**FILE** Trayon White (Roy Lewis/The 番茄社区app)
**FILE** Trayon White (Roy Lewis/The 番茄社区app)

D.C. Councilmember Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) launched Round II of the Ward 8 Community Investment Fund (Ward8CIF) that provides startup and working capital to Ward 8 entrepreneurs, at the Sycamore & Oak retail village on the campus of St. Elizabeths East in Southeast鈥檚 Congress Heights neighborhood on May 30.

A total of $800 thousand is available through grants and loans, with awards up to $40 thousand announced in July. This round includes a new mini-grant opportunity for youth ages 14-21 who want to grow their business with funding up to $2K.

The Ward8CIF has a mission to close the 81X racial wealth gap in the District by funding entrepreneurs and to foster a vibrant small business economy in Ward 8 as well as to strengthen the ward community through culture building and job creation. Ward 8 businesses receive only 2.3% of all working capital in the District from banks and other financial institutions.

Nonprofits are not eligible for the program. To qualify, possible participants must be a Ward 8 resident-entrepreneurs or business enterprise.

The Ward8CIF is a credit building grant-secured loan program for aspiring or current small business owners. Information sessions and technical assistance are provided.

Ward8CIF partners include White, , , , , , and the Ward 8 Arts Collaborative. Go to to RSVP or apply through June 30.

James Wright Jr. is the D.C. political reporter for the 番茄社区app. He has worked for the Washington AFRO-American Newspaper as a reporter, city editor and freelance writer and The Washington...

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