Last week, Councilmember Tommy Wells announced that $723,000 would be made available to H Street, NE, businesses affected by the recently completed streetscape project. In a press release, CM Wells said, “Businesses like George’s Place and Mason’s Barber Shop are long‐time businesses on H Street NE and institutions on this corridor. There’s no doubt the long construction schedule hurt their business and the extra time and relief fund are needed to assist these stores and protect the historic fabric that makes up the H St NE corridor.”
This funding was the result of a group effort by CM Wells, Julia Robey Christian of CHAMPS, and Anwar Saleem of H Street Main Street. Christian, Executive Director of CHAMPS, and Saleem, Executive Director of H Street Main Street, testified at a DC Council public round table in support of legislation that would deliver $723,000 of funding for a Streetscape Relief Fund — to provide assistance to small businesses during a streetscape project. Many businesses have struggled during the reconstruction of H Street, NE and this funding would provide the assistance needed to ensure their survival.
In addition to the streetscape relief, following that roundtable, Councilmember Wells made a request to the Office of Tax and Revenue to postpone the July 18 tax sale of several buildings that are home to small businesses on the street. That request has also been approved, buying some time for those businesses to resolve tax issues and give the Streetscape Relief Fund a chance to work.