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Dream Grants for Ward 7 and 8 Microbusiness

Grants to Washington, DC Emerging Companies
to Support Business Development

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

01/11/19 2:00 PM


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Grants of up to $10,000 to Washington, DC small and emerging businesses located in Wards 7 and 8 to support business development activities. Funding is intended for market research, product or service development, licensing, customer development, prototype development, and other development purposes.

The grants are to provide business development support to the sustainability and growth of microbusinesses with fewer than five (5) employees located in Ward 7 or 8 for which residents of those Wards comprise 51% or more of the ownership of the business. New businesses may apply, but must become licensed by September 30, 2019, to be eligible for funding.

The funds can be used for the following business development uses:
1. Product or service development;
2. Market research;
3. Customer development;
4. Licensing;
5. Developing Prototypes;
6. Providing engineering design;
7. Leasing equipment; and
8. Obtaining professional services; such as accounting, tax, and legal services or capital-asset management, or,
9. Other expenses accepted by the agency not listed as ineligible below.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183408

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

DSLBD intends to award up to fifteen (15) grants.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up $10,000 each

Term of Contract:

Successful applicants may apply the funds that meet the allowable uses for expenses incurred after October 1, 2018, and before September 30, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are businesses or forming businesses in DC Wards 7 or 8, majority owned by residents of Wards 7 & 8. There are several required document to demonstrate eligibility:

A. Federal Employment Identification Number (FEIN)
All applicants must have a FEIN number for the current or forming business and supply it with the application. Applicants can obtain an FEIN number from Required for all applicants.

B. Proof of Residency
All applicants must submit proof of residency in DC Ward 7 or 8 for a single owner/sole-proprietor, or 51% of business owners if multiple owners. Required for all applicants.

Applicants must provide:
a) DMV-issued license or DMV-issued identification card or US Passport,
b) And one of the following documents displaying the Ward 8 address of residency:
i) A copy of a current (November 2018 or later) utility bill
ii) A copy of a current (November 2018 or later) bank statement
iii) A copy of a current (November 2018 or later) government check
iv) A copy of a current (November 2018 or later) paycheck
v) Or, other official documentation showing the resident name and address, at the discretion of DSLBD.

C. Proof of Ownership
Business must submit proof that the business is 51% or more owned by residents of Ward 7 or 8.

a) Businesses incorporated in the District must produce corporate records that define the business ownership by individual and percent ownership.
b) Sole-proprietorships operating the in the District can produce a business license or alternate license in the name of the business owner.
i) New businesses not yet licensed must submit a signed and dated letter of intent signed by the applicant indicating the intent to license, and the intended ownership, in the District before September 30, 2019 if awarded a Dream Grant.

D. Staffing Plan Letter of Confirmation
Business must confirm that the business has no more that 5 full-time employees to be eligible.

E. DC Business License

(1) DC Business License, (2) License Number, or (3) Statement of Intent to License in DC. Applicants can obtain a Business License from, or may use awarded grant funds to cover the cost of licensing.

a) Existing business can produce a valid DC business license or alternate license if a general business license is not required for their business activity.
b) New businesses are not yet licensed in the District, but commit to becoming licensed before September 30, 2019 or forfeit all grant funds awarded.
i) Letter of Intent. New businesses must submit a signed document indicating the intent to license in DC before September 30, 2019 if awarded a Dream Grant.

The funds cannot be used for any of the following uses:
1. Financing existing debt, including payment of taxes owed
2. Expenses incurred before October 1, 2018, or after September 30, 2019
3. Expenses which are reimbursed by a different grant from DC Government
4. Personal use or other uses not related to the business identified in the grant

Pre-proposal Conference:

DSLBD will host an information sessions regarding the Ward 7 & 8 Microbusiness Dream Grants opening November 1, 2018. DSLBD will host multiple information sessions throughout November and December 2018 for the Winter 2019 round of Dream Grants.

Monday, November 26, 2018, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST
The Hive 2.0
1231 Good Hope Road, SE
Basement Level
Washington, DC 20020

Saturday, December 1, 2018, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM EST
Malcom X Opportunity Center
1351 Alabama Avenue SE
2nd Floor
Washington, DC 20032

Wednesday, December 12, 2018, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST
Skyland Workforce Development Center
2509 Good Hope Road, SE
Washington, DC 20020

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline to apply online is January 11, 2019 at 2:00 PM.

For applicants submitting by January 4, 2019, at 2:00 PM, DSLBD will conduct a review by January 8 and notify applicants of any missing documentation. This check will not review for applicant eligibility. Applicants will then have until the final deadline to correct their application.

Grant recipients will be notified by February 15, 2019. 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 March 15, 2019

Key Dates:
- Grant funds can be allocated to costs during the Period of Performance: October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019
- Application Information Sessions: Multiple, including November 14, November 26, December 1, and December 12
- Pre-Review Deadline: January 4, 2019, 2:00 PM
- Application Deadline: January 11, 2019, 2:00 PM
- Award Notification Date: February 15, 2019
- Grant Agreement Anticipated Date: March 15, 2019
- Funding Disbursement Schedule: Variable per individual grant
- Last date to incur costs and/or license a business: September 30, 2019

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

Submit written questions to:
Kate Mereand

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Washington, DC: Wards 7 and 8