New $7.5M Vitality Fund now available to support business attraction and expansion in DC
As DC’s central business area begins to welcome back both office workers and visitors, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) has launched an incentive focused on attracting new companies while continuing to retain and grow high impact industries in the District.
The Vitality Fund assists businesses within targeted sectors to relocate, expand, or remain in the District. The fund currently totals $7.5 million with an additional $7.5 million proposed for fiscal year 2023. The fund will support businesses involved in the following key sectors:
- Communications & Marketing
- Consulting Services
- Life Sciences
- Professional Services
- Technology & Innovation
Eligible businesses for the Vitality Fund must have 25 or more employees, own or lease office space of at least 20,000 SF in the Target Area shown below, and commit to remaining in the space for a minimum of 10 years.
Successful applicants will be awarded a discretionary grant that can be used for a variety of purposes including initial startup capital, operational costs, down payment assistance, rent subsidy, tenant improvements, workforce training, and recruitment and hiring costs.
The Vitality Fund also aims to provide long-term benefits for the District by requiring businesses to participate or implement a workforce development program for DC residents, to commit to spending at least 5% of annual contracting with local businesses, and to require employees, in the aggregate, to be onsite for at least 50% of work hours.
The new fund incentivizes growth in an area that offers several key amenities for its office users. Businesses in the greater downtown area enjoy easy access to the region’s highly talented and diverse labor pool, stations covering all six Metrorail lines, and many options for casual and destination dining, hotels, and meeting venues. Initiatives such as the Streets for People program will further invest in downtown revitalization with innovative public space activations and events.
Several recent announcements also highlight the value that prominent companies see in having a DC office presence to capitalize on these advantages. In April, Google’s parent company Alphabet signed a 130,000 SF sublease expanding the company’s office space in downtown DC, while law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP signed a 163,800 SF lease for the forthcoming office development at 1700 M St. NW in one of the major deals of 2021. In the Union Market neighborhood, the new Signal House office building has attracted several tenants including TikTok (73,900 SF), NeighborWorks America (48,200 SF), and Industrious (23,800 SF).
The Vitality Fund is currently active and seeking eligible applications. If you are interested in learning more or applying, reach out to Prayas Neupane, Director, Business Attraction & Expansion, for further information.