DC Main Streets program is a Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) initiative that promotes the revitalization of traditional business districts throughout all eight wards. Each DC Main Streets program is organized and led by local volunteers and community development professionals who oversee sustainable, community-driven efforts to promote economic development, strengthen their neighborhoods, and improve the quality of life for residents.

During the Bowser Administration, DC Main Streets has expanded from eight programs to 16 programs. Between fiscal years 2015 and 2018, the program has generated more than 3,000 jobs and supported the opening of 272 new businesses.

DC Main Streets is a nationally recognized program, and three of its programs – Barracks Row, H Street NE, and Shaw – have received the distinguished Great American Main Street Award. Washington, DC is the only city in the country with three Great American Main Street awards.
Summer 2018: DSLBD Upcoming Events
DSLBD Event Participation

2018 DC PTAC Annual Summit
When: July 11, 2018
Location: Gallaudet University- Kellogg Conference Hotel
Time: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Build It In DC
When: July 26, 2018
Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center - 801 Mt. Vernon Place NW
Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Start Up Cup
When: Late July 2018
For more information, please contact: [email protected]

DC Start Up Week
When: September 24- 28, 2018

Art All Night
When: September 29, 2018

DSLBD Workshops

ABC's of DISB's (DC Dept of Insurance, Securities & Banking) Access to Capital Programs
What is the DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB)? What does DISB do for small businesses? How do they create economic development for DC small businesses? This session will introduce DISB, their various small business loan programs with one-on-one consultations. Also, learn about business owner insurance solutions from property, business interruption to flood. You’ll leave with knowledge and resources for a successful business.
Date: June 26, 2018
For more information, please contact [email protected].

Understanding and Leveraging Waiver Requests Workshop for CBEs
DSLBD’s Compliance and Enforcement team along with OCP will present on the agency waiver process and how CBEs can garner opportunity.
Date: July 18, 2018
For more information, please contact [email protected].

Build a Dream /Summer Workshop Training Series
For more information, please contact [email protected].

I'm Certified, Now What?!" Next Steps for Contracting Success
Next steps for new CBEs and business development tips.
Date: July 24, 2018
For more information, please contact [email protected].

DDOT DBE Certification & FY19 Opportunities
Presentation/discussion of the DBE certification process and FY19 opportunities.
Date: July 31, 2018
For more information, please contact [email protected].