Bowser Invests $1.25 Million in 16 Local Businesses

Sixteen District businesses received a portion of a $1.25 million fund from the D.C. government, designed to address the capital gap that exists for small enterprises who don’t have easy access to conventional funding, city officials announced on May 2.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio and his staffers along with officials of 1863 Ventures, announced the recipients of the first round of the $1.25 million Inclusive Innovative Equity Impact Fund (IIEIF) at Manifest, an enterprise based in Ward 1 that combines a barbershop, coffee shop, retail outlet and a speakeasy. 

KJ Hughes serves as the founder and has two partners, Brian Merritt and Susan Morgan, to help him run the business. Hughes, who used to work as the business manager for former San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman, expressed his gratitude to the Bowser administration after the announcement. 

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