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FY19 DC Main Streets (DCMS)

Grants to Washington, DC Nonprofits to Promote
Economic Revitalization in Commercial Corridors

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

08/03/18 12:00 p.m.


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Grants to Washington, DC nonprofit organizations to support economic revitalization efforts in designated commercial areas. Applicants must register in the online application system in advance of the deadline. Organizations will develop services and programs that assist businesses with expansion and retention, and strengthen their commercial corridor.

The Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) is soliciting applications from eligible applicants for designation as a DC Main Streets program, which includes a $175,000 grant, for the following commercial districts.

-South Dakota Ave/Riggs Rd (Ward 5)
-Bladensburg Rd (Ward 5)
-14th Street (Wards 1 & 2)
-Woodley Park (Ward 3)

DC Main Streets – DC Main Streets (DCMS) is a program established by the Government of the District of Columbia to stimulate the economic revitalization of declining commercial districts through application of the Main Street Approach. The National Main Street Center has licensed DC Main Streets within the District of Columbia.

Currently, DC Main Street has designated sixteen local programs: Barracks Row Main Street, Deanwood Heights Main Streets, Destination Congress Heights, District Bridges (Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant), Eastern Market Main Street, Georgetown Main Street, Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets, H Street Main Street, Lower Georgia Ave Main street, Minnesota Ave Main Street, North Capitol Main Street, Shaw Main Streets, Rhode Island Avenue Main Street, Tenleytown Main Street, Uptown Main Street, and Van Ness Main Street.

DC Main Streets was established in 2002 and the first programs were designated in 2003. Georgetown Main Street, Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street, Minnesota Ave Main Street and Uptown Main Street were the most recently designated programs.

Program Objectives – The South Dakota Ave/Riggs Rd, Bladensburg Rd, 14th Street, and Woodley Park organizations will develop programs and services to: (1) assist business districts with the retention, expansion and attraction of neighborhood-serving retail stores; and (2) unify and strengthen the commercial corridor.

Eligible Project Areas – The following geographic descriptions are the suggested district areas. If applicants would like to propose different boundaries, they can do so on the application with a justification for the new boundaries.

1. South Dakota Avenue/Riggs Road: Riggs Rd NE from the railroad tracks to Chillum Place NE; South Dakota Avenue from Riggs Road to Galloway St NE; 3rd Street NW from Rittenhouse Street to Sheridan Streets NW

2. Bladensburg Road: Bladensburg Road NE from Mt. Olivet Road NE to Eastern Avenue; New York Avenue a half block east and west from Bladensburg Road

3. 14th Street: 14th Street from Massachusetts Avenue to Florida Avenue; P St NW from 15th to 14th street; Church Street NW from 15th to 14th Street NW; W St NW from 14th to 13th St

4. Woodley Park: Connecticut Ave NW from North Rd to Calvert Street and Calvert Street from 28th St NW to Woodley Park NW

Selection Criteria and Review Process – DSLBD will select a grant recipient through a competitive application process. A review panel will review the applications received by the submission deadline and score them against the following criteria with respective weight. Applicants, who best demonstrate that they are qualified to achieve the program objectives, will be awarded the grant. The following criteria will be used to evaluate all applications.

1. Capacity and history of the applicant organization to complete the work requested. Previous projects and the experience of team leaders will show that the applicant possesses the expertise to complete the grant successfully.

2. Strength of the project implementation plan to achieve the desired outcome. Through a description of the implementation plan, including detailed timelines and budgets, applicants will show that they have a sound methodology for addressing the issues outlined above.

3. Community “buy in” to support all projects and to support a revitalization effort of the identified project area. Business and property owners should be involved with preparing the grant application and implementing the projects. They should demonstrate their support with matching funding.

4. Creativity and innovation in addressing revitalization issues.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 174278

Number of Grants:

DSLBD will designate one program per neighborhood, for four designations, in total.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Each designated program will receive a grant of $175,000 within FY19.

Funding Restrictions – The grant may be spent in the following ways:

1. Up to $55,000 may be spent on the salary of the Executive Director, who must be hired by December 1, 2018.

2. Up to $25,500 may be spent on administrative costs, including office rental, office equipment, services and other administrative costs.

3. Up to $7,000 may be spent on accounting and professional audit services. Grantees are expected to hire Certified Business Enterprises (CBE’s) to provide all services.

4. A minimum of $35,000 must be spent on sub-grants to business and property owners. Grantees are expected to hire Certified Business Enterprises (CBE’s) to provide all services.

5. A minimum of $35,500 must be spent on other programmatic costs, including contracts for services, and advertising. Grantees are expected to hire Certified Business Enterprises (CBE’s) to provide all services.

6. A minimum of $15,000 must be spent on technical assistance in learning the Main Street Approach from approved practitioners through workshops or other training sessions. Grantees are expected to hire Certified Business Enterprises (CBE’s) or approved not for profit organizations to provide all services.

7. Up to $2,000 may be spent on professional dues/membership expenses, and/or staff/volunteer travel.

8. Grant funds may only be expended on eligible costs that are set forth in the Letter of Agreement executed with the grant awarded and incurred on or after the Effective Date.

Term of Contract:

Successful applicants should expect to begin work by October 1, 2018. The period of performance for this grant will be October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019.

This is a multi-year, renewable grant.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants must be nonprofit organizations headquartered in the District of Columbia. Because incorporation can take up to thirty (30) days, potential applicants are encouraged to register well in advance of the grant deadline, if they have not already registered for incorporation as a DC nonprofit organization.

Grants can be awarded only to organizations with no delinquent tax liabilities to the District of Columbia. DC Main Streets will confirm tax obligations with the Office of Tax and Revenue and the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs for all applicants.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Applicants are invited to ask questions at the Pre-Submission Meeting on Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 10:00 am at 441 4th Street NW, Washington DC 20001, Suite 805 South.

All questions must be submitted in writing. Email questions to Jennifer Prats (see contact details below). DSLBD will share the questions and responses with all organizations that have started the online application.

Pre-Application Information:

DSLBD published the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) in the June 4, 2018 in the OPGS Funding Alert and in the June 8, 2018 edition of the DC Register (

Completed applications are due on or before Friday, August 3, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. Applicants who have submitted their materials by Friday, July 27 will have a preliminary eligibility review. Applicants will have until the application deadline on Friday, August 3, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. to update their application.

Applicants must register online to access the application forms. DSLBD will activate applicants’ online access within two (2) business days and notify them via email. The email will contain instructions on how to access the online application.

Applications must be made through the online portal. DSLBD will not accept applications submitted via hand delivery, mail or courier service. Late submissions and incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

The grant recipients will be selected through a competitive application process and notified by Friday, August 24, 2018. All other applicants will be notified of the decision no more than one week after the grant has been awarded. A grant agreement between DSLBD and the grantees will be executed by September 10, 2018.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To access the online application forms, an organization must complete and register at:

Jennifer Prats

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Washington, DC: South Dakota Ave/Riggs Rd (Ward 5); Bladensburg Rd (Ward 5); 14th Street (Wards 1 & 2); and Woodley Park (Ward 3)