In March 2017, we released DC's new economic strategy, our roadmap for how we are growing DC's economy and ensuring that all Washingtonians have the opportunity to make a living in it. Progress updates are below, listed chronologically.
In March 2017, we released DC's new economic strategy, our roadmap for how we are growing DC's economy and ensuring that all Washingtonians have the opportunity to make a living in it. Progress updates are below, listed chronologically.
October 2019: At the WeDC Futures Forum, attendees took part in all-day programming, networking, podcasts, pitch competitions and more, to learn global best-practices for cities to solve complex urban challenges, and what it takes to build a more equitable future with an inclusive economy, diverse and talented workforce, and dynamic communities across four tracks.
September 2019: The WeDC House popup at DC Startup Week sponsored a variety of panels with advice for startups, including building an inclusive culture at your company, nailing a pitch, and accessing capital.
June 2019: The WeDC House popup at Halcyon’s By the People Festival sponsored conversations on the future of food, transportation, and sports/entertainment in DC. View more details.
September 2018: In 2019, DMPED pivoted from InnoMAYtion as a one-month celebration to a yearlong strategy. The WeDC brand from DC’s SXSW activation was brought back to DC with a new focus on community building and sponsoring events throughout the year to highlight DC’s local innovation ecosystem and entrepreneurship. The inaugural, three-day WeDC Fest was held in September 2018 and featured 150 speakers who discussed everything from economic development and technology to health care and smart cities.
May 2018: Engaged hundreds of residents in dozens of InnoMAYtion events throughout the city and notched over 8 million social impressions in May.
May 2017: Engaged hundreds of residents in over 50 innoMAYtion events throughout the city and notched 12 million social media impressions in May, a 4.5 million increase from 2016.
Major District-Owned Real Estate Developments
October 2019: Ribbon cutting for HELP USA Veterans Housing on the Parks at Walter Reed, making veterans the first residents to move into the reimagined Walter Reed Campus. The new, 100% affordable housing development will deliver 77 units of permanent, supportive housing for previously homeless veterans.
August 2019: Ground breaking for two 100% affordable housing communities, Providence Place and the Strand Residences, which will deliver 179 affordable units in the Deanwood neighborhood of Ward 7, including 63 replacement units through the New Communities Initiative (NCI). Read the press release.
July 2019: Ground breaking for Phase I of Bryant Street, a 13-acre mixed-use development that will deliver 487 apartment units, a nine-screen cinema, and 35,000 square feet of retail to Ward 5. Learn more.
May 2019: Mayor Bowser announces Lidl Grocery to open at Skyland Town Center in Ward 7, the first internationally recognized full-service supermarket to enter Wards 7 and 8 since 2007. Read more here.
March 2019: Mayor Muriel Bowser broke ground on The Brooks and Vale Buildings at the Parks at Walter Reed, located at the southwest corner of Georgia Avenue and Aspen Street, NW. The buildings are the first new construction on the historic campus and will include 301 apartments, including 30 affordable units and 89 condos, as well as more than 18,000 square feet of new retail along Georgia Avenue.
February 2019: Announcement that Redbrick LMD will develop Parcel 15 of the St. Elizabeths East Campus into a vibrant town square destination with retail, housing, and a stand-alone hotel. View more.
December 2018: Kick off of the second phase of construction at 555 E Street, SW, delivering mixed-income/mixed-age housing, a hotel, and retail space near the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood in Ward 6. The 58 affordable units will be designated entirely for seniors, with some as permanent supportive housing.
November 2018: The Mayor broke ground on a 252-unit apartment community with 202 affordable housing units on the historic St. Elizabeths East Campus, delivering on her commitment to provide high-quality affordable housing to the Congress Heights neighborhood in Ward 8.
September 2018: Ribbon cutting for the Entertainment and Sports Arena, part of the St. Elizabeth’s East campus redevelopment. The new venue will be the home of the Washington Mystics and the Capital City Go-Go, as well as the official practice facility for the Washington Wizards. The arena will also host cultural and community events for residents and visitors across all eight wards. View the press release.
St. Elizabeths: The St. Elizabeths East development will bring new jobs and visitors to East of the River. The East Campus opened for the Entertainment & Sports Arena in September 2018, 252 units of affordable housing breaking ground in October 2018, market rate townhomes, and commercial office, and retail space which will provide new amenities to residents. The Parcel 15 solicitation that was issued in Summer 2018 envisions a new development opportunity that will serve as the gateway to this mixed-use, transit-oriented and entertainment community.
Skyland: The first phase delivering in 2020 will include: 263 residential rental units (30% of which will be dedicated to affordable housing); 84,000 square feet of retail space; and 248 parking spaces reserved for residential use and 199 parking spaces reserved for retail/service uses. Ultimately the full development of Skyland Town Center per the approved PUD will include total retail space of up to 342,000 square feet and 450-500 residential units.
Hill East: DC is proceeding with the Phase 1 of many phases of development with Parcels G-1 and F-1 that will allow the overall master plan vision to move forward while taking an approach adapted to today’s real estate climate and neighborhood needs. This Phase 1 transit-oriented mixed-use project includes 25,678 sq. ft. of ground floor retail and 353 residential units, 30% (or 106 units) of which are affordable (approximately half at or below 30% AMI, the other half at or below 50% AMI). It is projected to produce 60 construction jobs, 60 permanent jobs, and approximately $1.1 million in new annual tax revenue. In May 2018, development team comprised of Donatelli Development and Blue Skye Development broke ground on Parcel G-1 which will deliver a total of 262 units with 31 affordable housing units in summer of 2020. And construction on Parcel F-1 is expected to begin in winter of 2019. And in August 2018, DDOT started construction of new road infrastructure surrounding Parcels G-1 and F-1.
