by WI Web Staff December 5, 2023

Bowser administration officials announced Tuesday the launch of the EmPOWERment Fund, an environmental stewardship fund.

In fiscal year 2024, the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development played a pivotal role in creating the EmPOWERment Fund with a $300,000 initial investment. This first-time investment is designed to support those individuals who directly contribute to the success of the city’s economic corridors and the local businesses along them, specifically the District’s Clean Team crew members.

Many of these crew members are local residents and returning citizens, highlighting the administration’s commitment to inclusivity and community empowerment.

“The EmPOWERment Fund is a bold step towards building a more resilient and prosperous community,” said Rosemary Suggs Evans, DSLBD interim director. “By investing in initiatives like the EmPOWERment Grant, we are not only fostering environmental sustainability but also creating economic opportunities for individuals who play a crucial role in the success of our local businesses.”

DSLBD’s Commercial Clean Team Program offers comprehensive services to enhance the city’s urban environment. The program includes the removal of litter, graffiti, illegal posters, stickers, weeds, snow, and ice.

Plus, the team actively contributes to recycling efforts by collecting glass, aluminum, and plastic items from sidewalks and gutters. Charlie Whitaker, CEO of Career Path DC, expressed satisfaction about working with the mayor’s office on this project.

“These individuals are on the front lines of creating a cleaner and more vibrant city,” he said. “The EmPOWERment Grant will undoubtedly amplify their impact, fostering a stronger sense of community and environmental stewardship.”

For more information about the EmPOWERment Grant and DSLBD Clean Team program, go to