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(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, the White House selected the District of Columbia as a winner in the 2015 Startup in a Day – Start Small Model prize competition. The District received a $50,000 prize to help build a portal that will streamline the business licensing process.
The winners are located in 19 states and the District of Columbia, and were announced at White House Demo Day, an event highlighting the Obama Administration’s focus, accomplishments and efforts surrounding the American entrepreneurial and innovation engine.
“This award demonstrates that Washington, DC is open for business,” said Mayor Bowser. “The District’s business community is diverse and growing, with entrepreneurs starting up businesses and creating jobs. My Administration is focused on creating an environment where small businesses can thrive, and this initiative will help us do even more to make that goal a reality.”
“As a former entrepreneur, I understand the challenges of starting and growing a small business,” said Ana Harvey, Director of the Department of Small and Local Business Development. “I am proud to be leading the District’s efforts to address President Obama and Mayor Bowser’s challenge to provide a nurturing environment for small businesses to succeed.”
The District of Columbia-based entrepreneurs highlighted at White House Demo Day included the bright minds behind Baked by Yael, Jrink Juicery, the Millenial Trains Project, and SwitchPitch. All of the businesses highlighted were established within the last five years, each an example of the startup growth the District of Columbia has seen in recent years.
As the economic engine of the region, the District’s economy accounts for one quarter of the job market, and, in the last year, has demonstrated over two-thirds of the region’s private sector job growth. DC is also the number one tech hot spot and among the top ten cities for venture capital investment.
As the local economy continues to grow across the District, the need to support new small businesses is more critical than ever.
The US Small Business Administration’s initiative Startup in a Day aims to make it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business by reducing the amount of time it takes to register and apply for permits and licenses at the local level.
The Bowser Administration is in the process of creating a DC Business Center website that will streamline and personalize DC business owners’ interactions with the District of Columbia's government. Through the portal’s single log-in user profiles, small business owners will be able to easily access information about their encounters with the city’s main regulatory and support agencies for small businesses: the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), and the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD). The portal will be launched in phases starting later this year.