DC Mayor Announces Grant Program for Hospitality Industry

Washington, DC (STL.News) Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), and Events DC announced a $40 million program to provide additional relief to qualified hotels, inns, motels, and bed and breakfasts impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  This is the second relief package dedicated to hotels, which amounts to a total of $60 million in relief funds provided by the District to support their industry’s recovery.

“The Hotel Recovery Grant Program is another way we can help our hospitality industry build back better and stronger,” said Mayor Bowser.  “We know how critical hotels are to the business of Washington, DC.  In addition to welcoming millions of visitors each year, they also play an important role in employing DC residents.  DC is open, our hotels are open, and the District is committed to supporting our hospitality workers.”

The District’s economic recovery has been one of the top priorities for the Bowser Administration.  In 2020, Mayor Bowser and DMPED announced a $100 million Bridge Fund that then disbursed funds via four programs: the Restaurant Bridge Fund, the Hotel Bridge Fund, the Entertainment Bridge Fund, and the Retail Bridge Fund.

“DC is open, and we are thrilled to see visitors from the region and beyond returning to experience our city,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio.  “But we also know that our hospitality sector – including hotels and the worker they employ – continue to struggle to recover from the lingering effects of the pandemic. This second round of relief, which now totals $60 million specific to hotels, will help the industry keep its doors open, continue to provide jobs to many hardworking people, and continue to welcome thousands of visitors that come to Washington, DC daily.”

The program will be structured similarly to the two prior hotel relief programs administered by Events DC and will provide eligible hotels a minimum of $2,000 per hotel room key, capped at 300 room keys.  Priority will be given to eligible businesses that did not receive Paycheck Protection Program loans.  To be eligible for a grant, the hotel business must meet the following criteria:

  • Be physically located in the District of Columbia
  • Have an active hotel, inn, motel, or bed and breakfast lodging business license
  • Be in good standing with the District of Columbia’s Office of Tax and Revenue
  • Have opened and begun operating during 2020 or 2021; or have remained open and operating during 2020 and 2021
  • Experienced at least a 40% reduction in occupancy, revenue, or revenue per available room or (for new hotels) have incurred significant costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic

“A thriving hospitality and tourism industry in DC is the backbone of our local economy and vital to DC’s recovery,” said Greg O’Dell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Events DC.  “This $40 million relief package will provide crucial support to deserving hospitality partners and will further bolster the District’s ongoing recovery efforts.  We remain dedicated to helping our city get back on its feet and reinforcing our position as a world-class, global travel destination.”