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NoMa Retail Opportunity Fund

The NoMa BID launched the NoMa Retail Opportunity Fund in February 2024 offering grants between $2,500-$25,000 to enhance NoMa’s vibrant and evolving streetscape. These grants aim to support existing NoMa retailers while providing incentives for independent, small, locally owned businesses to establish stores in NoMa.

Grant Recipients

Back to Life Physical Therapy
Grant awarded to design and install new signage to improve wayfinding, pedestrian visibility, and customer interaction.
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Grant awarded to create an exterior sidewalk patio with café tables and chairs, umbrellas for shade and rain protection, planters and lighting to create a comfortable and attractive dining space during the day and evening.
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Grant awarded to install an awning to provide an improved outdoor dining experience and to create new signage to help with wayfinding and customer attraction.
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Little Miner Taco
Grant awarded to improve the exterior of its commercial kitchen space to include the installation of a new, custom-commissioned large-scale mural to bring art and vibrancy for the public’s and customers’ enjoyment; and to install a retractable awning and seating area to create a welcoming, comfortable space for customers picking up takeaway orders.
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Pop's Bagels
Grant awarded to create an attractive and comfortable outdoor dining space with tables and chairs along with signage to help with customer wayfinding.
Quiet 17 Dental
Grant awarded to improve storefront appearance and provide enhanced signage to better inform public of hours of operation.
Red Bear Brewing Co.
Grant awarded to create a colorful, custom-commissioned outdoor mural and install planters with flowers and greenery to enhance the outdoor dining experience for customers.
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Wunder Garten
Grant awarded to design and install a new entrance canopy to create a more welcoming experience for customers and to provide patrons with shade and protection from rain, along with improved signage for wayfinding and interaction.
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How It Works

The NoMa BID launched the NoMa Retail Opportunity Fund to support and incubate businesses in key retail spaces within the NoMa BID boundary. The Fund provides grants ranging from $2,500-$25,000 to incentivize businesses to make targeted investments in their storefronts and adjacent public spaces, ultimately enhancing NoMa’s vibrant and evolving streetscape.

Applicants eligible to receive funding through the NoMa Retail Opportunity Fund include: 
  1. Retail tenants with a current lease in the NoMa BID 
  1. New retail tenants committed to obtaining a lease within the NoMa BID 

Interested parties are invited to submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) detailing how their proposed project will contribute to the success of their business and contribute to NoMa’s retail vibrancy. An LOI must be submitted by 11:59 PM EST on March 17, 2024, and BID staff will notify all LOI applicants by April 8, 2024 on the status of their application. 

All applications must propose a concept for a physical project. 

Grant awards will range from $2,500-$25,000 depending on the scale of the proposed project among other eligibility criteria and competitiveness.

Grant awards will vary depending on project scale and will be capped at not more than 50% of the total “permissible expenses” for the proposed retail project. Prior to final selection, applicants will be required to provide reasonable proof of funding for the remaining balance of the eligible project costs.

Applicant Eligibility Criteria

Geographic Boundary 

An applicants must have an existing retail space, or be dedicated to obtaining a retail lease, within the NoMa BID. For applicants with a new retail lease, the term of the lease must be at least five years. For applicants with existing leases, there must be at least three years remaining in the lease term. 

Community Impact 

An applicant must (or will) have a storefront presence (meaning ground-level, pedestrian accessible premises) within the NoMa BID such as, but not limited to, restaurants, bars, stores, services, entertainment, and experiential concepts. 

Duration of Ownership 

An applicant must have at least two+ years of retail ownership or experience with a positive track record and proven stability. 

Ownership Composition 

An applicant’s concept must be locally owned (meaning that not less than 51% of controlling interests must be owned by individuals residing within the National Capital Region). An applicant must be independently operated. National chains and franchises are not eligible to receive a grant from the NoMa Retail Opportunity Fund. 

Legal Structure & Compliance with Regulations 

An applicant must have no record of foreclosures, receiverships, bankruptcies, or similar actions within the last three years. 

Business Status 

An applicant must represent a for-profit business. 

Business Registration 

An applicant must be registered to do business in the District of Columbia. 

Business License 

An applicant must possess a valid business license for the District of Columbia. 

Contact Information

For more information or questions about applying for this program, contact:

Brian Smith 
Senior Director of Planning and Economic Development 
(202) 961-6334 
[email protected] 

Danielle Contorer 
Senior Associate of Planning and Economic Development 
(240) 814-3480 
[email protected] 

Join us at NoMa's Farmers Market every Thursday from 4-8 p.m. at Third Street between M & N Streets, NE.