Skyland: The Skyland project is geared to promote neighborhood revitalization and economic growth on an 18-acre site located in Ward 7 at the intersections of Good Hope Road, Naylor Road, and Alabama Ave SE. While the Skyland Shopping Center is still active, a considerable portion of the shopping center is vacant and will start to be demolished in the upcoming months. The potential of this site is significant, due to its prominent location, the considerable land area available for redevelopment, and the resources and public benefits the project would provide to the neighborhood. Site work on the Skyland project is under construction. The Skyland Town Center redevelopment will ultimately include approximately 480 residential units and approximately 246,000 square-feet of commercial space. Skyland will be a combination of high-quality national-brand retailers and neighborhood serving shops and restaurants and residential housing.
St. Elizabeth’s: Rich in economic promise, historic resources, and federal access, St Elizabeths East is one of the few remaining large redevelopment opportunities in the nation’s capital – an opportunity to transform a 183-acre lot into a marketplace of ideas, innovation, and commercialization. Less than three miles and just a few Metro stops from the U.S. Capitol, St Elizabeths East invites a mixed-use development that simultaneously serves nearby communities, nearby federal office tenants, and the pent-up local demand for retail, residential, and office/educational uses – all enhanced by substantial District of Columbia investment and planning to support the surrounding neighborhoods and infrastructure of this incomparable campus. The St. Elizabeth’s East Campus development is bringing life back to a long vacant historic part of Ward 8. The development will bring new jobs and visitors to East of the River and will include an Entertainment & Sports Arena and 252 units of affordable housing, market rate townhomes, and commercial, office, and retail space which will provide new amenities to residents. Phase 1 infrastructure work and construction of the Entertainment & Sports Arena is scheduled for completion in fall 2018.
Hill East: Hill East District Waterfront is comprised of 67 acres located between the eastern edge of the Capital Hill neighborhood and the western shore of the Anacostia River. It hosted the DC General Hospital, the Central Detention Facility/DC Jail, and other buildings and parking lots, none of which uses invited or made accessible the waterfront to the adjoining neighborhood. DC plans to redevelop the 50 acres of Hill East District and transform them into a vibrant, mixed-use urban waterfront community. Once fully built, the new waterfront community will connect the surrounding Hill East neighborhood to the Anacostia waterfront via tree-lined public streets, recreational trails, and accessible waterfront parklands. Since March, the development team has finalized building and infrastructure designs, secured zoning approvals and applied for building permits. Construction of both buildings and infrastructure is expected to begin in spring of 2018. The mixed-use project includes 32,000 sq. ft of ground floor retail and 354 residential units, 30% of which are affordable (approximately half at or below 30 AMI, the other half at or below 50 AMI). It is projected to produce 60 construction jobs, 60 permanent jobs, and approximately $1.1 million in new annual tax revenue.
McMillan: Construction of a new appx. 17,500 sq-ft community center, park and playground on the 6.2-acre Parcel 6 (South Parcel of the historic McMillan Slow Sand Filtration site. Scope also includes stabilization, preservation, and restoration of the historic assets inside the north and south service courts including all sand bins, sand washer, and regulator houses. In FY17 Q3 there were remand hearings before the Zoning Commission and the Mayor’s Agent for Historic Preservation. In FY17 Q4 we expect additional hearings before the Zoning Commission and the Mayor’s Agent for Historic Preservation. In FY17 Q4 we also expect that DGS will commence preservation and stabilization work on many of the above grade historic resources within McMillan.
Mentoring for Mature Businesses
October 2019: DSLBD designated 6 new DC Main Streets Programs: U Street Main Street in Ward 1; Logan Circle Main Street in Ward 2; Cleveland Park Main Street and Glover Park Main Street in Ward 3; Upper Georgia Avenue in Ward 4; and Upper Bladensburg Road Main Street in Ward 5.
September 2019: Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC), a tuition-free executive leadership program, returned to Washington, DC in partnership with Catholic University of America. The program helps business owners in economically-distressed areas build capacity for sustainable growth in revenue, profitability, and employment. DC is home to 86 ICCC alumni, and since their participation they have averaged 17% growth in revenue, created 128 jobs, and raised $4.2M in capital. Learn more.
August 2019: DSLBD released a Request for Applications for 6 new main streets programs, bringing the total number of DC Main Streets from 18 to 24. Since the DC Main Streets Program was created, over 900 businesses and over 6,500 jobs have been created, and over $300 million have been invested in public improvements.
March 2019: 1863 Ventures concluded its inaugural HERImpact DC initiative, awarding $50,000 in cash and in-kind support to women social entrepreneurs. The organization also accepted applications for its sixth cohort of businesses for its Emerge Tech spring 2019 accelerator program, a free five-week pre-seed program for New Majority, tech-enabled businesses.
October 2018: Project 500 changes its name to 1863 Ventures after surpassing its original goal of supporting 500 entrepreneurs of color. Learn more about the significance of the name change. 1863 Ventures has established a new goal to create $100 billion of new wealth by and for new majority entrepreneurs. A new initiative is the Pipeline Program, which actively recruits and retains a pipeline of investment ready businesses who can scale through supply chain contracts, tech scouting and joint venture opportunities.
April 2018: Mayor Bowser designated the area near 14th and Kennedy Streets, NW as Uptown Main Street. Read more here.
February 2018: Project 500 opened applications for the third cohort of entrepreneurs. Businesses with revenue under $250,000 can apply. The program is free of charge and is open to any DC-based business owner, with a preference to assist resident-owned businesses in Wards 7 and 8. This year, the city’s budget also includes funding for a low cost micro-loan fund solely for the purpose of supporting Project 500 businesses East of the River. Read more here.
November 2017: Mayor Bowser kicked off Small Business Saturday at the Main Street in Ward 7, designating the area a full member of the DC Main Streets program. Read more here.
