Friends of Rhode Island Ave NE (riamainstreet.org) manages both Rhode Island Ave NE Main Street and Bladensburg Road Main Street in Ward 5. Rhode Island Ave NE Main Street was established in 2012 to support small businesses, create a revitalized Rhode Island Ave NE corridor, and make the neighborhoods it serves vibrant places to live and work. We have brought events like Porch Fest and the Procrastinator's Holiday Market to the neighborhood, attracting people from all over the city.
Now we're asking for your help. Right now, we are providing direct grant assistance to our small businesses for operational expenses. This emergency assistance will provide interim relief and proceeds that can be used by small businesses to pay operating expenses including payroll, insurance, suppliers, rent, fixed debt payments and other mission critical operating costs, in addition to helping us remain open and staffed to ensure we can continue providing and coordinating these benefits for the businesses both during and after this crisis.
So far, FoRIA has given out over $57,000 in funds to 15 businesses on our corridors in the form of direct grants and technical assistance grants (which pay for things like marketing campaigns and legal and financial services for businesses) since the COVID-19 crisis started, and we want to do even more. Help our businesses out with a donation today!
Testimonials from businesses:
"Thank you to the Friends of Rhode Island Avenue Main Street (FoRIA) for the financial and strategic support you've given [us] during this unprecedented and stressful time. The grant [from the Main Street] has helped us create a safer environment for our team to continue operating as an essential business."
"The Main Street program has been absolutely critical to our business in maintaining our operations during the coronavirus outbreak. We have a team of 15 great people here (13 of whom are District residents). Our people are our business, and it took us a long time to assemble such a great group. Losing the team was one of our biggest concerns during this time, and the grant from the Rhode Island Avenue / Bladensburg Road Main Street has allowed us to keep going."
(We serve businesses along Rhode Island Ave NE from 3rd St NE to Eastern Ave, as well as businesses on Bladensburg Rd from Mt. Olivet Rd to Eastern Ave. )