Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.


Department of Small and Local Business Development

DC Agency Top Menu

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

NOFA FY20 Robust Retail Citywide


Robust Retail: Citywide

Updated 01/23/2020

The Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) is excited to announce that we will be accepting applications for the 2020 Robust Retail: Citywide grants starting January 15, 2020 and closing March 15, 2020.

A robust retail sector is critical to maintaining the vibrancy of DC neighborhoods, but market realities are changing for retail businesses. Thus the Robust Retail grant(s) support existing DC-based retail businesses adapting their business model to meet changing customer demand. DSLBD encourages but does not require applicants to include Made in DC products as part of their concept for business model redesign.

DSLBD intends to award up to $10,000 per business to 40 businesses from the total $400,000 in available funding for 2020. Funds must be fully expended with appropriate receipts and accounting by August 31, 2020.

Final Deadline

The absolute final deadline to apply online is March 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EST, no exceptions. Applications will only be accepted through the online application system listed in the Request for Applications (RFA) on DSLBD’s website.

Who can apply?

Only For-profit consumer-facing, small retail businesses with a licensed location in DC are eligible for Robust Retail Citywide Grants. Home-based and non-profit businesses are not eligible for this grant opportunity. Applicants must have Clean Hands, a DUNS number, and active general liability insurance.

How can the funds be used?

The funding may be used for expenses the agency deems reasonable to attempt effective business model redesign between April 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020. Examples of allowable and disallowed uses are detailed in the full Request for Application (RFA), also available on DSLBD’s website during the application period.

How will awardees be selected?

Grant recipients will be selected through a competitive application process. All applications from eligible applicants received on or before the deadline will be forwarded to an independent review panel to be evaluated based on the applicants narrative on the use of the funds to help the business stay open, grow and adapt to meet market challenges.

A program team will review the recommendations. The Director of DLSBD will make the final determination of grant awards. Announcements of selected awards will be made on or around April 15, 2020.

How do I apply?

All instructions are included in the formal “Request for Applications” (RFA) available for download on DSLBD’s website on or before January 15, 2020. Applicants are encouraged to read the full Request for Application, which contains information on deadlines, eligibility, the selection process and FAQs. The RFA is also available for download at the bottom of this page. 


We will hold information sessions. Applicants are highly encouraged to attend an in person information session. Details on information sessions can be found on the Eventbrite page using the following link:

All other questions not asked during an in person information session must be submitted in writing to [email protected].


DSLBD reserves the right to issue addenda and/or amendments subsequent to the issuance of this Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) or RFA, or to rescind the NOFA or RFA at any time.