Georgetown Main Street (GMS) recognizes the need for direct store improvement and capacity-building support for the small and local businesses along the corridor. GMS’ Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program is intended to help small businesses with both physical and operational improvements. The Grants are designed to strengthen and promote equity among the businesses that create a vibrant, unique, and historic environment of the GMS commercial corridor. These grants are generously supported by the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development.


Discover eligibility, application requirements, evaluation criteria, and short answer questions, and cover page.


Complete the online application by uploading cover page and other necessary documents and answering all short answer questions.


Projects eligible for GMS Storefront and Interior Improvement grants include, but are not limited to:

  • Façade and storefront improvements, including repairs to masonry, glass, woodwork or other façade components

  • Awning/Canopy repairs or replacements

  • Exterior Lighting

  • Signage (including signs, mounting brackets and other hardware, and window lettering)

  • Interior improvements - including repairs to brickwork, plaster, heating, ventilation, and air equipment systems, furniture

  • Interior decorations - including murals, lighting, paint

  • Construction of bars, private rooms, vestibules, bathrooms, and kitchens

  • Interior and exterior ADA accessibility updates

  • Green and energy efficient installments & updates

  • Acquisition of Georgetown University GoCard reader (to allow students to pay for meals and other items using their student ID)

  • Acquisition of major items of permanent equipment, such as refrigerators, stoves, ovens, ventilation hoods, dishwashers, and point of sale systems

Projects eligible for GMS Business Operation Improvement grants include but are not limited to:

  • Business planning

  • Management training

  • Government regulation assistance

  • Marketing and branding assistance (social media, website, storefront/on-site, Yelp reviews, etc.)

  • Tax preparation and accounting assistance

  • Legal assistance

  • One-on-one or collaborative business assistance

Ineligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

Financing of existing debt, rent, payroll, day-to-day operational costs, maintenance and moving expenses, design costs, permit fees, 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. 

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

A: Yes! Non-profit retail businesses are eligible for our grants. However, all awards are contingent on approval by the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development and the availability of funds. Submission of this application does not constitute an agreement to issue a grant award.

Q: The project I'd like to apply these funds toward is more than $5,000, can I still apply?

A: Yes! We encourage businesses to use grant funds to help fund major projects. Note: FY20 grants will cover up to 80% of the total cost of the project.

Q: I did some work on the facade of my business in October 2019, can I apply for a grant to reimburse those expenses?

A: Yes! The GMS Small Business Grant is a reimbursement based grant for Fiscal Year 2020. So all projects paid for between October 1, 2019 and September 15, 2020 are eligible for reimbursement 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.

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© 2020 by Georgetown Main Street


The Georgetown Main Street Program is funded in part by the Department of Small and Local Business Development and officially recognized as a DC Main Streets Program

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