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February 2024

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A Message From The Director


Dear Customers, Colleagues, and Friends,

It has been quite a week at The Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection (DLCP)! In November, when I accepted this role permanently, I knew that there would be long-standing challenges to be addressed as we looked toward a bright future. With this in mind, I prepared for this work, and hired a team of people who are also committed to our critical mission.  

In addition to managing the day-to-day work of the agency and focusing on new projects designed to address your feedback, we are excited to share some of the initiatives we supported during Black History Month.   

In February, DLCP shined a spotlight on Black business owners in our community. We celebrate their contributions to the District's economy this month and all year long, highlighting their inspiring stories of entrepreneurship. You can read more about these businesses below. 

In addition, DLCP, in partnership with the Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking (DISB), participated in DC's Black Wallstreet: Acquire & Protect Wealth Workshop and Resource Fair. As panelists, we had a lively discussion with several successful business owners in the District, and shared tips for how to start and expand businesses in the District. Attendees left inspired and more connected to our economic development mission. Read more about this below. 

In February, we also commemorated the one-year anniversary of the DC Enterprise Business Licensing Portal. This milestone, and the work we’ve done in the past year, reflects our commitment to better collaboration, streamlining licensing processes, and supporting the long-term success of businesses in the District. Stay tuned as we provide more updates on the expansion of the DC Business Portal, as well as opportunities for you to see on our progress. 

On January 30, the Practical Applications of Real Estate Appraisers received final approval on a new rule that removes barriers to licensure for real estate appraisers, making it easier for those interested to obtain their license. Details about the rulemaking are found here

Your continued support and input are helping drive all of our endeavors. I thank you and look forward to shared accomplishments and progress. 

Best Regards,


Tiffany Crowe

DLCP Celebrates One-Year Achievements With The DC Business Portal


February marks the one-year anniversary of the DC Business Portal, launched in 2023 as a platform to streamline the business licensing process across various DC agencies. Within the portal, customers gain access to to-do checklists, estimated processing times, costs, and a personal dashboard for tracking progress and maintaining organization.

"Dedicated to simplifying the process of obtaining a business license, DLCP, in partnership with the DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), has developed a platform poised to host all license types. This initiative will streamline processes for entrepreneurs in the District, facilitating the start, maintenance, and growth of their businesses," stated DLCP Director Tiffany Crowe.

In 2024, DLCP and OCTO continue to work together to make it as easy as possible to start and maintain a business in DC by:

  • Adding language offerings and translations to support entrepreneurs in every community. Coming in March 2024.
  • Shifting all 125 professional licensing application processes to the portal while we continue to add and expand new features to the existing options.
  • Exploring additional modern, intuitive ways for users to pay license fees, such as PayPal, Apple Pay, and more.

Since its inception, the DC Business Portal has empowered more than 13,500 individuals to explore entrepreneurship in DC, supporting more than 1,300 customers in starting or expanding their businesses.

In The Community: Retail Grant And Grow Expo


Attendees learn about the availability of resources and organizations that can provide assistance to their small businesses

Earlier this month, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) hosted the Retail Grant And Grow Expo at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library to support both new and existing small businesses. This event, the first of its kind, was aimed at facilitating access to more than $19 million in grant funding, streamlining the application process, and offering support to business owners.


Sybongile Cook, DMPED Director of Business Development & Strategy and DLCP Director Tiffany Crowe

During the expo, Dr. Jacque McDonald, Director of Contracts, Procurements, and Grants for DMPED, along with Sybongile Cook, Director of Business Development and Strategy for DMPED, delivered welcome remarks to all attendees, highlighting the significance of collaboration and job creation in the District.


Nina Albert, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development highlights the importance of supporting small businesses and entrepreneurship in DC.

The event, comprised of five rotating workshop sessions, provided each participant with the opportunity to explore available grants and apply for those that could positively impact their business:

  • Great Stress/Locally Made Manufacturing
  • Neighborhood Prosperity Fund Room 
  • Family Fun Designation
  • Downtown Recovery Grant
  • Commercial Property Acquisition Fund 101
Retail Expo

DLCP's Business Resource Center offered guidance on obtaining business licenses in the District and showcased upcoming workshops and sessions available through BRC, a key first step in becoming a business in the District. Various grant programs and procurement opportunities are open to both established and emerging businesses in the District. To view and apply for the grants, click here

DLCP Empowers Entrepreneurs at Black Wallstreet Workshop

The DC Department of Insurance, Securities, and Banking (DISB), along with the Mayor's Office on African American Affairs (MOAAA) and the Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs (MOCA), participated in DC's Black Wallstreet: Acquire & Protect Wealth Workshop and Resource Fair on February 28, held at the Anacostia Arts Center. The event targeted DC business owners and wealth builders, placing a strong emphasis on wealth protection.

