Business Updates & Resources

Our Pledge

We are continually monitoring the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease) outbreak and its effect on Washington, DC. The following information is designed to help DC businesses as they navigate global health updates, public safety concerns, remote working and telecommuting, and more.

We encourage you to stay up to date with these organizations.

DC Department of Health (DOH)
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)

Covid-19 Policy

WDCEP has developed a policy regarding COVID-19 that reflects practices that have emerged from CDC recommendations and across the business community. Our top priority is the safety of our staff, partners, and visitors. WDCEP has moved to a telework environment effective Friday, March 13, 2020. This telework policy promotes social distancing in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19. All employees are reachable by email, which is found on our website.

We are committed to maintaining business continuity, and we are taking the necessary steps to ensure that we remain productive and responsive throughout this situation.

WDCEP Events

We will closely monitor news and communications from the District of Columbia government and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and keep you informed on the status of upcoming WDCEP events.

For Small Businesses

We’ve assembled an online resource guide to help businesses navigate the financial resources available as a result of COVID-19.

For Individuals

The COVID-19 outbreak has presented many challenges for people across the District. WDCEP has developed a list of resources for independent contractors and those who may be unemployed due to COVID-19 or are seeking additional assistance.

How You Can help

Looking for ways to get involved and support your community? WDCEP assembled a list of resources to help you support communities that have been impacted the most by COVID-19.


DC Stories: Business Resilience

How are District businesses adapting to the pandemic’s constraints and economic landscape?

DC Doing Business Guide 2020/2021

DC Doing Business Guide

2020/2021 Edition

DC Doing Business Guide

Whether you are applying for grants or trying to pivot your business model, the DC Doing Business Guide offers guidance to make sure you are in compliance with the District’s regulations and provides resources to help your business innovate.

For Individuals

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Administered by: DC Department of Employment Services (DOES) 

Eligible Recipients: Individuals, Self-employed persons 

Effective Dates: February 2, 2020 through December 31, 2020. 

Available Financing: $600 per week. 

Overview: DOES is expanding Unemployment Insurance available to District residents to include the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance passed by the federal government to assist those affected by the pandemic.  

Eligibility Requirements:  

  • Must have filed for regular unemployment insurance prior to filing for the PUA. 
  • Individuals who are typically ineligible for regular UI (i.e. independent contractors, gig workers, those with insufficient work history) that cannot work due to the pandemic are potentially eligible for a maximum of 39 weeks of benefits. 

Workers’ Compensation Program

The Workers’ Compensation Program processes claims and monitors the payment of benefits to injured private-sector employees in the District of Columbia. Disputes between claimants and employers (or their insurance carriers) are mediated and employers are monitored to ensure compliance with insurance coverage requirements

Worker’s compensation is available to those who are unable to do their usual job because they were exposed to and contracted COVID-19.

File your online claim of an accidental injury or occupational disease here.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020. 

Generally, the Act provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for: 

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis. 
  • Or at two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual. 



Pepco is waiving new late fees and suspending service disconnections through at least July 1, 2020. Pepco will work with customers on a case-by-case basis for payment arrangements and assistance options.  

Washington Gas

Washington Gas is waiving late fees and suspending service disconnections. Washington Gas is also offering payment arrangements for individual customer needs. 

DC Water

On May 12, 2020, DC Water announced that funds have been authorized by Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Council to provide emergency relief to District residents struggling with unpaid DC Water bills during the COVID-19 public health emergency and 105 days thereafter. Eligible households may receive bill assistance up to $2,000 as a one-time emergency benefit. 

How You Can Help

DC Virtual Tip Jar

Overview: This service industry “Virtual Tip Jar” lists the best way to tip and support service industry workers from establishments across the District.

Support DC Businesses

Overview: This website compiles an ever-growing list of District businesses that have made gift cards or online shopping available for purchase.

Educated Eats Coronavirus Worker Relief Fund

Overview: Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s Education Foundation, Educated Eats, has partnered with Hook Hall Helps to receive and distribute donations for hospitality industry workers. All donations are tax deductible.

Hook Hall Helps

Overview: Neighborhood bar and gathering place, Hook Hall, shifted gears with the onset of the pandemic to provide support and relief for District hospitality workers. The initiative, Hook Hall Helps, is looking for volunteers, financial donations, and pro bono support for various programs they are running to help these workers.

DC Mutual Aid

Overview: Mutual aid networks are building lines of support and community resilience across the District; check this comprehensive list of citizen-led programs to see where volunteer efforts and resources can best fit.


Overview: A volunteer run group is coordinating the collection and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment to healthcare facilities in the District. Follow the link to donate equipment such as respirators, other forms of PPE, or cleaning supplies to local hospitals and clinics.

Emergency Weekend Bag Program

Overview: DC Food Project is collecting financial donations for their Emergency Weekend Bag Program, which delivers enough food for a family of 4 to last 10-14 days on a bi-weekly basis. DC Food Project partners with District schools to fill the gaps of emergency food access.

East Of The River Mutual Aid Fund

Overview: Black Lives Matter DC is collecting financial contributions to purchase and distribute material resources such as personal hygiene bags, water, and toilet paper to underserved neighbors and communities in Wards 7 and 8.