(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Bowser administration officials, industry experts and entrepreneurs shared tips on how residents in Wards 7 and 8 can start and successfully run a food and beverage business in the District. “Food for Thought,” a half-day event held at the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center in Ward 8, was presented by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and the Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP).
"Starting a restaurant, or another type of food-related business can be daunting, especially when you don’t know where to begin,” said DCRA Director Ernest Chrappah. “The goal of today’s event was to demystify the process, and equip Ward 7 and 8 residents with the knowledge and contacts they need to become successful entrepreneurs. Mayor Bowser has continued to push innovative ways to ensure east of the river neighborhoods have the food and beverage options available in other parts of the city.”
“We understand the importance of connecting Ward 7 and 8 entrepreneurs through events like Food for Thought,” said Keith J. Sellars, President and CEO of WDCEP. “This is one of many events we’ve hosted throughout the year to bring resources and support to communities east of the river.”
Today’s event featured two panel sessions. At the first, experts from DCRA, DC Health, and the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration explained the ins and outs of the regulatory process, including how to gain the necessary permits and licenses needed to operate a food and beverage business. Five food entrepreneurs shared lessons learned about starting and growing their businesses during the second panel.
DCRA also announced that its Small Business Resource Center is partnering with the Office for East of the River Services to present a series of small business workshops over the coming year at the UPO Petey Green Community Center in Ward 8. These workshops complement the one-on-one technical and business development assistance and other free group workshops the center holds throughout the year in every ward.