October 2017: Mayor Bowser presented a certificate to the Georgetown Main Street, designating the area a full member of the DC Main Streets program. Read more here.
August 2017: In 3Q FY17, Main Streets programs have provided counseling to 218 businesses located within the 12 Main Streets corridors.
May 2017: The Deputy Mayor’s Office for Great Economic Opportunity partnered with Project 500, Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif), and Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to launch Ascend 2020 DC. Ascend 2020 DC is an initiative to accelerate the growth of minority-, women- and veteran-owned small businesses by extending entrepreneurial support systems to underserved entrepreneurs and neighborhoods in DC.
May 2017: Project 500 completed its first year of operation, marking more than 260 enrolled businesses that on average increased revenue by 15%.
Worker and Business Cooperatives
October 2019: DC Co-op Day brought together the DC co-op ecosystem – worker co-ops, limited equity housing co-ops, food co-ops, co-op technical assistance providers and co-op advocates – for a day of learning, connecting and organizing.
September 2019: DC is selected for the Shared Equity in Economic Development (SEED) Fellowship organized by National League of Cities and Democracy at Work Institute. The cross-agency team will spend 9 months working on a project to support the development of food cooperatives and shared ownership models for food-businesses in DC Wards 5, 7, and 8.
September 2018: Community stakeholders have moved forward in developing a steering committee to support developing a Cooperative Development Center. Mayor Bowser has declared October to be DC Co-op Month. The Cooperative Development Center is hosting a Co-op Festival on the National Mall on October 6th and 7th, 2018.
August 2017: DSLBD is holding monthly stakeholder meetings to support the development of a speaker’s list, speaking opportunities, and a community-developed mission for a peer-to-peer network. Stakeholders have held public workshops and made radio appearances.
Retention, Expansion and Attraction Coordinating Committee
October 2019: DMPED has continued engagement with BREAC members through recent updates of goals and objectives for the FY20 Employer Engagement Program. Representatives from WDCEP and DMPED are presenting relevant findings of the program at quarterly BID Council Meetings to receive feedback and discuss business retention and attraction efforts. BREAC members are also invited to participate in Employer Engagement 100 meetings with respective companies.
September 2018: DMPED’s Business Development team, in partnership with the DOES Business Services Unit, the Washington DC Economic Partnership, and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), engaged with the District’s top employers during FY18. The purpose of this campaign is to connect with the most significant employers and growing businesses to discuss how things are going, ways DC government can be supportive, and opportunities to collaborate. To date, 51 meetings have been completed.
September 2018: DMPED developed a new systematized approach to congratulate DC businesses that were recognized in the news. In Q3 2018, DMPED sent nine congratulatory letters to businesses that were recognized in the news. DMPED also engaged BREAC members through employer engagement efforts, El Salvador mission planning, InnoMAYtion, and opportunity zone outreach.
April 2017: The working group convened for the first time in April.
Commercial Space and Capital Support
October 2019: In FY2019 DSLBD deployed $1M in Robust Retail grants to support existing retail businesses staying open, providing support to over 60 DC retail businesses citywide.
September 2019: DMPED released a document compiling resources available to help small businesses stay and thrive in DC in the face of rising property values, including:
June 2019: DMPED released a Request for Information (RFI) addressing ways to support small commercial space users – including local retailers, light manufacturers, startups, nonprofits, as well as arts and cultural organizations – in securing affordable commercial space, with a focus on users located in DC’s 25 Opportunity Zones.
October 2018:DC Council enacted the Small Retailer Property Tax Relief Credit, designed to provide tax relief of up to $5,000 per year to qualifying small businesses under pressure from rising property taxes. Learn more here.
DC Procurement Technical Assistance Center
October 2019: From October 2018 – September 2019, the DC PTAC center held 52 events, served 4,084 participants, and provided 1113 counseling hours- ultimately helping DC businesses land over $30,759,484.00 million in local and federal government contracts.
September 2018: From October 2017 – August 2018, the DC PTAC center held 52 events, served 2334 participants, and provided 1100 counseling hours- ultimately helping DC businesses land over $12.3 million in local and federal government contracts.
August 2017: From October 2016 – June 2017, the DC PTAC center held 76 events, served 1,313 participants, and provided 476 counseling hours- ultimately helping DC businesses land over $17.8 million in local and federal government contracts.
June 2017: DC Procurement Technical Assistance Center hosted the 2017 DC PTAC Small Business Summit . The summit connected local small businesses with the resources and contracts needed to successfully navigate procurement opportunities.
Business Supports Navigator
October 2019: Since launch, the DC Business Toolkit has been populated with over 500 business assistance resources (provided by 100+ agencies) to help DC residents open, operate and grow their business in the District. Resources include events, trainings, publications, tools, programs, and counseling, available through a searchable database and roadmaps. Local businesses may use the Shop Local Directory to promote their business to prospective buyers (retail customers, agencies, B2B) and connect with other businesses for networking and cooperative purchasing and promotions.
September 2018: DSLBD redesigned its DC Business Toolkit to become an interactive portal that centralizes the vast number of business resources (funding, classes, forms, regulatory guidance, coaching), which are available citywide through our DC agencies and service providers, so that DC businesses and residents exploring entrepreneurship can readily find and use these tools to open, operate and grow their business in the District of Columbia. The soft launch of the beta version launches September 24, 2018.
March 2017: DMPED launched incentives.dc.gov, a comprehensive, searchable database of over 80 incentives and other funding-related programs available through District Government.
BEACON, Women Entrepreneurs Network
October 2019: Building off the success of their one-day events in 2017 and 2018, Beacon has expanded Startup Law 101 into a three-part series empowering women founders with legal tools for their business.
