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DSLBD Marks Over $1.2 Million in Interest-Free Loans Extended to Streetscape-Impacted Small Businesses

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

DSLBD Marks Over $1.2 Million in Interest-Free Loans Extended to Streetscape-Impacted Small Businesses

Fund Has Supported 14 Local Small Businesses, Retained Over 100 Jobs for District Residents

Washington, DC—Today the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) marked over $1.2 million in interest-free loans made to streetscape-impacted District small businesses through its Small Business Streetscape Loan Relief Fund (SLRF). The SLRF was launched in November 2011 and has provided 14 loans to small businesses impacted by streetscape projects throughout the city. The SLRF has disbursed over $1.2 million in interest-free loans, and District residents have benefited from the retention of 101 jobs and the creation of 25 new jobs.

"Small businesses impacted by streetscape projects deserve to benefit from them" said DSLBD Director Harold Pettigrew. "The success of the Streetscape Loan Relief Fund reflects the commitment of DSLBD and our partners to provide the tools and assistance necessary to ensure the success of our small businesses, and we’re happy to mark this important milestone."

The SLRF was launched in late November 2011 to provide interest-free loans to retail businesses inside or adjoining a streetscape construction or rehabilitation project. Stakeholder groups such as Business Improvement Districts and DC Main Streets organizations played an essential role in the design and launch of the program in neighborhoods impacted by streetscape projects. The Washington Area Community Investment Fund (WACIF), one of the city’s highest performing Community Development Financial Institution’s for small business lending, serves as the SLRF fund manager.

"We are excited to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with DSLBD and DC businesses impacted by streetscape projects," said WACIF President Timothy Flanagan. "The impact and implementation of the program have been very impressive."

To be eligible for an SLRF loan, a business must be independently owned, operated, and controlled; be licensed to operate and in good standing with the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA); have a Clean Hands Certificate from the Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) or state that the loan will be used to pay back taxes due to OTR; and demonstrate financial hardship or debt resulting from, or accumulated during, streetscape construction or rehabilitation in the District.  Recipient uses for SLRF loan proceeds include: working capital; inventory; repair of furniture, fixtures, machinery, or equipment; contract cash flow assistance; and payment of overdue rent or mortgage of retail business affected by the streetscape construction or rehabilitation project.

"The Reef Restaurant recently celebrated its tenth year serving customers in the District of Columbia," said Reef Restaurant owner Brian Harrison. "Without the Streetscape loan, I'm not sure we would have been able to celebrate that anniversary. This has been critical to our survival."

To apply for or learn more about the Streetscape Loan Relief Fund, please visit http://dslbd.dc.gov/service/streetscape-loan-relief-fund.  To learn more about DSLBD, please visit http://dslbd.dc.gov, follow DSLBD on Twitter at @SmallBizDC, or like our Facebook page http://facebook.com/bizDC.

About the District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development

The District of Columbia Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) fosters the economic growth, development, and retention of District of Columbia based businesses, and promotes economic development throughout the District’s commercial districts.  DSLBD envisions a business environment in which DC businesses are connected in real-time with local, federal, and global business opportunities; businesses navigate government quickly, confidently, and effectively; and, every entrepreneur and business with a great idea and a great plan has the capital to make it happen.

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