By Tyra Wilkes
Special to the AFRO
Mayor Muriel Bowser, together with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and Events DC, have announced the Hotel Recovery Grant Program. The $40 million relief fund will support qualified hotels, inns, motels, and bed and breakfasts in their COVID-19 recovery efforts. Similar programs have been rolled out over the past, nearly two years, to aid one of Washington, D.C.s most essential industries and sources of income.
“We know how critical hotels are to the business of Washington, D.C. In addition to welcoming millions of visitors each year, they also play an important role in employing D.C. residents. D.C. is open, our hotels are open, and the District is committed to supporting our hospitality workers,” said Mayor Bowser.
In 2020, Mayor Bowser and DMPED launched the $100 million Bridge Fund from which four programs were spearheaded: the Restaurant Bridge Fund, the Hotel Bridge Fund, the Entertainment Bridge Fund and the Retail Bridge Fund.
“The Hotel Recovery Grant Program is another way we can help our hospitality industry build back better and stronger,” Bowser said.
Eligibility for the Hotel Recovery Grant Program is similar to previous programs that have supported the hospitality industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with priority being given to eligible businesses that did not receive Paycheck Protection Program loans.
To apply, establishments must:
- Be physically located in the District of Columbia
- Have an active hotel, inn, motel, or bed and breakfast lodging business license
- Be in good standing with the District of Columbia’s Office of Tax and Revenue
- Have opened and begun operating during 2020 or 2021; or have remained open and operating during 2020 and 2021
- Experienced at least a 40% reduction in occupancy, revenue, or revenue per available room or (for new hotels) have incurred significant costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic
The grant program provides eligible hotels a minimum of $2,000 per hotel room key, with a cap at 300 room keys.
“A thriving hospitality and tourism industry in D.C. is the backbone of our local economy and vital to D.C.’s recovery,” said Greg O’Dell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Events DC. “This $40 million relief package will provide crucial support to deserving hospitality partners and will further bolster the District’s ongoing recovery efforts. We remain dedicated to helping our city get back on its feet and reinforcing our position as a world-class, global travel destination.”
For more information on the Hotel Recovery Grant Program, please visit eventsdc.com/hotel-recovery-grant-program.
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