April 2019: Through their directory of 450 businesses, direct-service campaigns and our ecosystem-builder grant program, BEACON has supported over 1,000 women entrepreneurs in the metro-DC are and built a subscriber list of over 3,500. 30 awards totaling $100k have been granted to women-led organizations in alignment with BEACON’s four pillars and with impact across DC’s eight wards.
September 2018: Mayor Bowser and BEACON awarded 11 grants totaling $50,000 to organizations supporting women entrepreneurs in Washington, DC. Read more here.
September 2017: Mayor Bowser and BEACON: The DC Women Founders Initiative awarded 19 grants totaling $50,000 to support women entrepreneurs in Washington, DC. More than 85 organizations applied for the program and 67 advanced to a community voting round that saw over 5,000 votes cast by members of the public. Click here for the full press release.
Inclusive Innovation Fund
September 2019: The Marathon Foundation is in the process of raising their fund. Throughout the last year, they have participated in multiple events to help tell the story of DC’s inclusive investment landscape, such as the 2019 West Coast Mission and DC Startup Week.
September 2018: The Bowser Administration announced it will partner with The Marathon Foundation (TMF) to create the DC Inclusive Innovation Fund, a new program that will invest in early stage District businesses led by underrepresented entrepreneurs, including people of color, women, LGBTQ people, and individuals with disabilities. The District will provide seed funding of $1.5 million to help the fund raise private capital to support DC entrepreneurs. Read more here.
April 2018: The Bowser Administration today released a Request for Applications (RFA) for an investment partner to develop and manage the Inclusive Innovation Fund, a new program that aims to invest in early stage District businesses led by underrepresented entrepreneurs, including people of color, women, and LGBTQ people and individuals with disabilities. The District will make available seed funding of up to $1.5 million in Fiscal Year 2018 to help an investment professional partner build out a program. Read more here.
February 2018: Mayor Bowser issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input on the design and approach for the Inclusive Innovation Fund, a new program that aims to increase access to capital for District entrepreneurs, particularly for underrepresented entrepreneurs, such as people of color and women. Read more here.
CEO Thought Leaders Series
September 2019: The Washington DC Economic Partnership has hosted 15 executive roundtables attended by over 200 participants representing executives, investors, universities, nonprofits, and DC government agencies. Topics included Social Impact, Transportation, Inclusive Innovation, Cybersecurity and Building Inclusive Tech Cultures.
September 2018: The Washington DC Economic Partnership hosted 9 executive roundtables attended by over 125 participants representing executives, investors, universities, nonprofits, and DC government agencies. Topics included Ed Tech, Cybersecurity, and Workforce Development.
January 2018: The Washington DC Economic Partnership began convening monthly industry-focused discussions. The goals of these discussions are to help foster a stronger community among attendees, better understand the needs of different industry verticals, and introduce business leaders to DC government and the support provided.
September 2019: Mayor Bowser kicked off the 4th annual 202Creates Month. Click here to view the press release. To date, 202Creates has:
September 2018: The third annual 202Creates Month was celebrated in September. 202Creates has accepted a total of 68 DC residences into the 202Creates Residency Program, which provides artists and creative entrepreneurs access to OCTFME office space and resources. 202Creates has also recorded 104 podcast episodes, produced 80 videos, and 23 TV episodes to help high creative DC residents and their creatives spaces.
August 2017: Mayor Bowser kicked off the District’s second annual 202Creates, a month-long showcase of the District’s diverse and vibrant creative community. Throughout September, 202Creates will highlight the artists, makers, and entrepreneurs who contribute to Washington, DC’s creative economy. To date, 202Creates has supported more than 4,000 events. Click here for the full press release.
Inclusive Innovation Incubator (IN3)
September 2019: In3 has become one of the leading spaces in Washington, DC focused on inclusion and diversity. Since its inception, In3 has welcomed over 3500 people, hosted over 250 events, and executed 50 educational programs. In 2019, In3 introduced three new program segments: Grow & Glow (focused on women’s entrepreneurship), the Innovation Lab (IL) incubator, and the Future is Written in Code education courses.
September 2018: Since opening, In3 has housed a number of entrepreneurship and training events with organizations such as Microsoft, Connect.DC, Street Entrepreneurs, the National Black MBA Association, and the DC Small Business Development Center. In3 rebranded its Luma Lab programming as In3 Education, its flagship youth program to teach students how to apply technical and entrepreneurial skills to solve community issues.
April 2017: In3 celebrated its grand opening, officially opening its doors on April 17, 2017 and hosting a “Week of Welcome” that drew nearly 800 community participants.
Aspire for Entrepreneurship
September 2019: Graduation of the first cohort of Aspire Side Hustle, an evening and weekend version of Aspire programming. This new core format increases access to entrepreneurship training for those who cannot commit to a fulltime program and creates space for alumni to continue to engage with the Aspire program.
March 2019: The DSLBD partnered directly with the Department of Employment Services’ Project Empowerment to launch the 5th cohort, and the program continues to see a zero percent recidivism rate for program graduates. DSLBD also launched “We Aspire” grants to build and grow the ecosystem of returning citizen businesses.
September 2018: Aspire has served 50 DC returning citizens to date, and reports a zero percent recidivism rate. Similar programs are launching in DC Jail, and other groups are seeking to build Aspire-like programs to remove barriers to entrepreneurship equitably.
August 2017: The third cohort for Aspire launched and are preparing to move from a pilot to full program housed in DOES in 2018.
June 2017: The second Aspire cohort graduated.
March 2017: Launched second cohort and received a $10,000 US Conference of Mayors (USCM) DollarWise innovation grant to help expand the program.
August 2019: Through the findings of the Innovation Space and Marketplace Report published in 2017, DMPED seeks to fund opportunities for creative entities to manufacture, produce, and retail their product. As a result, DMPED launched the Makersplace Marketplace Grant pilot to provide funding to qualified operators of new or existing spaces that combine access to production equipment and retail space.
