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DC Small Business Microgrants Program Report

February 11, 2021

DC Small Business Recovery Microgrant Summary

COVID-19 has had a profound impact on local businesses and organizations, and the DC Government understood that relief was needed right away. The DC Small Business Recovery Microgrants Program, administered by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), was created by the COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 on March 17, 2020 just days after the public health emergency was declared in the District of Columbia.

In administering this program, DMPED chose to provide relief to as many eligible DC businesses as possible. Ninety-five percent of applicants were determined eligible and were issued an award notification. Microgrant award amounts were objective and based on operation costs, revenue, number of District resident employees and business tenure. The grant allowed businesses to cover employee wages and benefits, (including fringe benefits associated with employment, such as health insurance), accounts payable, fixed costs, inventory, rent, and utilities.

The microgrant amounts varied based on business type: $1,000 was granted to independent contractors, sole proprietors, self-employed; $2,500 was the minimum for all other awards and the average award is approximately $6,000, maximum award is approximately $14,000.

The COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 required DMPED to share microgrant program information to the public by June 1. Below you will find the microgrant process timeline, full report of grantees, and other interesting data sets from the program and related press releases. All information is based on data as of 2/11/2021.

Mayor Bowser Expands Funding for DC Small Business Recovery Microgrants Program, April 29, 2020

Mayor Bowser Launches Application for New $25 Million Microgrant Program, March 24, 2020

DC Small Business Recovery Microgrant Timeline

DC Small Business Recovery Microgrant Timeline (Image)

DC Small Business Recovery Microgrant Interactive Dashboard

Below is the DC Small Business Recovery Microgrant Interactive Dashboard which includes a summary of grant awardees displayed by Ward and broken down into classes of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

Public Link:


Report Link
DC Small Business Recovery Microgrant Recipient List (Full List) View Report



Breakdown of DC Small Business Recovery Microgrant Applications

Description  Total Explanation
Applications Received 7,607 Total applications received, excluding duplicate applications and FY20 Great Street Grant awardees
Number of Businesses Awarded 6,481 Total businesses awarded a grant, including grants co-funded by Events DC and DHCD

Note: The difference in the applications received vs. businesses awarded are applicants who declined the grant, were non-responsive, or ineligible.

DC Small Business Recovery Microgrant Conditional Awards by Ward
(Updated February 11, 2021 to reflect geocoding of addresses)

Ward Total Awards Disbursed Total Investment
1 880 $4,345,191.45
2 1,674 $10,906,244.70
3 584 $2,837,512.54
4 704 $2,146,302.01
5 862 $2,967,917.05
6 1,025 $4,989,952.11
7 402 $1,348,586.64
8 350 $1,231,731.67
Total 6,481 $30,773,438.18








Due to the lower volume of applications received from Wards 7 and 8, DMPED worked with DHCD and community-based organizations to open a supplemental grant program, which awarded 183 businesses. These 183 businesses are included in the table above.

Microgrant Program Testimonials

Here is what DMPED has been hearing about the microgrant program from awardees.

“On behalf of my staff and myself, thank you so much for your decision to accept my application to this program, and to grant such a meaningful amount of money to CulinAerie. These funds will make an enormous difference to us and allow me to continue to pay my full-time staff their full compensation.”
Susan Holt CulinAerie 1131 14th St NW, Ward 2

“On behalf of the entire team at Andre Chreky, the salon spa, I want to thank you for your email today awarding us a DC Microgrant…Andre and I founded our salon spa in 1997 and are celebrating our 23rd anniversary in business this month. We weathered [many challenges] but COVID-19 has been unlike anything we have experienced before. This grant will help us pay for health insurance and utilities which have accrued during the last two months. We are truly grateful to you, Mayor Bowser, and the DC government for supporting us during this time.”  
Serena Chreky, Andre Chreky, the salon spa

“This is awesome beyond words. I have a real shot at getting back on my feet.”
Mazher Hameed, Mazher's Snack Bar

“I want to thank you both, Mayor Bowser and your entire DC Biz Grant Recovery Program Panel, from the bottom of my heart for this support!!! I cried upon receiving this email, as my entire performing arts career has vanished. I'm not sure when I'll perform again and so this generous help is so appreciated.”
Melanie Edwards

“Forever grateful....I want to thank you Mayor Bowser and your Administration Office. I love my city DC. Hats off to you Mayor and your staff for a job well done during this pandemic. Be anxious for nothing, keeping the residents of DC safe and informed.”
JC Williams, Motisola Chili

“Thank you for this grant. Being such a new startup, woman-owned business, we appreciate being included in this grant offer.”
Mary and Katherine Boarman, Scilla + Luna LLC

“Thank you so much for this! It was desperately needed for my family and me. My business has almost been completely shut down bringing in less than 2% of last year’s income during this time.“