A yoga studio and a longtime neighborhood-clothing store were among the recipients of the first round of grants announced by D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray in mid-January as part of the H Street NE Retail Priority Grant Program.

The grants are intended to help stimulate small-business development and expansion along the H Street NE retail and entertainment corridor, and to create jobs for District residents.

The two-stage program was created by the H Street NE Retail Priority Area Incentive Act of 2010. Ten new applications for the second round of the program were submitted Jan. 4, with additional awards will be announced this spring.

“I congratulate all of today’s awardees,” Gray said at a news conference Jan. 11. “These entrepreneurs play an important part in the continued revitalization of our H Street corridor. The awards will allow these small-business owners to expand their operations, diversify their product lines and create new job opportunities in the process – benefiting both the immediate neighborhood and the entire city.”

Grant recipients include:
• Stan’s Inc., 822 H Street NE – A men’s clothing store that has been in the neighborhood since 1978.
• The C.A.T. Walk Boutique, 1404 H Street NE – A women’s boutique selling new and consigned clothing.
• H Street Care Pharmacy and Wellness Center, 812 H Street NE – An independently owned and operated neighborhood pharmacy.
• The Studio Group/Bikram Yoga of Capitol Hill, 410 H Street NE – A yoga studio and retail space frequented by more than 100 attendees daily.

“Small businesses play a crucial role in retail corridors all cross the District,” Victor Hoskins, deputy mayor for planning and economic development, said in a statement. “We look forward to our continued work with interested merchants along the H Street NE corridor for years to come.”