July 2017: Published “Innovation Space and Marketplace Report: Developing a Makerspace in the District” report. This report is one of the first steps necessary to plan and develop the Innovation Space and Marketplace. The analysis in the report will help DMPED and other DC agencies develop a makerspace that will best meet the District’s goals and stakeholder needs. Read the full report here.
International Tourism Catalysts
August 2019: The city welcomed 1.9 million overseas visitors in 2018. DC’s top overseas market was China, with 226,000 visitors, down 25% (Chinese visitation was down to the U.S. overall). However, Chinese length of stay was up 27% and room nights up 72%. Additionally, though overseas visitors only represent 8% of the total number of visitors to DC, international visitors represent 27% of the visitor spending.
October 2018: Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development Brian Kenner and a delegation of government and business leaders attended a China Trade Mission where they visited the cities of Shenzhen and Beijing to discuss tourism, real estate and business opportunities, and technology.
September 2018: International tourism to Washington, DC continues to show positive growth with 2.5% growth in 2017 vs. 2016, bringing a record of 2 million international visitors to the District of Columbia. Partnered with the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority to bring new direct flights: Volaris (El Salvador to Dulles) and Cathy Pacific (Hong Kong to Dulles).
December 2017: Destination DC conducted a sales mission in India enabled by the new direct route from Dulles to Delhi.
July 2017: Air India’s nonstop flight from Delhi to Dulles begins. Read more here.
June 2017: DC hosted IPW, the largest international travel show, for the first time. The event attracted more than 6,400 attendees from 70 countries, including more than 1,300 international and domestic travel buyers, and a record 530 journalists from the US and abroad. According to US Travel, IPW is expected to generate $1.7 billion in economic impact to the District and attract more than 1 million visitors to the region during that time.
February 2017: Nonstop service between Delhi and Dulles was announced. The new route, which will offer three nonstop flights per week starting in July 2017, is estimated to bring $10 million to the District in total economic impact and $30 million annually to the region. Click here for the full press release.
Coordinated Marketing Campaign
August 2019: Mayor Bowser and DMPED relaunched the #ObviouslyDC website, previously use used as a digital campaign proposal for Amazon HQ2, to provide companies of all scales with valuable information and resources on starting and growing a business in Washington, DC.
August 2018: Destination DC commissioned a research report to analyze the effectiveness of the “D.C. Cool” ad campaign. Read more here.
July 2019: Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) announced $3 million in Neighborhood Prosperity Fund grants for six diverse projects that will bring new food, retail, and other neighborhood amenities to neighborhoods in Wards 4, 7, and 8. Read more here.
June 2019: DMPED launched the Great Streets Legacy Business Grant to retain important fixtures in the District’s local economy and create new opportunities for businesses that have been established for over 25 years.
May 2019: Mayor Muriel Bowser and Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Brian Kenner awarded over $2.1 million in Fiscal Year 2019 Great Streets Small Business Grants to 45 local small businesses. The investment continues Mayor Bowser’s effort to support local businesses, create new job opportunities for DC residents, and grow the District’s emerging neighborhoods. Read the press release here.
January 2019: Mayor Bowser broke ground on Good Food Markets, delivering job opportunities and fresh food options to the Bellevue community in Ward 8. Through the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, South Capitol Improvement LLC received an $880,000 grant to support the buildout for a grocer tenant as part of the 225,000 square-foot development that includes 195 units of affordable housing and 5,500 square-feet of community commercial space. Click here to read the press release.
September 2018: Greats Streets in its FY19 round of applications has expanded eligibility to include: Pharmacies, and Businesses holding a Tavern license that can provide documentation that more than 50% of their sales come from non-alcoholic items.
Adjusted requirements for this grant also include having businesses enroll in the MPD Security camera rebate program, and removal of excessive window papering, point of sale plexiglass, and/or front of business burglar bars where applicable.
April 2018: Great Streets hosted a Stakeholder roundtable discussion to discuss business eligibility for FY19. These findings will shape the FY19 Great Streets RFA.
February 2018: Released RFA for FY18 Neighborhood Prosperity Fund with up to $3 million available for catalyzing mixed-used real estate projects in targeted census tracts.
October 2017: Mayor Bowser announced the awardees for the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, a pilot program that provides financial support for non-residential components of mixed-use projects in underserved neighborhoods in Washington, DC. Through the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, LDP Holdings LLC was awarded $2.1 million for its Penn Hill project located at 3200 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE and South Capitol Improvement LLC was awarded $880,000 for its South Capitol Affordable Housing project located at the intersection of Atlantic and South Capitol Streets, SW. Click here for the full press release.
May 2017: Launched the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, a pilot program that provides funding for non-residential components of mixed-use projects in underserved neighborhoods in the District — specifically, census tracts where unemployment rates are 10% or greater.
District Open Data Policy
July 2019: The District of Columbia Government was honored for exceptional use of geospatial technology at the 39th Esri User Conference. “With GIS, and the availability of open data, DC Government is creating opportunities for everyone, from government agencies to community organizations, to identify innovative ideas addressing some of the District’s biggest challenges,” said Lindsey Parker, DC’s Chief Technology Officer. Read the press release here.
March 2019: The District government, under the leadership of OCTO completed its second Enterprise Dataset Inventory published on March 11, 2019. Over the course of the 2019 inventory, 75 agencies recorded 1,779 enterprise datasets, up from 1,640 datasets recorded by 73 agencies in 2018. Of the 69 mayoral agencies, 64 recorded an enterprise dataset, up from 63 in 2018. Two more independent agencies also contributed datasets, increasing the number of participating independent agencies to 11 from 10 the previous year. Read the Chief Data Officer’s report to the Executive Office of the Mayor here.
