Supporting the District’s Small Businesses

november banner

November 4, 2015 | Volume 1, Issue 39

Dear Washingtonians,

Small businesses are the backbone of the District’s economy.  As Mayor, I am committed to helping our small businesses start, grow, and thrive.

This week, Councilmember Vincent Orange and I announced new resources to support small businesses looking to do business with DC government.

The District launched, a one-stop shop to help small businesses navigate the procurement process. If you own a small business, I encourage you to check it out.  In the coming weeks, my team will mail a CBE Opportunity Guide to all District certified small businesses with information about how to work with the District.

We also announced an ambitious goal to spend at least $317 million with District small businesses in the 2016 Fiscal Year - roughly twice what the government spent in 2012, 2013 and 2014. 

My Administration is committed to giving small businesses a fair shot when it comes to competing for government business.  Their success means a stronger economy, more jobs, and more pathways to the middle class for District residents.



Muriel Bowser, Mayor

scissors shovel

Scissors and Shovels Day

Join me on Friday, November 6th for the first-ever “Scissors and Shovels Day.”  The full day of events will showcase the District’s progress in expanding economic opportunity across the city – through the ribbon cuttings of new businesses and affordable housing units, and the ground breakings of future developments.  Visit Team Muriel’s events page to sign up for a Scissors and Shovels event near you.  I look forward to seeing you there.

A Big Step Toward Closing DC General

Yesterday, the District took a bold step forward in our fight against homelessness. The DC Council passed my Administration’s bill that paves the way for the development of small, dignified, emergency family housing across the city.  These neighborhood-based facilities will have private rooms that are safe and clean, with common spaces for children to play and do homework. There will also be services such as housing assistance and job placement – the very things that are proven to help families exit shelters and get back on their feet.  Once these facilities are in place, we will be able to shut down DC General once and for all.  Read my op-ed in the Huffington Post to learn more about our plans to end homelessness. And if you haven't already, please show your support by signing this pledge

walmart grand opening

Retail Opens at Fort Totten

It was a long time coming, but one week ago today, retail came to Riggs Park and Michigan Park.  I supported this project while I was a Ward 4 Councilmember and I was so happy to take part in the grand opening. This store gives residents in this area access to products, services, and fresh affordable groceries. It also does one of my favorite things - creates pathways to the middle class by putting District residents to work.  The Fort Totten Walmart is a win for Ward 4 and for DC.  I look forward to seeing my neighbors shopping the aisles! Check out pictures from the Grand Opening.

Obama Administration Recognizes District Training Program for Returning Citizens in High-Tech Industries

I am proud to announce that the Department of Employment Services (DOES) received recognition from the Obama Administration for our participation in the TechHire Initiative. DOES is working with a group of stakeholders to train and put 200 returning citizens to work in high-tech careers. We are preparing our returning citizens for long-term careers by providing them with the tools they need to succeed when they get home. Our goal is to place at least 75 percent of trained returning citizens in permanent employment. To learn more information about DC TechHire Initiative, visit

exorcist steps

Celebrating DC Film:  The Exorcist Steps

The day before Halloween, I joined city leaders to commemorate the famous Georgetown steps seen in “The Exorcist,” the 1973 horror classic.  It was an honor to unveil the commemorative plaque with the film’s director, William Friedkin, and screenwriter, William Peter Blatty. My Administration is working hard to attract and develop film and television projects that both support our local creative economy, and create jobs for District residents.  To see pictures from the commemoration, click here.

DCPS Wants to Hear From You

Each year, DC Public Schools (DCPS) embarks on an extensive budgeting process.  As we set our priorities for the coming year, we want to hear from the community.  DCPS is considering  two strategies to increase the time that students have to learn throughout the year:  1) increasing the number of days students attend school, and/or 2) increasing the number of hours in a school day. DCPS' first budget forum is tonight and open to the public.  We encourage parents, students and members of the DCPS community to come out and participate.  This hearing will take place from 6:00-8:00pm in the auditorium at Stuart Hobson Middle School (410 E. St. NE). If you’re interested in testifying at the meeting, you must sign up by 3pm today. Chancellor Henderson will also hold meetings with students and key stakeholders throughout November.  If you can’t make it tonight, we would still like your input, and encourage you to respond to this survey.

leon speller

Apprentice Spotlight:  Leon Speller, Electrician Apprentice, Freestate Electrical Contractors

This week we are celebrating National Apprenticeship Week. Did you know that over 1,300 District residents are registered apprentices? Apprentices earn wages while receiving on-the-job training, technical instruction, and additional education – not to mention the fact that apprenticeships prepare our residents for a long-term career in a variety of fields. 

To celebrate the week, I want to spotlight a local resident who is in a local apprenticeship program. Leon Speller, is a 30-year-old Ward 7 resident who is a graduate of Friendship Edison Collegiate Academy.

Leon is currently is in his second year of an electrician apprenticeship with Freestate Electrical Contractors, a signatory to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Unions Local No. 26. He received this apprenticeship opportunity with the guidance and assistance from the Office of Apprenticeship in the Department of Employment Services (DOES). 

Learn more about apprenticeship programs by visiting or contacting (202) 698-5099.