Statement from DowntownDC BID President & CEO Neil Albert


The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID), since its founding in 1997, has been instrumental in supporting and transforming our community into a welcoming and inclusive economic, cultural and entertainment center for the region. We have done this while valuing and celebrating the contributions of all who made this transformation possible. This includes our property owners and managers, our retailers and small businesses, our museums and theaters, our entertainment venue owners and operators, our faith-based institutions, our government and law enforcement partners, the many companies that choose to establish offices in DowntownDC and the more than 180,000 employees that fill those offices, the leaders of our Convention Center, and especially our residents and the millions of visitors who come to DowntownDC every year, without whom our downtown’s success would not have been possible.

Equally valued are the contributions of our Safety/Hospitality and Maintenance (SAM) ambassadors, many of whom joined the BID for their first job or reentered the workforce with us after experiencing homelessness or incarceration.

The past three months have been difficult for DowntownDC and the rest of the District, as businesses were forced to shut their doors to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The DowntownDC economy is now functioning at less than 10 percent of capacity. Every sector has been affected.

Since Saturday, as we were gearing up to restart the DowntownDC economy, many of our establishments suffered damage, imposing additional financial burdens on already struggling businesses.

We strongly condemn the actions that led to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Our hearts grieve with the Floyd family and we share the country’s frustration with centuries of marginalization of black and brown people. We support the First Amendment demonstrations that have been occurring in DowntownDC and across the world. We also strongly oppose violence, vandalism and looting and are working each day to help our properties and businesses maintain their safety and mitigate further destruction to their property.

Our focus during the past five years has been on building an inclusive downtown by investing in homeless services, programs for at-risk youth, employment and professional development opportunities for our local community and improving public spaces for the enjoyment of all.

While the recent incidents have forced us all to reexamine the role we have played in bridging the racial and economic divides in our country, DowntownDC is committed to working with its partners and community to grow our inclusive programs and activities to better support all who live, work, play and visit our BID. We are DowntownDC Resilient.