April 2019: Bloomberg Philanthropies announced that Washington, DC is one of seven cities to achieve 2019 What Works Cities Certification, a national standard of excellence in city governance which measures the extent to which city leaders incorporate data and evidence in their decision-making. The District achieved certification at the gold level, increasing from its silver award in 2018. Read press release here.
January 2019: The Contracts and Procurement Transparency Portal was created by the Office of Contracting and Procurement (OCP) with support from OCTO as a public clearinghouse for all information related to the District Government’s contracting and procurement efforts. This portal is broken down into 6 modules: Forecast, Solicitations, Contracts, Purchase Orders, Payments and Independent Agencies. View the portal here.
July 2018: The District data policy was amended so that the enterprise data inventory shall be published by March 10 of each year. Read the amendment here.
March 2018: OCTO released the Enterprise Dataset Inventory (EDI), an inventory of all DC government agency data.
August 2017: OCTO seeks to remove barriers for DC agencies that want to be data driven in perusing their missions. In 2017, OCTO expanded its offerings to include the MicroStrategy and Tableau lines of Business Intelligence software using DC owned and operated public-facing servers. As a result, agencies are creating publicly available business intelligence dashboards. View recent data visualizations here.
May 2017: Mayor Bowser announced DC Government’s new Data Policy. Under the new Data Policy, District agency data will be open to the public by default to the fullest extent consistent with safety, privacy, and security. Check out hundreds of DC government datasets at Open Data DC.
July 2019: The Menkiti Group expanded its plans for the MLK Gateway project in Anacostia with the acquisition of additional privately-owned adjacent sites and a new tax break from the District. Menkiti has yet to detail how it plans to expand the project, but the existing plan includes 16,000 SF of retail for a fresh food market or restaurant. The 50,000+ SF of office space will include a tech incubator (operated by Enlightened) and a “Real Estate Entrepreneurship Career Academy (operated by Keller Williams) to educate D.C. residents on brokerage skills. Read the details.
February 2018: The Menkiti Group and Enlightened Inc. plan to break ground in 2019.
Made in DC
June 2019: A “Made in DC” retail kiosk opened at Washington National Airport, offering visitors the opportunity to purchase DC-produced foods and goods. This airport pop-up retail kiosk is the result of a collaboration between the DSLBD and the Pop Up Collective, a collective of women and minority-owned businesses based in D.C. The pilot has been so successful that the kiosk is now permanent and DSLBD is exploring additional pop ups throughout the city.
September 2018: The Made in DC pilot in partnership with the District Wharf, created an opportunity for over 60 makers to access a new market resulting in cumulative sales of over $100,000 within the first nine weeks.
October 2017: Mayor Bowser opens Shop Made in DC – a new brick and mortar retail and cafe space stocked exclusively with DC-based brands. Shop Made in DC will create a low-entry to marketplace opportunity for creative entrepreneurs to sell their goods and increase visibility of brands while stimulating the local economy. Click here for the full press release.
June 2019: The DC Chamber of Commerce and DMPED held the 2019 Health Policy Forum on Health Innovation to explore how innovative practices can improve the lives of District residents and reduce health disparities.
April 2019: Johnson & Johnson Innovation LLC and Children’s National Health System announced a collaboration to launch JLABS @ Washington, DC, a 32,000-square foot facility to be located at the new Children’s National Research and Innovation Campus. This Children’s National expansion is set on a nearly 12-acre portion of the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center campus in the nation’s capital. Read more.
January 2019: Sibley Memorial Hospital launched the second cohort of Community Health Innovators in Residence, part of the Ward Infinity initiative. Four teams of community leaders from Wards 7 and 8 were awarded funding to design solutions targeting three focus areas: better access to healthy foods, improving housing options, and using technology to improve health literacy. Learn more here.
September 2018: Hosted a panel on “Solving for Health Through Partnership & Innovation” at WeDC Fest. The session shared case studies and real world outcomes from innovation in healthcare across startups, pharma, hospitals, and the government.
September 2018: Mayor Bowser hosted DC’s first Maternal and Infant Health Summit. The summit brought together a vibrant list of leaders to address a community audience and develop an agenda that tackles the disproportionally high rates of maternal mortality experienced by people of color – in both Washington DC and across the nation. Learn more here.
September 2018: DMPED in partnership with the DC Chamber of Commerce hosted an economic intelligence roundtable focused on health, featuring representatives from National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute)/Presidential Innovation Fellow, Medstar Innovation Center, Bridgepoint, and Veda Data Solutions. Learn more here.
January 2018: Hosted a Health Innovation Discussion with 40+ attendees to bring the community together and better understand the challenges and opportunities facing the DC health innovation community. Click on this link for discussion notes and key takeways: Health Innovation Discussion Notes
Exports and Middle East Investment
June 2019: Mayor Muriel Bowser led a trade mission to Israel in partnership with the DC Chamber of Commerce to attract technology firms, establish educational partnerships, and promote Washington, DC as a destination for investment and tourism. Read the press release here.
May 2019: United Airlines launched a nonstop flight between Washington Dulles International Airport and Tel Aviv.
September 2018: Export DC supported 11 Certified Business Enterprises on Export DC trade missions.
April 2017: Deputy Mayor Kenner led the District’s first trade mission to the Middle East, covering Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha.
April 2019: Mayor Bowser released Resilient DC, the District’s strategy for DC to thrive in the face of change. It is a tactical implementation strategy that brings together and aligns other major planning efforts into one coordinated effort to confront the complex challenges of the 21st century, including economic and population growth, climate change, and technological transformation. Explore the strategy at resilient.dc.gov.
