PRESS RELEASE: DowntownDC BID’s Pandemic Assistance Grant Program Receives Award of Excellence From International Downtown Association


2021 Project Awarded $1.15 Million to 124 Small Businesses Across Several Sectors

September 22, 2022
For Immediate Release / Contact: Braulio Agnese,

Vancouver, British Columbia — Today the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) received an Award of Excellence from the International Downtown Association (IDA) for the BID’s 2021 Pandemic Assistance Grant Program. Part of the IDA’s annual Downtown Achievement Awards program, Awards of Excellence are for projects that “exceed the jury criteria and denote an excellent response to an industry challenge.” The award was presented to BID President and CEO Gerren Price at the IDA’s 68th Annual Conference & Marketplace.

The Pandemic Assistance Grant Program, which provided a total of $1.15 million to 124 small businesses and organizations, was developed by the DowntownDC BID and carried out in January–February 2021 as a response to the unprecedented financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligibility and award amounts were determined by several factors, including location within the BID area, operating status as a restaurant or other eligible business, and demonstrable revenue decline of over 25% due to the pandemic. The $5,000–$15,000 grants were presented to 4 nonprofit organizations, 9 theaters and performance spaces, and 111 businesses, more than 75% of which were restaurants or other food-service enterprises.

“Although the BID was also financially affected by the pandemic’s arrival, we were able to allocate a significant amount of money to quickly help business owners, and to create a grant program with a relatively easy-to-apply setup, opening the opportunity to the widest possible range of businesses,” said Price. “Directly assisting small and local businesses is one of the reasons BIDs exist, and DowntownDC is extraordinarily proud to have our Pandemic Assistance Grant Program recognized by the International Downtown Association.”

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About DowntownDC
The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) was founded in 1997 and is a private nonprofit organization that provides capital improvements, resources, and research that keep the BID area clean, safe, economically and environmentally strong, and accessible. The BID is a catalyst, facilitator, and thought leader in diversifying the economy, promoting public-private partnerships, and enhancing the downtown D.C. experience for all. This special district, where property owners have agreed to tax themselves to fund services, encompasses a 138-block area of approximately 520 properties from Massachusetts Avenue on the north, including the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at Mt. Vernon Square, to Constitution Avenue on the south, and from Louisiana Avenue on the east to 16th Street on the west. For more information, visit

About IDA
The International Downtown Association is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Our members are downtown champions who bring urban centers to life, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors. We represent an industry of more than 2,500 place management organizations, employing 100,000 people throughout North America and growing rapidly around the world. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management. For more information, visit