Author: DSLBD Staff   Published; 1/31/2024   D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD)

Letter From the Director


Rosemary Suggs Evans

As Interim Director for the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), Rosemary Suggs-Evans is a passionate advocate for the small business community and stays true to the agency’s mission to support the development, economic growth and retention of District-based businesses, and promote economic development throughout the District’s commercial corridors.
With a diverse executive background spanning the for-profit, nonprofit, and governmental sectors, Rosemary Suggs-Evans brings a wealth of experience to her role. Prior to her tenure at DSLBD, she served as a senior advisor for the DC Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity (DMGEO), where she spearheaded programs and initiatives aimed at expanding access to local procurement opportunities for District-based small businesses. As a program analyst at the DC Department of General Services, she initiated a groundbreaking small business program, ensuring equitable opportunities for local enterprises.
Before dedicating herself to District government, Ms. Suggs-Evans held key roles, including senior manager at Safe Kids Worldwide, where she played an instrumental part in child safety initiatives, and as a special assistant in the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, where she championed increased contracting opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses.
Rosemary Suggs-Evans earned her Bachelor of Science in Finance from Howard University, a testament to her strong academic foundation. She proudly resides in Washington, DC, alongside her husband, Greg, and their daughter, Trinity. Her unwavering dedication to uplifting the small business community and fostering inclusive economic growth makes Rosemary Suggs-Evans a prominent and respected public servant in the District.
Follow  Interim Director  Rosemary Suggs Evans on Twitter @Rose_Suggs

FY24 Green Book Launch

Green Book: Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Opportunity Guide

Mayor Muriel Bowser released the Fiscal Year 2024 Small Business Enterprise (SBE) Opportunity Guide, also known as the Green Book, and, for the first time ever, announced a spending goal of $1.2 billion. The Green Book assists SBEs in navigating the local government procurement process by providing an agency-by-agency overview of SBE spending availability. For the second year in a row, the Green Book will be online, searchable, and interactive.


This year’s Green Book is all digital with its very own website:

In addition to the PDF version of the book that you’ve come to know and love, the website is equipped with the all-new interactive District Spend Data Dashboard that will help you hunt for opportunities in a variety of ways:

  • More Data. The dashboard includes data on all available opportunities for each agency — way more than we could fit in the book!
  • Searchable. Information can be sorted in a variety of ways: by agency, by category, by keyword, and by NIGP codes.
  • Interactive. Visuals help contextualize data in the Green Book and quickly understand the opportunities available to small businesses in DC.
Learn more


Welcome to the Green Book: Downtown Edition

“The Green Book is one of our best tools for including DC’s local businesses in the District’s procurement strategy. Since 2016, we have continually allocated a larger percentage of District spending to support businesses based here in DC, and this year’s $1.2 billion spending goal is the largest yet,” said Mayor Bowser. “When DC’s businesses thrive, our residents thrive too. And leveraging District government to benefit DC’s businesses will help ensure that all Washingtonians have a fair shot throughout 2024.”




FY24 First Quarter Recap

DSLBD Launches Inaugural EmPOWERment Fund

On Tuesday, December 5, 2023, DSLBD hosted a show and tell unveiling the EmPOWERment Fund. This is a grant program started by Interim Director Suggs-Evans to ensure that those that live, work, and play in the District and further the goal of supporting local businesses have the financial resources they need to continue to thrive here.

In FY24, DSLBD created the groundbreaking EmPOWERment Fund with a $300K initial investment. The grant program will further economic prosperity for several individuals who directly contribute to the success of the city’s local businesses, many who are local residents and returning citizens. DSLBD’s Commercial Clean Team Program offers comprehensive services to enhance the city’s urban environment. The program includes the removal of litter, graffiti, illegal posters, stickers, weeds, snow, and ice.

Throughout COVID, their unparalleled dedication and commitment to supporting our small and local businesses is unparalleled. Additionally, as the Administration furthers its equity initiatives, Mayor Bowser will continue to hold the door open for all to thrive and grow in the District and this new grant program is a pen-to-paper testament to this commitment.

Read more
DC Art All Night 2023: An Unforgettable Evening of Art, Culture, and Creativity

On September 29 & 30, Mayor Bowser invited District residents and visitors to the 2023 Art All Night Festival. Made possible through the dedicated efforts of the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), DC is set to come alive with creativity and culture. This year’s event promises to be a spectacular celebration of the arts, featuring a diverse range of artistic expressions that will captivate residents and visitors alike.

DC Art All Night is a testament to the resilience and creativity of our city,” said Mayor Bowser. “This event has become an annual tradition, bringing our diverse community together to celebrate the power of art and culture. I encourage all residents and visitors to join us for a night of inspiration and creativity.”

With activations in all 8 wards, DC Art All Night transformed the city into an all-encompassing canvas of art, music, dance, and more. Artists of all backgrounds and mediums come together to showcase their talents, making this event a true celebration of the city’s vibrant creative community. We look forward to you joining us in September for Art All Night 2024.

DC Start Up Week   

DC Startup Week (DCSW) is the fastest-growing startup community in the DMV region with over 15,000 entrepreneurs. Once a year, they bring together DC-based businesses to this expansive entrepreneurship conference over 5-days to connect, collaborate, share resources and celebrate our thriving ecosystem. DSLBD Director Suggs Evans was proud to participate on a panel to discuss resources that are available to District-based businesses.