May 2018: Resilient DC gathered more than 75 community leaders, subject matter experts, and government officials to launch a process of discovery. The event organized interdisciplinary working groups around five big questions about DC’s resilience. Participants discussed planning, climate action, economic and population growth, racial equity, technological change, and the Anacostia River.
July 2017: Mayor Bowser appointed longtime US Housing and Urban Development (HUD) policy strategist Kevin Bush as DC’s first Chief Resilience Officer (CRO). Read more here.
May 2017: Resilient DC created and convened a Resilience Cabinet, identified resilience priorities based on stakeholder input, and launched the search for a chief resilience officer.
Social Enterprise and Impact Economy Development
February 2019: As a follow-up to SOCAP outreach, DMPED & WDCEP hosted a Social Impact Investor Panel as part of the West Coast trade mission. The goal was to promote DC as a leading city for the impact economy (e.g. social enterprises) and inclusive investing & innovation.
December 2018: WDCEP convened a Social Impact Executive Roundtable to discuss access to capital, needs of diverse founders, talent, and positioning DC as a great place for Social Impact enterprises.
October 2018: A delegation from DMPED & WDCEP attended SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) 2018 conference to develop relationships with impact investors and raise awareness of DC’s entrepreneurs.
June 2018: DMPED held meetings with prospective investors following the designation of DC’s Opportunity Zones, a new federal tax incentive that could be leveraged to increase impact investing. Learn more about DC’s Opportunity Zones here.
October 2017: DMPED attended SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) Conference and promoted DC as the capital of inclusive innovation.
DC West Coast Engagement
February 2019: Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner led the Obviously DC West Coast Mission to further pitch Washington, DC as the capital of inclusive innovation, identify opportunities for investment and tech growth, and explore the future of transit mobility as a pathway to sustainability and job creation. With stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland, the mission included meetings with LA Cleantech Incubator, Postmates, Backstage Capital, and the Portland Business Alliance. Read the press release.
February 2018: Mayor Bowser and Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner traveled to Silicon Valley to pitch Washington, DC as the ideal location for tech companies, promote the District as the capital of inclusive innovation, and visit potential job creators. The mission included meetings with tech giants (e.g. Lyft, Cisco, Yelp), Oakland-based Kapor Center for Social Impact, and the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford University. Read more here.
Permitting and Licensing Systems Redesign
November 2018: DCRA released a new and improved certificate of occupancy form, a direct result of the Form-A-Palooza feedback event held in the summer of 2018.
June 2018: At Form-a-Palooza residents and design & behavioral science experts reworked the following forms using design thinking: 1) DC Public School Enrollment Packet 2) Child Care Subsidy Application 3) Certificate of Occupancy 4) Food Truck Health Certificate Application 5) Disability Parking Space & Placard Application. This initiative was led by The Lab @ DC.
January 2018: DCRA launched the DC Property & Permit Center Portal, a one-stop shop for permits. The portal provides a range of online tools to apply for building permits, request city services, research property regulatory information, and research and analyze permit data.
July 2017: At Form-a-Palooza residents and design & behavioral science experts reworked the following forms using design thinking: 1) DC Driver License and Identification Card Application 2) Basic Business License EZ 3) TANF Job Search Logs 4) Disability Services Intake Application 5) Lead Disclosure Form. This initiative was led by The Lab @ DC. Read more here.
Global Center of Mobility Tech + Policy
October 2018: Ford announced that it would begin testing its self-driving cars on the streets on Washington, DC in early 2019. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Sherif Marakby, CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, announced a new partnership between Ford and the DC Infrastructure Academy to train DC residents for jobs and careers in the autonomous vehicle (AV) industry. Read more here.
April 2018: Mayor Bowser joined Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi during his first trip to Washington, DC for a panel discussion on the Future of Mobility at Uber’s new Greenlight Hub, a driver resource center in Ward 7. At the event, Uber announced a first-of-its-kind partnership to share data with cities in partnership with the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). This data share will be piloted in Washington, DC in partnership with the Department of For-Hire Vehicles (DFHV) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). Read more here.
February 2018:Mayor Bowser established an Interagency Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Working Group to proactively prepare the District for AV technologies and ensure that AV deployment will benefit District residents and visitors. The working group includes District agencies focused on transportation, disability rights, environmental issues, and public safety. Additionally, the Bowser Administration partnered with the Southwest Business Improvement District (SWBID) to release a Request for Information (RFI) for a AV pilot program on 10th Street, SW. Read more here.
June 2017: DC was chosen as one of 5 global cities by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Aspen Institute to prepare for the future of driverless or AV technologies in a pilot program. They recently launched this portal where you can share your thoughts on how autonomous vehicles can improve how we serve our communities.
January 2017: DC hosted the first MobilityTalks International conference, a forum designed for governments from around the world to exchange ideas on best practices related to the emerging trends in transportation surrounding connected and autonomous vehicles. Deputy Mayor Kenner served as a panelist.
Procurement to Power the Local Economy
August 2018: DCAP: Completed procurement analysis reports for each anchor member, helping institutions understand their demand for goods and services, and utilized to prioritize target industry categories for greater prioritization of DC MBEs.
July 2018: DCAP: Completed DC MBE market analysis report, demonstrating the strong supply availability and capacity of minority-owned businesses across a diverse variety of industries in the District.
December 2017: DCAP: Kicked off anchor “action planning” with all five institutions to increase DC MBE procurement, and began conducting a baseline assessments to evaluate current practices/policies relevant to supplier diversity and to determine current DC MBE spending levels.
October 2017: DCAP: Developed and distributed a “Best Practices Compendium,” a searchable digital resource synthesizing 50+ specific internal policies and practices that advance supplier diversity, which will be used a resource for Anchor Members in their plan development. The compendium was informed by 32 interviews CNHED conducted, a review of 20 reports, and participation in 3 learning trips to gather specific successful internal changes that can be implemented at large anchor institutions.
