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Update on Small Business Assistance including the DC Small Business Grant Program Opens March 24th

On Friday (3/20), Mayor Bowser extended the prohibition on mass gatherings during this public health emergency until April 25; and has extended the District of Columbia Government’s modified operating status until April 27, including the adjusted DC Government operating posture and distance learning at the District’s public schools. We know that this will continue to impact your businesses, and I can assure you that all of the DC Main Street programs are working around the clock with business owners, landlords, our boards, ANC commissioners, the City Council, DC and federal agencies, and the public to provide assistance and relief for all of the businesses in our corridors. Here are a few updates on programs/assistance for small businesses:

  • The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced Saturday (3/21) that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. According to the announcement, taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. The deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax, according to the IRS. Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief.

  • DC Public Health Emergency Small Business Grant Program: Starting Tuesday, March 24, there will be $25 million available in grants to be administered by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development (DMPED). The grants are designated help to small businesses, nonprofits, and independent contractors affected by the current crisis. Details on this grant program can be found at https://coronavirus.dc.gov/recovery-business

  • SBA Disaster Relief Loans: The federal government also approved DC's emergency declaration, which makes targeted, low-interest loans available to businesses. Businesses can start the process by clicking here and then clicking “Apply for Assistance.” You can prepare to apply by reviewing the “Three Step Process” of SBA Disaster Loans to understand what to expect in the application process. Disaster loan applicants can call the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (7am-9pm every day) or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for help in completing their online application. The maximum unsecured loan amount under this program is $25,000. The DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking offers a number of programs to support small businesses including DC BizCAP - Collateral Support Program.

  • The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs’ (DCRA) office remains open, but they are encouraging residents and businesses to utilize their online services. Should you have any questions about how to use any of their services online, please utilize the live chat feature on their website during normal business hours, call (202) 442-4400, or email us at dcra@dc.gov.

  • Business Licensing/Registration: Any business licenses, professional/occupational licenses, vending licenses, etc. that expire during the declared emergency will be considered valid, and people will have until 45 days after the declared emergency is over to renew their licenses. **Please note that all of the following can be done online at any time: apply for/renew a business license, register a corporation, form an LLC.

  • Corporate Filings: Customers filing 2020 biennial reports between April 2nd and June 1st will not incur the late filing fee. The same is true for trade name renewals.

  • Eastern Market Main Street (EMMS) has consolidated its funding support to small business into our Technical Assistance Grant. We are accepting applications for assistance covering any small business operating expense including (but not limited to) rent, wages, taxes and accounting assistance, marketing and website upgrades, legal assistance, and façade improvements incurred after September 1, 2019. Current funding is limited, so submit your application by March 31, 2020.


EMMS staff are available for 1-on-1 small business counseling, as are SBA local resource partners. Contact us at info@easternmarketmainstreet.org with questions or to schedule a meeting.


Best regards,


Charles McCaffrey

Executive Director, Eastern Market Main Street