DC program grants over $200,000 in pandemic relief to microbusinesses

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A Washington, D.C. program will distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of small and local businesses that have struggled during the coronavirus pandemic.

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D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser authorized the Dream Grants program to disburse over $200,000 in grants to 21 small and local businesses in fiscal year 2021.

The grants will aim to help provide growth and sustainability to struggling businesses.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks at a joint news conference in advance of Friday’s historic House vote on District of Columbia statehood bill on Capitol Hilll, on June 25, 2020.  (Reuters)

“The pandemic has hit small businesses hard, and going into the New Year we will continue using every tool in our toolbox to support our collective comeback,” Bowser said in a statement. “Through the Dream Grants, we support the local businesses that support and invest in our communities and in our residents.”

The program will provide $10,000 grants to businesses throughout Ward 7 and 8 that employ fewer than five full-time employees, according to The DC Line.

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“In these uncertain times, the Dream Grants are another reminder of the Mayor’s commitment to reach across the river and into all 8 wards,” Department of Small and Local Business Development Director Kristi Whitfield said. “We are happy to support the development and sustainability of small businesses East of the River.”

“Through this grant, these small businesses are not only able to survive, but contribute to the community and help build the local economy," she added.

The money will go to businesses across various industries, including barbershops, health care, restaurants and arts and crafts.

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Dream Grants has provided over $700,000 in grants to small and microbusinesses since the program’s establishment in 2019, WTOP news reported.

The new grants follow an already massive push by the local D.C. government to support struggling businesses.

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The Bridge Fund follows different criteria, requiring businesses to demonstrate a 25% decrease in revenue due to the pandemic.

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