DLCP NEWS | March 2023 External Newsletter

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March 2023

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A Message From The Interim Director

Shirley Kwan-Hui

Dear DLCP Customers,

Happy Women's History Month! The theme of Women’s History Month this year is “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” This theme honors women in every community who have devoted their lives and talents to producing art and news for pursuing truth and reflecting society.

As the interim director of the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP), I’m proud to be a woman of Asian descent establishing and leading this new agency. I am hopeful that other little girls that look like me have another example of another story they can make their own.

Since its inception almost six months ago, DLCP has accomplished a great deal. This includes setting up one of the District's newest agencies without any service interruption to our customers. I want to thank all my staff for their hard work and dedication that’s made that possible and use this opportunity to honor the women whose work has furthered our ability to make the District a place where all consumers and businesses can thrive.

While we were working hard standing up this new agency, DLCP also achieved an 84% excellent and satisfactory rating from more than 8,000 customer satisfaction surveys in this first six months. We have much to be proud of.

As I shared in last month's Fiscal Year 2022 to Fiscal Year 2023 Performance Oversight Hearing, there are several other key accomplishments, including:

  • Implementing Fast-Track Services for Licensing, Permitting and Inspection Project. We were able to complete 95.4% for business renewals within one business day in fiscal year 2022--which is 2% higher than in fiscal year 2021.
  • Launching the DC Business Licensing Portal (beta.business.dc.gov)which is a single place to start or maintain customer’s businesses with to-do checklists, estimated time of processing, estimated costs, and a personal dashboard to track progress and keep things organized. Created in partnership with the DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), this new "one-stop" business portal allows customers to smoothly navigate through the business licensing process among different agencies. 
  • Establishing an Internal Control and Compliance Program: We've also implemented a new Internal Control and Compliance Program, which is part of commitment to continuous improvement. This program provides objective quality improvement, ensures effective risk management, and reviews the agency’s various processes and systems to strengthen internal control and compliance.
  • Enforcing the Flavored Tobacco Product Prohibition Amendment Act of 2021, which bans the sale of flavored tobacco, menthol cigarettes, and electronic smoking devices within a quarter mile of middle and high schools in the District. DLCP has created an E-Cigarette Enforcement Map and visited more than 800 businesses.
  • Creating the Street and Sidewalk Vending Workshop Series, which offers culturally-relevant assistance to vendors for the licensing and compliance process as it relates to street and sidewalk vending. 
  • Reviewing the Consumer Protection Procedures Act (CPPA) to find ways that it best be updated to help grow the District. DLCP has formed a working group with stakeholders and sister agencies committed to protecting the rights of consumers through the Consumer Protection Procedures Act (CCPA).
  • Establishing the Short-Term Rental (STR) Licensure Portal, which streamlines the application process and provides more convenient options for customers to submit and make payments securely.

As you can see on our agency dashboard, we are currently exceeding the year-end targets for all relevant key performance indicators and are on target towards meeting the year-end goals.

To assist in the District’s efforts reaching the goal of having a 33% share of minority-owned businesses, DLCP has launched tailored vending workshops in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs (MOCA) agencies. Stay tuned as more workshops are being scheduled in different neighborhoods for the remaining fiscal year.

DLCP remains committed to “Helping Businesses and Consumers Thrive.” We appreciate the continuous support received and pledge to provide the best service you deserve.

Best Regards.

Shirley Kwan-Hui

Shirley Kwan-Hui
Interim Director

Women's History Month|Celebrating Women in Business

Women's History Month brings an opportunity for our nation to celebrate and honor contributions women made in American history. In March 1980, former President Jimmy Carter declared March 8 as officially the start of National Women’s History Week. Later, in 1987, Congress designated March as Women’s History Month.

Madam CJ walker

Madam C.J. Walker was an entrepreneur, philanthropist, political and social activist. She is recognized as the first female African-American self-made millionaire in the United States developing a line of beauty care products for Black women. During the 1890s, Walker began to suffer from a scalp ailment that caused her to lose the majority of her hair--which inspired her to create and sell hair products. 

In 1908, she moved to Pittsburgh, opening a school to train "hair culturists" in her products and regimen. In 1910, she then relocated to Indiana, Indianapolis, making it the headquarters of the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company. 

At that time, the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company was grossing $500,000 in annual revenues. Her methods were similar to several modern business strategies, especially in the cosmetics field: incorporation, a sales force of well-commissioned agents, publicity and self-promotion.

Corporate Filing Deadline | April 1

Keep your Corporate Registration active and in good standing. April 1 is the deadline to file the 2023 BRA-25 Biennial Report for entities that are required to file this year.

It is also the deadline for trade name owners to renew trade names set to expire in 2023. Reports and trade names should be filed via Corporation Division's CorpOnline website, which is accessible via Access DC

For help during normal business hours, please contact us at 202-671-4500 or at dlcp@dc.gov.

ANC 7F|An Open House with City Agencies

Staff picture

DLCP Account Manager Marchelle Harris, Communications and Marketing Manager Charles Basham III, and Customer Service Manager Donise Peace

On March 25, 2023, the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Ward 7 Community Engagement Specialists attended the ANC7 Open House on 241 42nd Street NE at Ward Memorial AME Church. Attendees had spoke with city representatives about issues, such as transportation projects and traffic safety concerns.

DLCP staff were among those who attended the event. Account Manager Marchelle Harris said: "This weekend in ANC 7F was a blast. It was very well attended by sister agencies, and the City Developer former-Councilmember Yvette Alexander. Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent Gray's staff person and the physical structure was great, it was just excellent."

