Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter I. Office of Business and Economic Development.


§ 2–1201.01. Findings; purpose.

(a) The Council finds that:

(1) There exists in the District of Columbia a substantial problem of chronic unemployment and underemployment;

(2) In the last 2 decades, growth in employment, new business development, and commercial development in the District of Columbia has failed to keep pace with employment growth and commercial expansion in neighboring jurisdictions;

(3) During the same period, the District has experienced a substantial loss in retail businesses and other commercial enterprises which contributed significantly to local employment and the city’s tax base;

(4) Expansion of the tax base in the District of Columbia has, in recent years, lagged significantly behind the rate of inflation and the rate of increase in District of Columbia government expenditures;

(5) Substantial expansion of the tax base is necessary to help avert future governmental fiscal crises, prevent ever-increasing individual business and professional tax levels, and assure provision of necessary public services;

(6) The District of Columbia government lacks an organized capacity or comprehensive strategy to assess its economic needs, encourage business retention, attract commercial enterprises, or otherwise promote and stimulate economic growth;

(7) The absence of such a capacity and strategy has been a significant factor in the District’s inability to compete with neighboring jurisdictions in the retention of existing businesses and the attraction of new enterprises;

(8) Direct and continuing active participation of all levels of the business community is essential to carrying out the objectives of this subchapter.

(b) The purposes of this subchapter are:

(1) To establish an office with ongoing responsibility to assess the economic needs of the City; stimulate new employment opportunities; assist existing businesses; promote the City as a location for businesses and investment to priority City locations in accordance with the City’s comprehensive plan and its economic development objectives; and

(2) To centralize the economic development functions in the District of Columbia government in a single agency devoted solely to these tasks.


(Mar. 29, 1977, D.C. Law 1-97, § 2, 23 DCR 9532b.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2201.

1973 Ed., § 1-1351.

Editor's Notes

Because of the codification of D.C. Law 5-89 as subchapter II of Chapter 22 of Title 1 subchapter IV of Chapter 12 of Title 2, 2001 Ed., and the designation of the preexisting text as subchapter I, “subchapter” has been substituted for “chapter” in paragraph (8) of subsection (a) and in the introductory language of subsection (b) of this section.

Mayor's Orders

Establishment of State Job Training Coordinating Council: See Mayor’s Order 89-72, April 5, 1989.

Establishment of District of Columbia Private Industry Council: See Mayor’s Order 89-73, April 5, 1989.


§ 2–1201.02. Establishment; purposes. [Omitted]

Omitted.


(Mar. 29, 1977, D.C. Law 1-97, § 3, 23 DCR 9532b; Oct. 17, 1981, D.C. Law 4-42, § 9(a), 28 DCR 3425.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2202.

1973 Ed., § 1-1352.

Cross References

Administration, merit system, “subordinate agency” defined to include various offices, departments, and commissions, see § 1-603.01.

Transfer of Functions

The functions of the Office of Business and Economic Development and the Office of International Business were transferred to the jurisdiction and control of the Office of Economic Development by Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1993, approved October 7, 1993.

Editor's Notes

Office of Business and Economic Development abolished: Section 301 of D.C. Law 10-11 and § 301 of D.C. Law 10-25 provided that in accordance with § 404(b) of the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act of 1973, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 787; D.C. Code § 1-227(b) § 1-204.04(b), 2001 Ed. ), the Office of Business and Economic Development, established pursuant to § 3 of the District of Columbia Business and Economic Development Act of 1976, effective March 29, 1977 (D.C. Law 1-97; D.C. Code § 1-2202 § 2-1201.02, 2001 Ed. ), is abolished and all capital project authority and financial balances of the Office of Business and Economic Development shall be transferred to the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, established pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1975, effective July 3, 1975 ( 21 DCR 2793; D.C. Code Vol. 1, 1981 Ed.).

Section 601(b)(6) of D.C. Law 10-11 provided that § 301 shall apply as of October 1, 1993.

Section 601(b)(6) of D.C. Law 10-25 provided that § 301 shall apply as of October 1, 1993.

