Whether you’re considering opening a business in Georgetown or an existing business looking to enhance your operations, the BID offers a range of economic development resources. Here are some FAQs as well as links to city and community resources. If you need further information, please send an email to the BID’s Economic Development Director Jamie Scott at


Enlisting the help of a commercial real estate broker is the best way to find commercial space in Georgetown. The BID maintains lists of retail/restaurant and office brokers if you are looking for professionals who are familiar with the Georgetown market. Professional brokers will have the best knowledge of current asking rents, vacancies, and lease and sub-lease arrangements.

The BID also tracks new tenants entering the market, buildings under renovation, and vacant buildings for lease on its real estate activity website


The BID’s flagship product to support business location decisions is the annual State of Georgetown report. The report compiles a wide range of data that can support decision makers:

  • Employment data and industrial sector concentration
  • Rental rate and vacancy trends
  • Residential demographics
  • Visitor profiles and psychographic data
  • Hotel and hospitality statistics, including rates and vacancy
  • Retail merchandising mix
  • Pedestrian traffic patterns
  • Traffic and transit counts

Additional presentations and reports on these topics can be found in the Commercial Real Estate section of this website. 

The BID can also deliver custom research that elaborates on topics presented in the State of Georgetown in order to support a location decision. If you are interested in addressing a specific topic or question, please contact the BID’s Economic Development Director Jamie Scott at


If you are interested in learning how to form and operate a business in the District of Columbia, please consult the Washington, DC Economic Partnership’s DC Doing Business Guide. (Note: by clicking this link you will be leaving the Georgetown BID; the WDCEP is independent, 501(c)(3) organization that promotes business opportunities throughout D.C.)


Obtaining city permits should begin with a visit to the DC Government website, which can direct individuals to the appropriate agency web page.

The BID can offer permit advice; please contact John Wiebenson at or by phone at 202-400-3691 with questions.


The moratorium on restaurant liquor licenses in Georgetown expired in 2016. There is no longer a cap on the number of Class C/R and D/R licenses for restaurants and multipurpose facilities in Georgetown.

Some restrictions still apply within the Georgetown Historic District. No more than six Class C/T and D/T licenses (on-premises consumption) may be issued to taverns. No Class C/N or D/N licenses may be issued to a nightclub.

For more information on opening a restaurant in Georgetown, please contact the BID’s Economic Development Director Jamie Scott at


In addition to D.C.-wide building and construction codes, The Old Georgetown Act of 1950 (Public Law 81-808) designated the federal Old Georgetown historic district and established the requirement for design review of proposed projects in Georgetown by the Commission of Fine Arts and Old Georgetown Board.

Signs, window, door, and storefront replacements, mechanical equipment, visible electrical wiring and lighting, and other changes commonly associated with exterior renovations require review by the OGB.