Apply to Grow Golden

Call for Applications – Currently Closed

The purpose of this application process is to identify potential temporary to long-term tenants for DC’s central business district. Grow Golden is a competitive program. New applications are not being accepted at this time.

NOTE: An initial application period was open from June 8 through June 28, 2021. The selection committee finalized its review of applications received by the initial June 28th deadline. Submissions were then accepted from additional businesses following the original submission guidelines and were considered on a rolling basis until June 2022. Grow Golden is not accepting new applications at this time.

Who Should Apply?

Grow Golden is geared towards small and local businesses in the DC area that seek both a physical storefront for their products and services and technical assistance to take their business to the next level. This program features entrepreneurs, makers, and creatives working in fashion, design, technology, food, retail, the arts, hospitality, fitness, health and wellness, and more.


Established small businesses in the DC area were invited to apply to join Grow Golden in an effort to enrich DC’s central business district.

Applicants were required to be a registered business and in operation for at least three years to qualify.

For the purposes of this application, a small business:

  • Is independently owned, operated, and controlled; and
  • Is certified by the United States Small Business Administration as a small business concern or meets the definition of a small business concern under the Small Business Act, approved July 18, 1958 (72 Stat. 863; 15 U.S.C. § e. SBA size standards here.

Preparing Your Submission

ALL applications were required to be submitted online via the Grow Golden Application. Submissions were required to include the following components:

  1. Application Form with Business Overview
  2. Business Plan (including a Financial Plan – click here for an example)
    NOTE: Your business plan should reflect your general approach to the Grow Golden program and your operating plan and vision. Business plans should not be tailored for a specific space in the inventory.
  3. Marketing Info, including 5-10 images or product samples, a marketing strategy and/or plan, or samples of relevant marketing materials

Any questions should be submitted via email to Karyn Miller at

Selection Process and Timeline

Grow Golden applications were reviewed by a cross-organizational panel, which included representatives from the Golden Triangle BID, Golden Triangle building owners, M&T Bank, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, DC Chamber of Commerce, and the Department of Small and Local Business Development.

Applications were evaluated and scored in the four following categories:

  • Capacity and Viability
  • Impact and Innovation
  • Equity and Diversity
  • Overall Program Alignment

Applications received by Monday, June 28, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. ET were reviewed prior to any applications submitted after the initial deadline.  Following the evaluation process, applications with the highest scores were shared with potential properties for additional review. Businesses selected to join Grow Golden were notified approximately six weeks after their submission or earlier.

Terms & Conditions

Grow Golden businesses are paired directly with building owners offering ground floor space in the Golden Triangle.  Each Golden Triangle space is unique and is only be matched with a Grow Golden business that fits the space profile.

Grow Golden businesses explore negotiations before signing a license agreement with the building owner.

  • Building owners:
    • Will offer three months of no rent, with the business paying business insurance and utilities, with no property insurance, no real estate taxes, and no other CAM.
    • Retain the right to reclaim their spaces for permanent users, the terms of which will be defined in the license agreement between the building owner and the business.
    • May offer an extended lease option for up to an additional nine months (12 months total), with the business paying business insurance and utilities, and with varying terms—such as percent of sale rents (10 percent or less).
  • Businesses will:
    • Equip and maintain their own space. Businesses are required to complete any build-out necessary and supply their own displays, signage, furnishings, etc. (Most spaces are already built out as unfurnished retail or restaurant spaces with plumbing, electrical, heating/cooling, and access to restroom facilities.)
    • Use signage that is professional in look and appearance and approved by the building owner, and in most instances, DCRA .
    • Provide all required business documentation and business insurances to the building owner.
      • Requirements may include, but are not limited to, proof of insurances – such as liability insurance and business insurances, proof of DC business license, DC Clean Hands certification, tax documentation, and all relevant permits.
      • Food establishments that sell or serve food to the public must apply for a health permit and be inspected for compliance with DC Health.
    • Not be permitted to sublet, assign, or transfer space.
    • Attend orientation and small business trainings arranged through Grow Golden.

Wrap-Around Technical Assistance

Strategic partners are contributing varied resources to offer wrap-around technical assistance for specific business needs. Grow Golden offers Golden Triangle businesses access to tailored coaching that supports individual business needs, as well as a comprehensive portfolio of business resources that strengthen the professional skill set.

Resources are available in varied areas, including:

  • Public Relations/Marketing
  • Social and Digital Media
  • Scaling Up and Expanding
  • Accounting and Financial Literacy
  • Contracts and Certifications (CBE, 8a, etc.)
  • E-Commerce

Available Spaces

The Golden Triangle is a vibrant hub of culture and commerce where small, local businesses can thrive. Click here to view available spaces in Golden Triangle.