DC Small Business Week 2024 highlights the success of local entrepreneurs and their impact on the community and economic growth.

 by Jess Arnold

There are multiple events scheduled from a pitch competition to a sidewalk vending workshop as the Mayor also hands out thousands of dollars in grants.

WASHINGTON — Monday marks the start of National Small Business Week, and D.C. is celebrating with a week full of events.

Mayor Muriel Bowser is marking the occasion at a ribbon cutting Monday at 11 a.m. for women-owned interior design firm Bandura Design on Rhode Island Avenue NE.

Her team said she plans to stop by other businesses in that corridor as well.

During that event, they will also announce this year’s recipients of the Robust Retail Grants.

They give about 48 businesses a chance to win up to $10,000 in grant money to “maintain operations and viability.”

Here’s a list of the 2023 awardees.

The other Small Business Week events scheduled are:

  • Monday — Street and Sidewalk Vending Workshop, 10 a.m., Sycamore and Oak
  • Tuesday — Power Up For Success: 2024 DC Small Business Summit and Expo, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., 801 Allen Y. Lew Place NW
  • Wednesday — DC Small Business Week Pitch & Resource Exhibition, 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., MLK Library
  • Wednesday — Navigating the Landscape of Access to Capital for DC Businesses, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., MLK Library
  • Thursday — #BeDowntown: CBE Celebration & Networking Reception 6 p.m. – 8 p.m., 555 12th Street NW
  • Thursday — DLCP’s General License Boot Camp, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Marshall Heights Community Development Organization, Inc.

According to the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, small businesses comprise the overwhelming majority of DC businesses — 98% in fact.

2022 report showed more than 79,000 small businesses in the District.

It also said that 48% of DC employees work at small businesses.


That’s why Mayor Bowser is pumping more resources into this lifeblood.

She is pushing for the following investments in her FY 2025 budget:

  • $4.9 million to support the Main Streets Program to promote the revitalization of business corridors
  • $26 million to implement the BEST Act, which will simplify the business licensing process
  • $1.5 million for the DC Business Portal, which also streamlines the licensing process
  • $6.7 million for Clean Teams, which ensure our commercial corridors remain beautiful and inviting
  • $7 million for retail grants through programs like the Great Streets initiative, the Locally Made Manufacturing program, and the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, which help transform emerging corridors into bustling neighborhood hubs

Some neighbors question how Mayor Bowser’s big investment in Monumental Sports, though, will impact small businesses in the Chinatown neighborhood.

There are multiple town halls scheduled this week where you can make your voice heard.

  1. ANC 2C Town Hall in Room 401E at the MLK Library from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 29
  2. Chinatown Residents Town Hall at the Chinese Community Church from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30
  3. Chinatown Task Force Open House at the MLK Library (5th floor) from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 4

#DCSmallBusinessWeek #LocalEntrepreneurs #EconomicGrowth

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