What we do

Our holistic approach to community-based economic development utilizes strategic partnerships, small business technical assistance, volunteer opportunities, place management, events, resident outreach, and connective services.

Investing in community

We invest in economic development by directly supporting small businesses through capacity-building grants, connecting business owners with resources and professional services both in-person and through our online platform Access Point DC, funding facade improvements, hosting promotional events and campaigns, and advocating for business interests at the local level.


Where We Work

Our on-the-ground work happens in Wards 1, 2, 3, and 4, and we support businesses across DC through our Access Point program. Additionally, we work with communities across the country looking to emulate our unique approach.

What is Community Engagement?

We engage with our communities by hosting events and activities that bring people together by partnering with social services and community development organizations to identify gaps and advocate for resources, and engaging residents in volunteer efforts that tangibly support their neighborhood.

Our Strategic Vision

Our vision is to thrive together in equitable, resilient, connected communities here in DC and beyond.

Economic Development

We invest in economic development by directly supporting small businesses through capacity-building grants, connecting business owners with resources and professional services both in-person and through our online platform Access Point DC, funding facade improvements, hosting promotional events and campaigns, and advocating for business interests at the local level. We affirm our values of diversity and inclusion by prioritizing BIPOC-, immigrant-, and women-owned businesses.

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Technical assistance hours provided
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Dollars leveraged for small businesses
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Dollars distributed to small businesses
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Businesses served

Community Engagement

We invest in community by hosting events and activities that bring people together, partnering with social services and community development organizations to identify gaps and advocate for resources, and engaging residents in volunteer efforts that tangibly support their neighborhood.

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Events
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Partners
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Communities
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Participants

Ecosystem Development

The concept of a Community Development Ecosystem is derived from the ecological systems theory that “ecosystems” consist of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. Further, the importance of ecosystem theory was the understanding of the transfer of energy or materials between organisms and their interconnected environments.


Applying this theory to the function of a city, we can better understand the complexity and interconnectedness of our stakeholders and the environment in which they interact and transfer “ energy” – i.e. money, services, power, influence, built environment, systems, etc.

In an environmental ecosystem, the absence or introduction of a single organism or element can devastate the entire system. In the Community Development Ecosystem, this reality also holds true, though it may not be as evident as in an ecological environment. By applying an ecosystem approach to the development of our communities, we can start to understand how to solve many systemic challenges.

Our Programs

In the last three years, the pilot has worked to address maintenance of the public space, public programming, and providing connective services to some of our most vulnerable residents.

Main Streets

Community Navigation

Events & Engagement

Access Point

Facade Improvement Program

Nonprofit Capacity Building

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

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Enhancing Economic Development Through Small Business Support

Business/Community Improvement Districts are vital to enhancing the quality of life for businesses, commercial property owners, residents, visitors, and employees. If your BID/CID is looking to develop more robust technical assistance programming for small businesses within your district, District Bridges is here to help.

Not sure what kind of technical assistance the businesses in your district need? Our Needs Assessment conducts on the ground research to help you assess the types of assistance that would be the most valuable to your businesses to help you to develop programs that will result in a return on your investment.

Your community already has resources meant to support small businesses. Before you create a new program, we can help you understand what resources are available locally and nationally that your businesses can access. Our gap analysis conducts research to understand the needs of businesses in your community, identify resources to me those needs, and identify where there are existing gaps.

Whether your organization is looking to develop an internal technical assistance program to support your businesses or are looking to contract those services directly, District Bridges can help.

 

Strategic planning is a critical part of developing an organization that can achieve long term impact. Through our strategic planning process, we work with your organization and community stakeholders to identify your goals and develop an attainable plan of action to move you from where you are to where you want to go.

Do you have businesses that need small business technical assistance but your organization does not provide such resources? District Bridges provides one on one support to businesses, your BID/CID can become a referral partner enabling you to refer businesses in your district directly to our services.

Many community development leaders find themselves investing all of their time and energy into the communities they serve but who is investing in them? We are! District Bridges Leadership Development provides you with real tools that can help you in your day to day work but also provide a community of leaders who know how hard this work can be.

Upcoming Events

Want to get involved in the community? Check out our upcoming events below!

Apr 18 2024
05:00 PM – 07:00 PM
May 03 2024
03:00 PM – 07:00 PM
May 09 2024
04:00 PM – 07:00 PM
Apr 24 2024
04:00 PM – 06:00 PM