Transfer of powers, duties, and responsibilities from Office of Economic Development: Section 30(d) of D.C. Law 12-144 provided for the transfer of the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the Office of Economic Development to the Board of Directors of the National Capital Revitalization Corporation, and for the abolition of the Office of Economic Development. Office of Business and Economic Development abolished: Section 701(b) of D.C. Law 10-11 provided that the act shall expire on the 225th day of its having taken effect. International Business Program abolished: Pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 7 of 1996, effective December 13, 1996, the International Business Program in the Office of Economic Development was abolished and its functions transferred to the Office of International Affairs which was created as an independent subordinate agency within the Executive Office of the Mayor. Additionally, Reorganization Plan No. 7 of 1996 transferred to the Office of International Affairs, 2 International Business Program positions, associated property, records and unexpended balances of appropriations, and other funds, if any, that related to the positions and functions assigned to the Office of International Affairs.

Mayor's Orders

Establishment of State Job Training Coordinating Council: See Mayor’s Order 89-72, April 5, 1989.

Establishment of District of Columbia Private Industry Council: See Mayor’s Order 89-73, April 5, 1989.


§ 2–1201.03. Function.

(a) The Office shall give priority to activities, including economic research and analysis, to stimulate employment, promote tourism and business retention, and to attract new commercial and industrial enterprises. Long range priorities shall include development and implementation with the Office of the Assistant City Administrator for Planning and Development of an economic development plan for the District of Columbia.

(b) Pursuant to these priorities, the Office shall:

(1) Initiate and implement an ongoing economic and commercial survey including data to monitor business migration, business and commercial expansion, business opportunities, manpower availability, manpower needs, and other factors relevant to promotion of economic development;

(2) Assist businessmen and developers in securing research data needed for feasibility and market studies;

(3) Initiate and implement programs aimed at stimulating employment opportunities in the District of Columbia, retaining existing businesses in the District, and attracting new commercial and industrial enterprises to the District, as well as, locating and encouraging investors for these enterprises;

(4) Develop and support programs to ensure local, small, and disadvantaged business development and participation in public and private economic development activities;

(5) Coordinate the economic development functions of other District of Columbia offices and departments;

(6) Coordinate economic development activities and projects within the District of Columbia government pursuant to the priorities established in the comprehensive plan and through other actions taken by the District of Columbia government;

(7) Act as ongoing District of Columbia liaison with the business and commercial community and as a vehicle to assist existing businesses in their procedural relationships with the District government, including, but not limited to, the expediting of administrative processes, such as approval of necessary permits, zoning actions, street closings, and other relevant District government administrative actions;

(8) Serve as liaison with pertinent federal government agencies and conduit for federal economic development funding;

(9) Stimulate development or expansion of neighborhood commercial facilities and centers;

(10) Develop financial and technical assistance programs;

(11) Initiate and stimulate public investment as a catalyst to private investment in commercial and industrial enterprises otherwise unavailable to the District of Columbia; and

(12) Recommend various types of commercial industrial development, incentives appropriate for certain development projects.

(c) Basic research and statistical programs would be undertaken in the following areas:

(1) Land use studies of urban renewal, housing, and industrial sites, with emphasis on the disposition of idle industrial land, factories, and commercial properties;

(2) Taxes, including such matters as determining new areas for new revenue for the City and possible tax incentives to encourage development; an examination of the effect of the District tax structure on certain industries; assessing the comparability of the tax structure;

(3) An examination of the District government powers, organization, and practices as they affect economic development; and

(4) Special industry problems, including the District’s mature and declining industries.


(Mar. 29, 1977, D.C. Law 1-97, § 4, 23 DCR 9532b; Apr. 7, 2006, D.C. Law 16-91, § 136, 52 DCR 10637.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2203.

1973 Ed., § 1-1353.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 2-1201.04.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-91, in par. (b)(4), substituted “local, small, and disadvantaged business development and participation” for “minority business development and minority participation”.

