Small Business Challenge Projects on Display


7/6/2017

flower baskets and flags

Earlier this year, CDD’s Economic Development Division launched the Small Business Challenge, which offered grants to local businesses, business districts, and neighborhood business groups to fund projects that invigorate their commercial districts. 

Three 2017 Small Business Challenge (SBC) projects are currently on display throughout the city. Below, learn about how the projects support small businesses and foster a sense of community in Cambridge business districts. 

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Project: Planter Boxes

Participant: Businesses in the 2200 block of North Mass Ave, including Spindler Confections, Curio Spice Co., Urban Hearth, and Nussli 118

SBC Spokesperson: Jeremy Spindler, owner of Spindler Confections

Why did your business/business association participate in the Small Business Challenge?

It's important to note that as a block we collectively decided to participate. We had been discussing purchasing planter boxes for a while, but we were all hesitant because we are relatively small, new businesses without access to much capital. The expense would not have been huge, but everything adds up over time.  When we heard about the program we decided this would be a great opportunity to get some grant help in sprucing up the block.

How do you think your project enhances your business district?

Without question, it has livened up the block and is helping to attract some new customers. It is also enhancing the experience of our current customers. We have all had several compliments on the planter boxes as well as the block in general - it's becoming a bit of a food destination!

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Project: Hanging Flower Baskets and American Flags

Participant: East Cambridge Business Association (ECBA) in partnership with the Inman Square Neighborhood Association for hanging the flower baskets.

SBC Spokesperson: Jason Alves, Executive Director for ECBA

Why did your business association participate in the Small Business Challenge?

The East Cambridge Business Association chose to participate in the Small Business Challenge because it provided an opportunity to expand our Cambridge Street beautification efforts into Inman Square. Without the help of the Small Business Challenge grant it would have been difficult to take on the additional expenses.

How do you think your project enhances your business district?

The flower baskets and flags have enhanced the atmosphere along Cambridge Street by lending a 'Main Street feel' that reinforces Cambridge Street and Inman Square as a small local business district in the City of Cambridge.

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Project: Business District Banners

Participant: Central Square Business Association (CSBA)

SBC Spokesperson: Michael Monestime, Executive Director for CSBA

Why did your business association participate in the Small Business Challenge?

The Central Square Business Association participated in the Small Business Challenge to utilize one of the many opportunities the City of Cambridge affords to support the local business community. The funds awarded from the Small Business Challenge allowed the CSBA to plan and execute a cultural district banner campaign.

How do you think your project enhances your business district?

The strength of Central Square's designation as a cultural district depends on vibrant visuals, dynamic thinking, and anchoring messages. These are all achieved through the CSBA's placemaking banners. 

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For more information about the Small Business Challenge, contact Christina DiLisio at cdilisio@cambridgema.gov or visit http://cambridgema.gov/sbc.