Grantmaking for Communities + Grants Management for Funders

Collaborating for Community Impact

CFE’s Social Equity Investments team is proud to help fortify the link between local governments, businesses, and residents. In collaboration with our government partners, we design COVID-relief grant programs for small businesses, housing providers, and residents — and then launch, scale, and evaluate the programs’ impact. A seasoned financial first responder, our team has the knowledge, experience, and technological capacity needed to make public-private partnerships a success. Since 2020, CFE has managed $100 million across seven funds.

Pivoting alongside the region’s small business owners

We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the business community’s resilience. We currently are responding to applicants, ensuring programmatic compliance, and disbursing funds for these critical DC government programs:

Housing Stabilization Grant program: This $11 million fund helps close the gap on rental delinquencies that previous rounds of COVID-relief assistance have not yet addressed. It focuses on affordable housing providers in DC’s portfolio of income-restricted affordable housing projects, as well as housing providers that own 20 units or fewer and don’t receive public subsidy.

Commercial Property Acquisition Fund: Through this fund, CFE disburses down payment assistance grants up to $750,000 or 25% of the sale price, whichever is less, to help businesses acquire commercial property in DC. The businesses must be least 51% owned by those who are economically disadvantaged or have been subjected to racial, ethnic, or cultural bias.

Bridge Fund: Several hundred DC businesses are receiving individual grants ranging from $20,000 to $100,000, totaling $40 million in disbursements. The funding is aimed at those that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic.

A track record of excellence

Previously, the team also administered these funds:

Restaurant Bridge Fund: $34+ million in grants helped DC’s restaurants with payroll, benefits, and operational costs stemming from COVID-19 closures and restrictions on the restaurant industry during the height of the pandemic.

Small Housing Provider Grants Program: $2+ million dollars supported housing providers and landlords, which helped preserve more than 2,300 units to the benefit of over 4,000 tenants.

Small Business Recovery Microgrants Program: $5.1 million in microgrants for small businesses, including independent contractors and self-employed individuals like taxi drivers. 1,236 awards provided, impacting an estimated 14,000 jobs.

Small Business Resiliency Fund: $2.8 million disbursed to 283 small businesses, over half of which identified as minority owned. Awards were used toward essential PPE purchases, business model pivots, business continuity planning, and pandemic-related marketing.


Learn more about CFE’s impact

“We are a dedicated, hardworking team committed to our city…The grant allowed me to keep my team, serve our community, and push harder as we come out of this incredibly challenging season.”

—Tony Mekonen, Owner, Italian Kitchen