Nadeau Introduces Small Business Rental Assistance Bill
Bill will combat commercial gentrification to keep local small businesses from being pushed out by rising rents
WASHINGTON – Today, Ward 1 D.C. Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau introduced a bill to provide assistance to small businesses to ensure that they are able to remain open by establishing a rental assistance program within the Department of Small and Local Business Development. The bill was co-introduced by Councilmembers Elissa Silverman, Robert C. White, Jr., and Trayon White, Sr. and co-sponsored by Councilmembers David Grosso and Charles Allen.
“As our neighborhoods get more and more expensive, our mom and pop businesses are feeling the same squeeze faced by residents confronting affordable housing issues,” said Councilmember Nadeau. “This bill will provide some relief to local businesses that are facing unsustainable rents. The character of our neighborhoods depends on sustaining the small and local businesses that we know and love.”
Much like residential tenants, commercial tenants – who are often small business owners – face rising rents which threaten to push them out of their neighborhoods. Commercial gentrification risks the vibrancy and continuity of our neighborhoods by displacing small, local businesses which cater to low- to moderate-income District residents. This bill would establish a grant/loan program within DSLBD to provide assistance to small businesses which have been in their neighborhood for a long time and which are financially viable but for rising rents. The program mimics a similar program in Montgomery County, Maryland.
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