Nourish DC Collaborative


Applications Now Open – Apply by March 17th!

2024 Packaged Food Business Technical Assistance Cohort

If you are ready to grow your Washington D.C. food or non-alcoholic beverage consumer packaged goods business, apply to be a member of the Nourish DC Packaged Food Business Cohort!

Gain the knowledge to take your packaged food or beverage business to the next level of growth!

Attend the Nourish DC Open House on February 29th

If you have questions about this cohort, want to learn about our loan and technical assistance offerings, or want updates on upcoming opportunities, we invite you to join our next open house at the Martin Luther King Library.

Financing, Technical Assistance, and Grants to Help DC Food Businesses Expand Economic Prosperity

Building a strong, local food ecosystem supports healthier neighborhoods, economic prosperity, and high-quality jobs in the District of Columbia, especially in communities that have experienced systematic underinvestment, poor health outcomes, and limited economic opportunities.

Launched in 2021, the Nourish DC Collaborative was created in partnership with the Government of the District of Columbia to support the development of a robust ecosystem of locally owned food businesses, neighborhood vibrancy, and health equity in DC communities, especially in neighborhoods underserved by grocery stores and other food businesses. Nourish DC provides flexible loans, technical assistance, and grants to emerging and existing food businesses in the District of Columbia, with a preference for businesses located in or owned by residents of underserved neighborhoods.

Nourish DC services support the entire food value chain and are available to a wide range of food businesses, including grocery stores, food incubators, corner stores, cooperative businesses, farmers markets, food delivery businesses, urban farms, food processors, food hubs, restaurants, and caterers.

Key Features of Nourish DC

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Technical Assistance

Nourish DC provides a range of technical assistance services to help entrepreneurs take their new and existing businesses to the next level including: one-on-one consulting, short-format seminars/ webinars/ trainings, access to a kitchen incubator, mentoring, and cohort-based intensive training. Through Nourish DC, food business owners in the District can access technical assistance through these partner programs:

*Complete the Inquiry Form to determine which technical assistance service is right for your business.

Join the Nourish DC Packaged Food Business Cohort

The Nourish DC Packaged Food Business Cohort is built for D.C.-based consumer packaged food goods businesses ready to grow. Eligible businesses should be producing and selling food or non-alcoholic beverage consumer packaged goods including shelf-stable and perishable packaged goods (e.g. grab-and-go meals).

This 10-week learning cohort will include in-person and virtual workshops led by Cureate, totaling 2-3 hours/week. Participants will complete workshop assignments requiring about 4 hours/week. Topics include supply chain, brand building, sales, cash flow, and more.

More information can be found on the Nourish DC Packaged Food Business Cohort Overview.

If you have questions about the cohort, attend the Nourish DC Collaborative Open House on February 29th at the Martin Luther King Library. 

Join other food entrepreneurs and the Nourish DC Collaborative Partners at the Nourish DC Open House and learn more about the Nourish DC Packaged Food Business Cohort; Nourish DC grants, lending, and technical assistance; and the program’s impact on the food ecosystem.

Light refreshments will be served including products from local food businesses that have benefited from Nourish DC.

When: February 29th from 4 – 7pm EST

Where: Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, 901 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

Registration: RSVP on Eventbrite

Still Have Questions About the Nourish DC Packaged Food Business Cohort? Please contact Alison Powers, Director, Economic Opportunities:
(703) 647-2369

Flexible Loans

The Nourish DC lending partners – Capital Impact Partners, CDC Small Business Finance (CDC), City First Enterprises (CFE), EatsPlace, the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), and Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif) – are all local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that collectively offer multiple loan products to meet the varied financing needs of food entrepreneurs of all different sizes. We know every project is different, and work with borrowers to match their unique needs with the right loan offering. Start-up and existing food businesses are eligible to apply.

Specific loan terms vary by loan size and purpose, but features include the following:

  • Uses: Working capital, lines of credit, equipment, vehicle acquisition, predevelopment, real estate acquisition, renovation, new construction, leasehold or tenant improvements, refinancing
  • Amount: Microloans as small as $500 to real estate secured loans as large as $10,000,000
  • Term: As short as 90 days for smaller loans and up to 10 years for larger loans
  • Interest Rate: Varies by lender and type of loan
  • Fees: 1.25% to 3% of loan size
  • Payments: May include interest-only and/or principal and interest payments on varying amortization schedules
  • Amortization: Interest only, partial, and fully amortizing loans on amortization schedules up to 25 years
  • Guarantees: Varies; personal guarantees required for most loans

*Complete the Loan Inquiry Form to determine which loan product is right for your business.


The Keeping It Cool – Round 2 Grant Program will provide $425,000 in grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 to support cold storage infrastructure and equipment needs of food businesses and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations providing food-related goods and services in the Washington, DC region. Eligible locations include Arlington, VA; Alexandria, VA; Fairfax County, VA; Montgomery County, MD; Prince George’s County, MD; and Washington, DC. Funding for this grant has been generously provided by The Morningstar Foundation.

Nourish DC and Keeping It Cool Grants

In 2022, Nourish DC disbursed $400,000 in grants to nine food businesses owned by people of color in Wards 5, 7, and 8. In 2023, Nourish DC disbursed an additional $500,000 in grants to food businesses increasing access to healthy food and creating good quality jobs. Also in 2023, the Keeping It Cool – Round 1 Grant Program awarded $435,000 to twelve food enterprises to support cold storage equipment and infrastructure, which brings the total of Nourish DC and Keeping It Cool grant funds disbursed to $1.34 million in just two years.

About Nourish DC

The Nourish DC Collaborative is funded through grants from Mayor Muriel Bowser’s Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), and grants from the Bainum Foundation, The Morningstar Foundation, and Prince Charitable Trusts. Capital Impact Partners acts as fund manager, and Nourish DC Collaborative partners are Capital Impact Partners, Washington Area Community Investment Fund (Wacif), the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), City First Enterprises (CFE), CDC Small Business Finance (CDC), EatsPlace, and Dreaming Out Loud (DOL). Ongoing guidance is provided by an advisory board of District agencies.

Alison Powers

Alison Powers
Director, Economic Opportunities
(703) 647-2369

nourish DC impact
Since September 2021:


$16+ million deployed

Technical Assistance

600+ food businesses received 1:1 or group TA


$900K+ to more than 20 food businesses

Capital Impact Partners Card decoration

The Nourish DC Catalytic Grant is important for our business because it will allow us to scale at a faster pace, provide efficiency in daily operations, and make funds available to us to purchase uniform packaging.

Pinkey Reddick
Flavorture (formerly Pinke’s Eats)

Nourish DC Collaborative Partners

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