This local event gave an opportunity for our DLCP staff to interact with District community leaders, and stakeholders.

NBC4 News: Interim Director Speaks on Flavored-Tobacco Ban


On March 15, 2023, Interim Director Shirley Kwan-Hui spoke with NBC4 News reporter Mark Seagraves on the steps that DLCP is taking to enforce the Flavored Tobacco Product Prohibition Amendment Act of 2021

As we shared in a previous newsletter, this new law, which took effect on October 1, 2022 in the District:

  • Prohibits the sale of all flavored tobacco—including flavored synthetic nicotine products.
  • Prohibits the sale of all electronic smoking devices within a quarter mile of any District middle or high school. Of note, this DLCP E-Cigarette Enforcement Map shows the spatial relationship between these middle and high schools and licensed e-tobacco businesses in the District.

Additionally, the director also talked about the new Administrative Issuance that was issued mid-February and outlines the fine schedule and civil penalty associated with specific violations of the Flavored Tobacco Product Prohibition Amendment Act of 2021.

Since the law went into effect, DLCP has completed educational outreach to more than 800 businesses, and conducted 230 enforcement checks and issued more than 25 Notice of Infractions (NOIs) to noncompliant businesses.

Of this Director Kwan-Hui said: “We've seen a sharp decrease in the number of businesses that are violating this law. At last check, less than 10% are out of compliance."  

Mayor Bowser has said that she sees this law as "a hugely impactful step to reducing tobacco initiation and addiction" in the District."  The mayor went on to say that: "Reducing the use of tobacco is a health equity issue. We know that Black residents are disproportionately affected by tobacco use, and flavored tobacco, including menthol, continues to have a particularly insidious effect on our community."

And to that point, DLCP will begin a series of roundtable conversations with communities across each ward to talk about youth smoking prevention and how parents can help keep their teens safe from the effects of tobacco use. Please stay tuned for the first of these community conversations that will take place in April. 

Our team of investigators are dedicated to enforcing District regulations. The public can report violations at DLCP.dc.gov by filling out our Consumer Protection Complaint Form.

Street and Sidewalk Vending Workshop Series


DLCP is pleased to announce the next workshop on Street and Sidewalk Vending. This workshop will be conducted in partnership with MOCA and the Mayor’s Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (MOAPIA) and will center the specific needs of Asian and Pacific Islander vending communities in the District. 

The workshop will take place on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at One Judiciary Square, at 441 4th Street NW, 20001 in Room 1117.

Interpretation will be available in American Sign Language (ASL) as well as the following languages: Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean. For other language interpretation needs, please contact DLCP in advance for arrangement.

Throughout this year, DLCP will continue to work with various MOCA agencies to conduct and promote a series of street and sidewalk vending workshops that are culturally relevant and address the needs of the diverse communities of the District. Stay tuned for more workshops in your neighborhood.

Business Funding Opportunities

The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) has various existing and new grant programs and procurement opportunities for District businesses. These opportunities will be available through the DMPED cluster in fiscal year 2023. Here are a few of the open opportunities at this time:

VITALITY FUND (DMPED) The Vitality Fund is a new tool that will enhance DC’s competitiveness in attracting new, high-growth companies to the District by providing grants to employers with 25 or more employees that commit to locating in the Vitality Fund Target Area and hiring and contracting locally.

CREATIVE AND OPEN SPACE MODERNIZATION GRANT (DMPED) The purpose of the Creative and Open Space Modernization tax rebate is to foster the development of technology-focused businesses in the District, increase the District’s tax base, and create new job opportunities for District residents. Available to qualifying high-technology companies.

SPECIAL EVENT RELIEF FUND (DMPED) Mayor Bowser and DMPED launched the Special Event Fee Relief Fund, a $1.5 million investment to support events that celebrate the culture of the District of Columbia and support local communities. The Special Event Relief Fund allows organizers of festivals and outdoor special events to apply for financial assistance to cover event expenses. More information is here.

Learn more about FY23 Business Funding Opportunities here.

Join Our Team: DLCP Is Hiring!


At the DLCP, we are committed to following Mayor Bowser's initiative building a team of the best and brightest employees to both work and live in the District. 

We are currently seeking talented professionals who possess a relevant skill set and strong desire to serve the residents and businesses of the District. To learn more about the career opportunities, visit dlcp.dc.gov/jobs.

DLCP Small Business Resource Center|DISB Coffee and Capital

DLCP Partnership

On Thursday March 2, 2023, The Department of Licensing and Consumer Protections Small Business Resource Center (SBRC) hosted a webinar offering potential and existing entrepreneurs information to grow their business. In partnership with DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking and the District of Columbia Business Capital Program, (DC BizCAP), the workshop helped small business owners develop funding strategies access capital, and technical resources. 

The presenter was Katy Chang, founder of EatsPlace, a culinary business accelerator providing equity financing for social impact food-starters. In the webinar, she shared points of operations, such as how to formulate a business plan, marketing plan, and ways of optimizing staffing. Aaron Fenwick, State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Program Administrator spoke on the resources surrounding business capital in the District. 

DLCP's staff and resources in the SBRC division are here for you. We welcome you to join us for these upcoming call sessions and events.


Contact DLCP

Contact DLCP via email, or our online inquiry form at any time. We’re also available through the live chat on dlcp.dc.gov or by phone at 202-671-4500 during normal business hours.