Michelle Hammonds, Director of the Office of Financial Empowerment and Education (OFFE) at DISB, delivered welcome remarks to attendees. Keynote speaker Antwanye Ford, President & Chief Executive Officer of Enlightened Inc, inspired DC business owners and residents, urging them to embrace the mindset and utilize resources necessary for creating and sustaining black wealth.

black n wealth

From left: William Linzey, Director of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GWHCC); Steve Glaude, President & CEO of the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED); Aaron Fenwick, SSBCI Program Administrator

The event featured a group of panelists speaking on acquiring and protecting wealth. Director Tiffany Crowe discussed wealth habits, shared examples a number of black businesses in the District that have expanded to multiple locations and even moved to franchising. 

black n white 2

DLCP Senior Paralegal Specialist Vickie Matthews addressed compliance, protecting the identity of a business and the possibility of fees when simple administrative duties are ignored on the panel Protect Wealth."

A network and small business fair were also held for participants, with the Business Resource Center offering helpful resources at the information table. DLCP takes pride in partnering with local agencies to support the growth of DC's economy by helping business owners achieve their full potential.

Rapid Vendor Licensing Event

Rapid Vending 1

Attendees receive assistance in obtaining their licenses

DLCP, in partnership with the Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR), DC Health, and DC Fire and EMS (FEMS) held a Vending License Workshop at the Columbia Heights Community Center. On February 27, eligible applicants were given an opportunity to obtain same-day vending licenses and gain important information about the vending licensing process. 

Rapid Vending 2

DLCP aimed to enhance efficiency and convenience for street vendors in obtaining their required permits. DC Health addressed questions regarding micro-kitchens and cottage food businesses, while FEMS offered guidance on obtaining permits for selling food over an open flame.

Attendees had the opportunity to apply for food, merchandise, public market and services vending licenses.

Rapid Vending 4

DC Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau (far right) made an appearance, showed her support and engaged with attendees

DLCP Recognizes Black History Month


Toyin Alli, founder of DC's Southern Comfort Food 'Puddin'

Black History Month serves as a reminder of the contributions African Americans have made throughout history. During this month of reflection and celebration, DLCP is highlighting the remarkable achievements of African American entrepreneurs who have left their mark in the District.

Established in 2010, 'Puddin’ has become a culinary staple in the District, with its name carrying a rich backstory originating from its founder, Toyin Alli. She began by selling tasty treats at the Eastern Market, and 'Puddin’ evolved into a name that stuck over time.

In 2013, Toyin Alli took a significant leap into the food industry by owning her first food truck. Just a year or two later, she furthered her success by expanding her business with the addition of another food truck. Eventually, Toyin made the decision to sell both food trucks last year, considering them as stepping stones in her entrepreneurial path. With an established restaurant of her own, she could better serve her growing customer base.

Currently located within Union Market, 'Puddin' offers a diverse menu inspired by Toyin’s Nigerian and African American heritage. From classic dishes like gumbo, red beans and rice, and shrimp and grits to signature items like the Brown Butter Bourbon Bread Pudding, each dish presents a blend of West African and Southern influences.

Toyin is grateful for DLCP's support, particularly the transition from what was known as the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). She experiences top-notch customer service and gains a better understanding of the technical user-friendly services DLCP provides to customers. These advancements appeal to her because they save significant time and energy, enabling her to handle tasks remotely instead of requiring her physical presence.

Toyin encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to embody stamina, persistence, and resilience in overcoming challenges, acknowledging that mistakes are part of the learning process on the path to entrepreneurship. Learn more about 'Puddin' at dcpuddin.com

robinson funeral home

The Robinson Family Funeral Home

For eight decades, The Robinson Funeral Home has been a source of solace and support in the District. Founded by John Robinson Jr.'s father, John E. Robinson Sr., this family-run institution has a rich history intertwined with the community it has served since 1942. Beginning on 4th Street NW, The Robinson Funeral Home eventually developed into its current remodeled home at 1313 6th Street NW.

As a devoted church member, community activist, and dedicated servant in the DC government, John Sr.'s life was guided by a desire to serve people. This profound legacy was passed down to John Robinson Jr., a retired D.C. Public School teacher with a 31year tenure at both Phelps Senior High School and H.D. Woodson Senior High School. He has served not only the DC community but also those in Maryland and Virginia as a licensed funeral director for more than five decades.

At the heart of The Robinson Funeral Home lies a deep commitment to family values. This approach extends to the heart of their service, creating an atmosphere of warmth, personal connection, and support for every client. The Robinson family is engaged in serving the needs of their clients, ensuring consistency, and fostering a mentoring spirit within the family.

To learn more, go to robinsonfuneralhomedc.com.

REMINDER! Are You Ready To Renew Your License In March?

Recently, DLCP shared important updates with businesses regarding the renewal process. We strongly urge you to take action now! Prioritize the renewal of your Boxing/Wrestling and Plumbing licenses before the upcoming expiration date on Sunday, March 31.

We are pleased to share include updates to the DC Business Dashboard and timely renewal notifications. Your My DC Business Center Dashboard will now correctly display the number of licenses eligible for renewal.


Also, effective immediately, we will send renewal notifications every 30 days from the day your license becomes eligible for renewal until your expiration date with a final notice sent seven (7) days before your license expires. 

While these may seem like small changes, this is just the beginning of our efforts to make it easier to do business in the District. Please continue to monitor your inbox for account specific updates.    

Join Us|We're Hiring!


At DLCP, we are committed to following Mayor Bowser's initiative of 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.

  • Policy Analyst, Grade 12

To apply to one of these opportunities, please visit dlcp.dc.gov/jobs. 

Contact Us

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.