The 2021 Small Business Grant Program is intended to help small businesses with physical or operational improvements to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and transition into recovery. These grants are possible thanks to the DC Main Streets grant from the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development.

GMS has made $60,000 available for the 2021 Grant Program and will award individual grants of $3,000

The application is now closed. Applicants will be notified of their award status by Wednesday, April 14th. The list of the 20 grant recipients can be found here.


Find details & application guidelines below


Find the online application below


Grant Info Session.png

Watch the recording on demand. Passcode: 41q1%W3A


Grant funds can be used for technical assistance, business development, exterior and storefront improvements, interior renovations, security improvements and/or equipment. The combined amount requested for funding cannot exceed $3,000. 


Technical Assistance: Eligible technical assistance expenses include hiring a consultant to provide technical assistance under specific topics:

  • Accounting

  • Financial management

  • Marketing

  • Website training

Business Development: Eligible business development expenses include activities or trainings that promote sales growth, business expansion, the formation of strategic partnerships, and increased profitability. Examples of eligible business dev expenses are the following:

  • Website development 

  • E-commerce platform

  • New point-of-sale system

  • Quickbooks subscription

  • Business planning / COVID recovery consulting


Exterior Improvements:

  • Business Signage

  • Painting

  • Awning

  • Doors and Windows

  • Patios or decks (with evidence of proper Summer Garden or Sidewalk Cafe permits)

  • Security grate removal


Interior Improvements:

  • Interior walls, floors, ceilings

  • Interior decor and remodels

  • Equipment (see below for more information)


  • Heating, Air conditioning or ventilation systems; purchased,  installed or repaired

  • Permanent equipment such as refrigerators, stoves, ovens, ventilation hoods, dishwashers and point of sale systems.

  • Storage or shelving; purchases, installed or repaired


Security Improvements:

  • Security cameras; purchase and installation (Must apply for DC government rebate to receive up to $750 on equipment costs through the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG). Applicant is responsible for reading eligibility for rebate and for applying for it.) 

Ineligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

Financing of existing debt, rent, payroll, day-to-day operational costs, maintenance and moving expenses, and loan interest.


Q: How do I know if my business falls within the Georgetown Main Street boundaries?

A: You can type your business address into this map to see if it falls within the GMS boundaries or another DC Main Street boundary. Unfortunately businesses outside the GMS boundaries are ineligible for this grant, no exceptions can be considered.

Q: My retail business is a non-profit, are we eligible for this grant?

A: Yes! Non-profit retail businesses are eligible for consideration for this grant program.  Submission of this application does not constitute an agreement to issue a grant award.

Q: I did some work on the façade of my business in October 2020, can I apply for a grant to reimburse those expenses?

A: Yes! The 2021 Grants can reimburse eligible expenses. So all projects paid for between October 1, 2020 and September 1, 2021 are eligible through this program.

Q: What is a Landlord Affidavit and why do I need it if I'm doing exterior or interior renovations?

A: A Landlord Affidavit is a document indicating the landlord of your property acknowledges and accepts the structural changes you have made or propose to make to the property. Georgetown Main Street doesn't want to approve a project that is a surprise to the landlord! Click here for a template you can send to your landlord.


Contact the GMS Grants Committee at Due to a high volume of questions, please allow 2 business days for a response.