DC Announces $100 Million Bridge Fund to Support DC Businesses

Today, Mayor Bowser’s administration announced $100 million in funding via the “Bridge Fund” (the logo is clearly inspired by the new Douglass Bridge across the Anacostia). The fund closely tracks the Business Support Grant Program passed by DC Council and signed by the Mayor in July; DC had said in August that it didn’t have sufficient funding at that point, but they’ve found funds now.

The Bridge Fund will consist of 4 programs: 1) hotels 2) restaurants 3) entertainment and 4) retail. The original program passed in summer also included $5 million for child care facilities, but that was already announced September 21st. $80 million of the funds will come from DC’s funds, while $20 million come from CARES Act funding and must be spent by end of 2020.

The Fund’s programs will provide the following (parentheses shows what was included in the program passed in summer)

  • Hotels: $30 million ($28 million)
    • Up to 140 grants of $10,000 – $270,750
    • 80% will have to goto payroll
    • Application goes live Mon. 11/23. Since $20 million of the $30 million allocated comes the CARES Act funding, funds will need to be disbursed quickly.
    • Hotels/lodges/B&Bs with 10+ rooms. Allocated strictly on number of rooms, up to 250 rooms
  • Restaurants: $35 million ($38 million, though $4 million already provided as part of streatery winter grant program)
    • Up to 700 grants of $10k-$50k
    • Application goes live Mon. 12/7
    • TBA stipulations about payroll
  • Entertainment: $20 million ($14.5 million)
    • Up to 400 grants of $4k-100k
    • Application goes live Mon 12/21
    • includes entertainment venues and event planners
  • Retail: $15 million ($14.5 million, though original program only would have supported hospitality-related retail).
    • Up to 575 grants of $5k-$25k
    • Application goes live Tues 12/15

Similar to the original program, at least 15% of the $100 million must goto businesses owned by DC residents that are people of color or women. The original program included requirements to show revenue loss in order to get funds. Unclear whether this will be part of these funds

 

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