September 2017: DCAP: Held a full-day Leadership Summit on Best Practices in Supplier Diversity, bringing together 50 anchor institution leaders, community partners, and peer institutions from other cities.
August 2017: DCAP: Received commitments from 5 founding DCAP anchor members – Georgetown University, George Washington University, BridgePoint Healthcare, Children’s National Health System, and Sibley Memorial Hospital – affirming leadership interest in improving their community economic impact in the District, while supporting business and strategic objectives, with first approach of increasing institution procurement with DC minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs).
Global Leader of Smart City Innovation
September 2018: OCTO, in partnership with US Ignite and WeWork Labs, will kickoff the GigbitDCx Challenge, a two phase reverse pitch competition in which competitors will submit proposals to develop and demonstrate gigabit app solutions in two focus areas – city mobility and environmental solutions.
September 2018: Destination DC secured the following conferences: SAS Global Forum 2020, BBCON 2022 (the premier tech gathering for social good), and Cable-Tech Expo 2025.
February 2018: DestinationDC will welcome Teach for America, an organization that recognized DC’s leading educational ecosystem in Feburary 2021, and in June of 2024, 2025, and 2026, DC will welcome Pegasystems, a cloud software company that recognized DC’s critical mass of leaders in the local tech economy. Both groups are examples of DDC’s new industry-based positioning at work.
April 2017: TechWeek, the nation’s leading technology conference and festival, announced that it is coming to DC for the first time.
September 2018: FedTech has started its fall cohort with an increasingly competitive application process and growing community awareness and interest in the free programming.
February 2018: The FedTech program, in partnership with the Washington DC Economic Partnership, hosted a networking mixer featuring pitches from leading researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory and information about the Spring ’18 Fed Tech cohort and opportunity for entrepreneurs to be paired with a cutting-edge technology from a government lab. Read more here.
November 2017: Completed fall 2017 cohort of FedTech. The cohort included several Project 500 entrepreneurs and 2 teams of American University students. Read more about the cohort and program here.
May 2017: Completed spring 2017 cohort of FedTech, a program that connects DC entrepreneurs with inventors from federal labs to advance tech transfer – a major driver of innovation.
Tech Careers Pathways Pledge
September 2018: Connect.DC will partner with District agencies and local nonprofits to provide advanced training opportunities to youth and adults. These programs include coding and digital arts workshops as well as advanced technology certifications.
June 2018: The Department of Employment Services (DOES) launched the DC Talent Leaders initiative, a collective of employers working to expand the number of quality summer work experiences for District youth. Through this initiative, DOES has partnered with local, regional, and national businesses to prepare and expand a diverse pipeline of young adults for success in the workforce. Read more here.
Greater Washington Partnership
September 2017 – 2018: Engaged with the Greater Washington Partnership on Amazon HQ2 proposal, workforce initiatives, and marketing the DC region.
Inclusive Prosperity Dashboard
September 2018: Released updated inclusive prosperity dashboard, a set of metrics that collectively define and help monitor inclusive prosperity in DC. New 2017 data show increases in educational attainment and household income for African-American residents.
September 2018: The LEAP Academy was launched in April 2015 to connect the city’s unemployed to job training opportunities. The Earn & Learn approach offers wrap-around services, empowers residents to gain work experience while earning a living wage and enhancing their future employment options. Here are some results of the LEAP program since launch:
Summer Youth Employment Program
July 2018: Mayor Bowser awarded $150,000 to 75 District youth, ages 18 to 24, through her Mayor’s Opportunity Scholarship program. For a second year, select youth in the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP), including DC Talent Leaders and Marion Barry Youth Leadership Institute participants, received scholarships of either $2,000 or $3,500 toward their post-secondary education, occupational training, or a career in the military. Read more here.
Pennsylvania 2040 Project
February 2018: Phase I was completed in October 2017, which delivered gigabit public Wi-Fi and LED-based Intelligent Lighting for the 3×3 block area and currently planning Phase II which will include new technologies that measures the performance, volumes, and flows of city traffic.
February 2018: OCTO is currently piloting Cisco’s Kinetics for Cities data platform and evaluating the potential of another Smart & Connected Community proof of concept in DC. Cisco also is working to expand its Networking Academy presence with new academies at UDC, UDCCC, and In3 (in addition to existing at McKinley Tech & Phelps). Cisco team members have discussed with DC Government ways to expose more students to self-paced courses in curriculum including Cyber, IoT, and Entrepreneurship. These courses could be offered at the middle school level in order to begin building a pipeline of students who would continue to earn a valuable industry certification for workforce and job readiness.
Green Book and Procurement App
December 2017: Mayor Bowser announced FY18 Small Business Enterprise (SBE) goal and the FY18 Green Book. The Green Book helps SBEs navigate the local government procurement process by providing an agency-by-agency overview of SBE spending availability, and the online platform cbeconnect.dc.gov allows SBEs to search for opportunities in real time. In FY18, Mayor Bowser committed to spending $656 million, or 50 percent of the expendable budget, with SBEs. In FY17, the Administration committed to spend $564 million with SBEs and surpassed that goal by spending more than $743 million with SBEs – more than any previous year.
August 2017: DC was recognized with a 2017 Innovation Award by the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) for the District’s green workforce development programs such as SolarWorks, the Green Zone Environmental Program, and River Corps. Click here for the full press release.
July 2017: Mayor Bowser launched Solar Works DC, an eco-friendly program to install solar panels in the homes of nearly 300 low-income residents, reducing expenses to nearly $600 annually. Solar Works DC will also provide job training for more than 200 Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP) participants. Click here for the full press release.
May 2017: GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic was awarded a $950,000 grant to train 75 District residents for solar careers and install solar systems for up to 100 low-income households in year one.