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$800k Competitive Federal Grant Awarded to LEDC to Support Food Businesses in Washington, DC

News / Press Releases

Immediate Release: October 29, 2020

$800k Competitive Federal Grant Awarded to LEDC to Support Food Businesses in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, DC - The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) has been awarded an $800,000 grant to finance food businesses committed to creating job opportunities for low-income residents in Washington, DC. LEDC was awarded the grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Community Services (OCS), Community and Economic Development (CED) program.

"LEDC is thrilled to receive this grant from HHS’ Office of Community Services," stated LEDC Executive Director and CEO Marla Bilonick. "Through our prior CED grants, our restaurant partners have been able to create 190 jobs in the District. These are the kind of results we are proud to bring to the communities we serve and intend to provide additional support to our food businesses so they may adapt accordingly to the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic."

LEDC understands financial assistance must go hand-in-hand with technical support. That is why LEDC adapted its long-standing Food Venture Initiative to help food businesses pivot their operations to address COVID-19. In August, thanks to funding from Capital Impact Partners’ (CIP) DMV Good Food Fund, LEDC was able to provide free bilingual webinars and technical assistance to these businesses, which has been instrumental for their long-term survival.

To date, LEDC has deployed over $5 Million in COVID cash assistance grants to small businesses through our new Direct Community Investments Department and will be able to further assist DC food businesses with a tailored loan product made possible with the CED grant. In addition, LEDC began assisting the DC Mayor’s Office of Nightlife & Culture (MONC) with the deployment of an additional $2 Million to businesses for the creation of outdoor dining spaces during the winter months. Known as the Streatery Winter Ready Grant program, it provides businesses with $6,000 grants to purchase winterization materials and equipment. 

This CED award, along with the Streatery Winter Ready Grant program and Capital Impact’s Good Food Fund, is one of the many ways LEDC is committed to adapting, innovating, and supporting the long-term success of DC’s businesses and the communities in which they operate.

As a Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), SBA, and USDA lender with over 29 years of experience serving small businesses, LEDC looks forward to supporting DC’s small business community for years to come with support from public and private partners.

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About The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC)

The Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) equips Latinos and other underserved communities with the skills and financial tools to create a better future for their families and communities. Participants in our programs learn how to build their long-term financial security by buying and staying in their homes, taking control of decisions affecting their apartment buildings, and starting or expanding their small businesses. The entire DC-MD-VA region and Puerto Rico is stronger when all families have the power to achieve financial independence and join with their neighbors to improve their communities.

About Community Economic Development (CED) 

Community Economic Development (CED) is a federal grant program funding Community Development Corporations that address the economic needs of low-income individuals and families through the creation of sustainable business development and employment opportunities.

Learn more about CED.