NoMa BID offers micro grants for neighborhood businesses

The Business Improvement District (BID) for the NoMa neighborhood in D.C. has launched a Retail Opportunity Fund with a total of $70,000 in grant money for businesses who apply and qualify.

Individual grants will range between $5,000 and $25,000.

Both existing NoMa businesses and those planning to open a business in the neighborhood are eligible to apply.

Grant recipients can use the money to cover up to 50% of eligible project costs, including storefront improvements, signage, outdoor dining enclosures, lighting, landscaping and other improvements. The grants are not intended for soft costs, such as payroll, rent and recurring business costs.

Businesses must also be locally owned to qualify.

“We encourage local entrepreneurs and small businesses to take advantage of this impactful opportunity designed to continue to make NoMa magnetic,” said Maura Brophy, president and CEO of the NoMa BID.

The 35-square-block of the NoMa neighborhood has about 60 restaurants and retailers, and six hotels. Hotels also contribute to the BID’s assessments on a per-room basis.

The NoMa BID, as with other business improvement districts, uses funding from business assessments for neighborhood upkeep and beautification, public safety, marketing and events, and outreach programs for homeless individuals.

NoMa is a booming part of Northeast D.C., especially for residential growth. NoMa has led the U.S. in new apartment construction by ZIP code for five years, with nearly 7,400 new apartments delivered. The Union Market area has seen a 72% increase in new apartment construction since 2017. There are nearly 30 apartment and condo buildings in NoMa.

Eligibility requirements, and grant applications are online. The deadline to apply is March 17.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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