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Mayor Bowser Invests $5 Million To Improve Food Access, Create Jobs, and Support Local Manufacturing

(Washington, DC) – Today, during Small Business Week, Mayor Muriel Bowser awarded a total of $5.2 million in grants to 13 businesses through the DC Local Equity, Access, and Preservation Funds (DC LEAF) program. This investment continues the Bowser Administration’s work to improve food access, create new employment opportunities, and stimulate economic development in the District.

“We invest in local businesses because they are the backbone of our economy, they are trusted and valued community partners, and they represent the dreams and aspirations of our residents,” said Mayor Bowser. “We are proud to support entrepreneurs that step up to help us build a more inclusive and diverse economy, and these LEAF grants represent a $5 million investment in our DC values.”

DC LEAF incorporates three separate solicitations: the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, the Nourish DC Fund, and the Locally Made Manufacturing Grant Program.

  • The Neighborhood Prosperity Fund supports mixed-used, real estate, or retail development projects in targeted census tracts where unemployment is at 10% or higher. The grants provide necessary gap funding for the commercial component of development projects that will help create job opportunities.
  • The Nourish DC Fund was created to support a robust ecosystem of locally owned food businesses in District neighborhoods where decades of disinvestment have left such communities underserved by grocery and other food amenities. The Fund seeks to promote an equitable recovery by investing in local food businesses, particularly Black and Latinx-owned businesses that otherwise struggle to access capital, and to increase access to healthy food to promote health equity in the District.
  • The Locally Made grant program supports local businesses that are located in a Great Streets corridor and engage in light manufacturing with funding for capital or tenant improvements of commercial property with a designated industrial use. This grant incentivizes and bolsters the Great Streets initiative to grow the District’s local business economy, bolster manufacturing, and strengthen supply chains within the city.

“Now more than ever, we have to be strategic about how to grow our local businesses and how we partner with them to ensure our residents and neighborhoods thrive,” said Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio. “Through DC LEAF, we are making the investments needed to foster pathways to the middle class and we will continue to be intentional in our efforts to help bring the resources that neighborhoods will need now and into the future.”

The following businesses were awarded grants:

Neighborhood Prosperity Fund (NPF) - $3.185 million

Ward 6 

D.C. Central Kitchen, Inc.   Award: $340,000  Project: Development of a 36,000 sq. ft. commercial facility on Buzzard Point that will play a catalytic role in the completion and opening of a retail café, production kitchen, and related office space.  

Ward 7 

3443 Benning LLC   Award: $250,000  Project: Tenant improvements for a DC based Department of Health Licensed provider of Mental Health Services providing supportive and healthcare services to adults who struggle with mental illnesses through community-based psychiatric services, psychotherapy, and community support services.  

4600 Minnesota Avenue NE LLC   Award: $400,000 Project: Development of  HUB 7, a three development project with dedicated to training and education offering trade courses, green energy small business office space, and open air market. 

Marshall Heights Community Development Organization, Inc.   Award: $300,000  Project: Development of the Prosperity HUB consisting of a Community Culinary Kitchen including catering and event space, and a retail Grab-N-Go Café, Market, and Makerspace Showroom, as well as a Small Business Incubator and Service Center with optional Back Office Support Services. 

Medici Road, Inc.   Award: $500,000   Project: Development of a community operated grocery store, coworking offices, and headquarters for Medici Road.   

Ward 8  

 Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative   Award: $1,000,000   Project: Construction and professional services to complete the interior portion of the building that will provide additional amenity space for programs, including its maternal health programs and efforts.  

MLK Gateway Phase II Land LLC Award: $250,000   Project: Development of the second phase of the MLK Gateway project to bring economic development and jobs to Anacostia, deliver retail, restaurant, and office tenants to the site, and support local business tenancy.   

The Gaston Group   Award: $145,000 Project: Tenant improvements for a full-service Farm to Table restaurant within the Anacostia Business District and the MLK Gateway project. 

DC Locally Made Manufacturing Grant - $1 million

Ward 4 

With Malus Aforethought, LLC (dba Capitol Cider House)  Great Street Corridor: Georgia Avenue NW  Award: $120,000

Basque Bar LLC (dba Anxo Cidery)  Great Streets Corridor: Georgia Avenue NW   Award: $95,000 

Ward 5 

City-State Brewing Co. LLC  Great Streets Corridor: Rhode Island Avenue NE  Award: $145,000 

Ward 7 

Shea Yeleen Health and Beauty  Great Street Corridor: Minnesota Avenue and Benning Road NE  Award: $640,000 

Nourish DC Fund - $1 million

FY 21 Nourish DC Fund (Nourish DC) awarded $1 million in funding to Capital Impact Partners which will serve as the Fund Manager and provide flexible loans, catalytic grants, and technical assistance to emerging and existing locally-owned small food businesses in the District. Nourish DC will support a robust ecosystem of locally-owned small food businesses in communities in the District where decades of disinvestment have left such communities underserved by grocery and other food amenities.