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Mayor Bowser Opens New Round of Bridge Fund Grants to Support Small Businesses

Monday, November 14, 2022

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) announced a new $8 million round of the Bridge Fund grant program that will provide financial support to businesses and sole proprietors in the restaurant, entertainment, and retail sectors.

“Our restaurant, entertainment, and retail industries are critical to our comeback,” said Mayor Bowser. “When we have great places for people to dine out, and shop, and visit, that not only improves the quality of life for our residents, it draws more visitors into DC. And when we have more visitors in DC, and more people spending at local businesses, that creates jobs, it allows us to invest in important programs and services, and it drives new opportunities for DC residents.”

The grants will provide flexible financial relief to small businesses and sole proprietors that experienced revenue loss during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, with priority going to those that have not received prior rounds of relief funds. Grantees will be allowed to use funds for needs such as rent, payroll and labor, and operating expenses. Awards will range from $5,000 – $45,000. The program will be managed by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development and administered by City First Enterprises (CFE).

“Since the start of the pandemic, Mayor Bowser has focused our small business initiatives on relief, recovery, and growth,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “Our small businesses still need our support, and our hope is that this latest round of the Bridge Fund will help propel our small businesses — especially in the hospitality industry — from recovery to 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 revenue declines or significant costs and financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic during the period of April 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021.

The application for the Bridge Fund opens November 28 at 12 pm. To begin preparing for the application, sign-up for a Pre-Application Information Session:

Since March 2020, the District has made available more than $350 million to support relief to local businesses through funding opportunities such as the Small Business Microgrant Program and prior rounds of the Bridge Fund.

For questions regarding the grant and application, please contact [email protected].

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

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