Columbia Heights Initiative (and Mount Pleasant) Awarded $200,000 Main Street Grant!

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Clif Burns

From a press release:

“The Columbia Heights Initiative has been announced as the newest designee of the DC Main Streets program by the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD).  Their Columbia Heights/Mount Pleasant Main Street will join eleven other DC Main Streets programs that have been accredited through DC Main Streets and the National Main Street Center, Inc. As a DC Main Street designee, Columbia Heights Initiative will implement programs and services to support the growth and development of neighborhood businesses and the revitalization of the commercial corridors of Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant.

The Columbia Heights Initiative, responsible for the eleven-year running of the Columbia Heights Day festival, took major strides to develop into a stronger community organization over the past year. In 2016, the Columbia Heights Initiative volunteer Board of Directors hired Brianne Dornbush as the nonprofit’s first Executive Director. Under their collective leadership, the organization profoundly expanded its presence and impact in the community by introducing a series of new community events, creating monthly volunteer and networking opportunities, developing a business and nonprofit network, and building an enthusiastic and active volunteer corps.

The $200,000 grant from DSLBD will allow the Columbia Heights Initiative to provide technical assistance to support capacity building, business retention, program design and implementation, and commercial-revitalization planning to maintain the traditional and unique character of the distinct neighborhoods included in the Columbia Heights/Mount Pleasant Main Street boundaries. DC Main Streets, managed by DSLBD, is the coordinating agency that oversees the locally designated nonprofit Main Streets organizations. Funding is made possible through the Commercial Revitalization Assistance Fund. The grant will be matched with private-sector funds raised by Columbia Heights Initiative. Columbia Heights Initiative’s commitment to the community and intentional relationship development has garnered broad community support, ideally positioning the organization to manage this new Main Street Program.

columbia-heights-night-invite

In celebration of this award and the impact of the organization over the last year, the Columbia Heights Initiative is hosting its inaugural Columbia Heights Night gala fundraiser on Friday, December 2nd at 7pm.

“We invite all our neighbors from across DC to join us as we celebrate this tremendous achievement,” says Dornbush. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve our community as a DC Main Street and we welcome all who want to see the good work of the Columbia Heights Initiative continue to come out for a night of fun at our special event.”

The evening will feature a “Taste of Columbia Heights” buffet catered by some of the neighborhood’s beloved restaurants, live local music by the Harry Bells, a silent auction, and specialty gifts and raffles. The proceeds from this event will go toward supporting the continued growth of the organization as it works to build a successful DC Main Street Program in Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant. Tickets can be purchased for $75 through the Columbia Heights Initiative website at cohidc.org.”

8 Comment

  • Please keep Mount Pleasant shabby :^) Love it that way.

  • “. . . capacity building, business retention, program design and implementation, and commercial-revitalization planning to maintain the traditional and unique character of the distinct neighborhoods included in the Columbia Heights/Mount Pleasant Main Street boundaries.” I’m so damn tired of vague gobbledegook.

    • The fusspots can’t do too much damage with only $200K.

    • Capacity building – hiring more people
      Business retention – lobbying
      Program design and implementation – events and local spending
      Commercial-revitalization planning – master plans/designs
      Maintain the traditional and unique character of the distinct neighborhoods – slow down changes

      Pretty straightforward, basically a downtown chamber of commerce.

  • True – It’s basically a few awnings like they did on Park Road. And maybe replanting the doomed stupid little bushes that were recently planted in the ridiculously configured, useless, awkward little slopes in the plaza.

  • Congratulations Columbia Heights Initiative! Im incredibly grateful for all you do, and I can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for the neighborhood! Keep up the good work!

  • Since Columbia Heights always looks like an open trash can, howabout you take the 200 K and hire street or sidewalk cleaners.. That will attract business… I love living in close proximity to its shops and metro but always shaking my head at the condition of the sidewalks and curbs.. A real turn off and reflection of the hood as a whole..