Transfer of Functions

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 2-1201.02.

Editor's Notes

Office of Tourism and Promotions: Pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1992, effective October 1, 1992, the Office of Tourism and Promotions (“office”) is hereby established in the Executive Branch of the Government under the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development (DMED). The Office shall be supervised and administered by a Director who shall be appointed by the Mayor to a position in the Executive Service pursuant to Title X of the District of Columbia Government Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act of 1978, §§ 1-611.1 and 1-611.2 § 1-610.01 and 1-610.02, 2001 Ed., and subject to the advice and consent of the Council. The Mayor’s Special Assistant for Tourism shall be the Acting Director pending confirmation by the Council.

Office of Business and Economic Development abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 2-1201.02.

International Business Program abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 2-1201.02.

Mayor's Orders

Establishment of State Job Training Coordinating Council: See Mayor’s Order 89-72, April 5, 1989.

Establishment of District of Columbia Private Industry Council: See Mayor’s Order 89-73, April 5, 1989.


§ 2–1201.04. Executive Director.

(a) The Office shall be headed by an Executive Director (hereinafter in this subchapter referred to as the “Director”), who shall be appointed by the Mayor. The Director shall devote his full time to the duties of his Office, and shall appoint qualified staff including a “Business Ombudsman” charged primarily with the implementation of the functions provided in § 2-1201.03. The annual compensation of the Director shall be determined in accordance with Chapter 51 of Title 5, United States Code (relating to the classification of government employees and related matters), but shall be no less than a GS-16, step 1 or equivalent compensation pursuant to the provisions of subchapter XI of Chapter 6 of Title 1.

(b) In order to best carry out his duties and responsibilities and to serve the people of the District in the promotion of business economic development, the Director may engage in programs and projects jointly with a private person, firm, corporation, or association, and may enter into contracts under terms to be mutually agreed upon to carry out such programs and projects not including acquisition of land or buildings. Such contracts may be negotiated and shall not be subject to the provisions of § 2-225.05 [repealed], insofar as such provisions relate to competitive bidding.


(Mar. 29, 1977, D.C. Law 1-97, § 5, 23 DCR 9532b; Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 3205(x), 25 DCR 5740.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2204.

1973 Ed., § 1-1354.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 1-636.02.

Cross References

Effective date of this section, see § 1-636.02.

Transfer of Functions

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 2-1201.02.

References in Text

“GS-16, step 1”, referred to in subsection (a), is contained in the General Schedule which is set out under § 5332 of Title 5, United States Code.

Section 2-225.05, referred to in subsection (b), was repealed by D.C. Law 11-259, § 405, 44 DCR 1423, effective April 12, 1997.

Editor's Notes

Because of the codification of D.C. Law 5-89 as subchapter II of Chapter 22 of Title 1 subchapter IV of Chapter 12 of Title 2, 2001 Ed., and the designation of the preexisting text as subchapter I, “subchapter” has been substituted for “chapter” near the beginning of the first sentence of subsection (a).

Office of Business and Economic Development abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 2-1201.02.

Delegation of Authority

Delegation of authority pursuant to D.C. Law 7-173, the “Supermarket Tax Incentive Amendment Act of 1988”, see Mayor’s Order 89-84, April 24, 1989.


§ 2–1201.05. Funding.

The Office shall be funded by a variety of sources currently available or potentially available in the future, including, but not limited to, federal loans and grant funds, community development block grant funds, District of Columbia government appropriated or borrowed funds, and private endowments. Sources of funding for the Office shall include no less than $300,000 in community development block grant funds conditionally approved by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for business and economic development programs, pursuant to the Department’s approval on June 24, 1975 of the District of Columbia “Application for Federal Assistance for a Community Development Block Grant Program— 1975.”


(Mar. 29, 1977, D.C. Law 1-97, § 6, 23 DCR 9532b.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 1-2205.

1973 Ed., § 1-1355.

Transfer of Functions

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 2-1201.02.

Editor's Notes

Office of Business and Economic Development abolished: See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 2-1201.02.