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Department of Small and Local Business Development

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Business Development

The Business Opportunities division specializes in assisting Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs) and local businesses to better position themselves to participate in contracting opportunities from the District Government and the private sector. Our team of business development professionals specializes in providing technical assistance to build credit, access capital, and manage business finances. The Business Opportunities division serves as an advocate for CBEs and local businesses as they traverse the DC contracting space.

  • CLICK HERE to schedule Technical Assistance through Small Biz Assist

Access To Capital

The Business Development Division at DSLBD helps District-based businesses and residents explore entrepreneurship - regardless of their business size, industry, or risk level - and access capital to open and grow their businesses. The agency works with lenders to establish microloans for clients whom traditional lenders may consider or deem “at risk.”   

District Connect

District Connect is DSLBD's annual small business expo for Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs) and local businesses to connect with contracting and capital opportunities. This event will comprise expert panel discussions, workshops, and an exhibit hall, all centered around contracting, financing, and personalized matchmaking consultations. District Connect gives small businesses access to meet with government officials and primes. Businesses will get an opportunity to speak one-on-one and meet face-to-face with decision makers to build relationships,  get access to contracting opportunities, and access to capital. 

Training/ Workshops: DSLBD provides access to and regularly hosts free business workshops and training sessions, including two cohorts of Build-a-Dream, a comprehensive program that guides participants through the entrepreneurial journey. 

1. DSLBD offers one-on-one meeting time for DC-based entrepreneurs and businesses to learn more about our programs, connect with additional services in the District, and develop a for-profit business. The Business Opportunities division provides technical assistance at the MLK Library every fourth Wednesday of each month. To book a time, CLICK HERE.


Sports Wagering Capacity Plans/Training/ Match Making: The Business Opportunities division, in collaboration with DC sportsbooks, conducts workshops for the CBE community to assist them in creating their own sportsbook and doing business with existing sportsbooks. Business Opportunities division oversees the capacity build out plans for Class A and B Sportsbooks in the district. Additionally, as contract opportunities arise, the Business Opportunities division arranges Match Making events to facilitate business connections between CBEs and Sportsbooks. 


CBE Green: CBE Green is an initiative within DSLBD to support CBEs in the expanding green and sustainable energy and buildings market. In partnership with DC’s Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE), DSLBD is supporting CBEs through additional training opportunities to prepare them for DOEE, DCSEU, and more green market opportunities.


To learn more about CBE Green, CLICK HERE.


Greenbook DC: CLICK HERE to access a recap of district spending for FY’24 to include Agency Spend

Contact our Business Opportunities team via email now at [email protected].


Service Contact: 

Keith Howard 

Contact Email: 

[email protected]

Contact Phone: 

(202) 727-3900

Contact TTY: 


Contact Suite #: 

850 North


Service Location: 

GIS Address: 

441 4th Street, NW