In this 5-minute read:
- 11 best local resources for Washington, DC businesses
The nice thing about starting your own business (besides the obvious benefits of working for yourself and setting your own hours) is that there are numerous resources available to help small business owners and entrepreneurs like you find success.
In Washington, DC, several community-based organizations have been built with the premise of helping small businesses get started and grow. We’ll provide a bunch of the best resources within this article.
You’ll find these resources broken down into five broad categories:
- Comprehensive resources
- Business classes and mentors
- Financial assistance
- Chambers of commerce
- Hiring and employment resources
These comprehensive business resources can help your DC-area business with anything from offering advice to helping you secure the proper funding to get started.
Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA is a national organization that was created to help small businesses access the resources they need to find success and thrive in their local communities. The SBA can help you choose your business name and get it registered, find access to funding, connect you with business mentors, give you more information about contracting and legal compliance, and much more.
They are your all-in-one local business resource for anything that you might need as a business owner.
Contact the Washington DC office for more information about local resources:
Washington Metropolitan Area District Office
409 3rd Street SW, Floor 2
Phone: (202) 205-8800
Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD)
Whether you are just starting your small business or have a fully operational business, the DSLBD has the resources you need. With trainings, seminars, workshops, one-on-one technical help and more, this organization can help you strengthen and grow your business.
Connect with the DSLBD:
Dept. of Small & Local Business Development
441 4th Street, NW, Suite 850
North, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 727-3900
Business classes and mentors
Sometimes all you need to strengthen your business is a little additional knowledge. Through advisors and business courses that are available in your community, you can do just that. Here are a couple of great places to start in Washington, DC.
SCORE is a national organization that provides free mentoring to small businesses. They have a Washington, DC branch that provides workshops and one-on-one counseling services to help you gain the additional skillsets you need to take your business to the next level.
Visit their website below to see the workshop schedule or to find a mentor that fits your needs.
Washington DC SCORE Office
409 3rd Street, SW Suite 100a
Washington, DC, 20024
Phone: (202) 619-1000
Washington DC Women’s Business Center (DCWBC)
DCWBC proudly provides training and consulting to women entrepreneurs in the DC area. This organization is partially funded by the Small Business Administration in order to provide the best training opportunities to women entrepreneurs, particularly those who are at a social or economic disadvantage.
Contact the DCWBC:
The Washington, DC Women’s Business Center
740 15th Street, NW, 4th Floor
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 393-8307
New Horizons Computer Learning Centers
New Horizons offers business education and technical courses to help business owners and individuals in the community, from specific certifications you may need to application courses that to help you learn basic skills.
Areas that New Horizons focuses their business courses on include:
- Business analysis
- Business skills
- Project management
- Six Sigma
Contact New Horizons for more information about their courses:
New Horizons of Washington, D.C.
2010 Corporate Ridge, Suite 200
McLean, Virginia 22102
Phone: (703) 749-4030
It can be difficult to secure the funds to get a business going. These resources can help your Washington DC business acquire the capital your business needs.
DC BizCap Loan Participation Program
The District of Columbia Business Capital Program (DC BizCap) is funded by the U.S. Treasury State Small Business Credit Initiative. This program provides several funding opportunities for small businesses in a variety of industries.
The Loan Participation Program (LPP) provides loans to small business owners that may not meet capital requirements for traditional lenders.
DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking
1050 First Street, NE, 801
Washington, DC 20002
Phone: (202) 727-8000
Washington, DC GrantWatch
GrantWatch is a website that keeps track of upcoming business grants in your area. Find public, private, and state grants for specific types of companies and work.
Go to washingtondc.grantwatch.com to see grants that may apply to your business.
Chambers of commerce
Chambers of commerce are networks of local business owners that seek to help grow their community and further economic development in their area. As a member of a chamber of commerce you’ll have unnumbered networking opportunities, marketing resources, financial assistance, and more.
Two main chambers exist in the DC area.
DC Chamber of Commerce
1133 21st Street, NW, Suite M200
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 347-7201
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
1615 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20062-2000
Phone: (202) 659-6000
Hiring and employment resources
When you are ready to start growing your business and hire employees, there are several hiring resources and staffing agencies available in Washington DC.
Department of Employment Services (DOES)
The Department of Employment Services can help you with everything from making a hire to understanding worker’s comp and foreign labor laws. This department is your go-to resource when you need to know anything about employment laws and what your responsibilities will be as an employer.
For more information, contact DOES.
Department of Employment Services
4058 Minnesota Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20019
Phone: (202) 724-7000
Recruit for the Culture
Recruit for the Culture is a community that helps people of color find jobs and recruit new employees. They gather monthly to network with each other, share experiences, and support each other in finding new careers and companies to work for. Gatherings of this group include panels, workshops, volunteer opportunities, and happy hours to help members connect and share opportunities.
Learn more about this group and how to get involved at meetup.com.
Enhance your marketing strategy with reputation management software
Gaining knowledge and outside resources to help your business is just one aspect of finding success. You also need a powerful marketing strategy to get the word out about your business.
One impactful way to grow your business and enhance your marketing strategy is to make sure you are strengthening your online presence and getting regular online reviews from customers. Solutions like reputation management software are a huge help when it comes to these vital business tasks.
Womply’s software allows you to remind customers via SMS and email that you appreciate online feedback on Google, Facebook, and other major review sites, all from one simple dashboard. This helps you grow your business and save time with built-in automation capabilities.
Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!