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2023 Robust Retail Citywide Grants


DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) will be accepting applications for the 2023 Robust Retail Citywide Grants.

A robust retail sector is critical to maintaining the vibrancy of DC neighborhoods, but due to market realities of the past years, retail businesses are under threat of business decline and closure. The 2023 Robust Retail Citywide grant(s) support existing DC-based retail businesses in maintaining operations and viability during the current small business crisis. DSLBD intends to award up to $5,000 per business to approximately 100 businesses from the $500,000 in available funding for the Fiscal Year 2023.

This grant will be operated as a reimbursement grant, awarded via lottery, to DC retail businesses that have met all eligibility requirements by the final deadline. Businesses that received a Robust Retail Citywide award in FY2022 are not eligible to apply.

Who Can Apply?

Only for-profit, consumer-facing, small, and independent retail businesses with fewer than 25 full-time employees (FTEs) with a licensed retail location in DC are eligible for Robust Retail Citywide Grants. Home-based, online-only, and non-profit businesses are not eligible for this grant opportunity. Applicants must be compliant with the Office of Tax & Revenue’s Clean Hands requirements, be licensed as a retail business in the District, and be actively operating during the Fiscal Year 2023.

How Do I Apply?

All instructions are included in the formal “Request for Applications” (RFA), available for download on or before February 1, 2023. Applicants are encouraged to read the full Request for Applications. Applications will only be accepted through the online application system listed in the Request for Applications (RFA) on DSLBD’s website.



Virtual information sessions will be held. Applicants are highly encouraged to attend a virtual information session. Details on information sessions can be found on the Eventbrite page using the following link:  http://bit.ly/DSLBDeventbrite.

Questions regarding the 2023 Robust Retail grant can be emailed to [email protected]. No phone calls will be accepted. 

Final Deadline

The absolute final deadline to apply online is April 10, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. eastern, no exceptions.

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