Small Business Enhancement Program

1369 Coffeehouse After Grant

The Small Business Enhancement (SBE) Program (formally known as the Best Retail Practices Program) is a reimbursement grant program that helps eligible retail, food, home-based and creative for-profit businesses purchase equipment and materials associated with growing or starting a new business in Cambridge. The Program's goal is to assist Cambridge's business owners with technical and financial assistance to build a stronger customer base and boost sales. 

Click here to check your business's eligibility for the program. 

The SBE Program Entails Two Parts:

  1. Participate in an in-store consultation appointment with one our consultants specializing in marketing, architecture/interior design, general improvements, or restaurant operations/management. 
  2. Apply for the grant(s).

Choose one or both of the grant opportunities below:

In-Store Enhancement 

A reimbursement grant (up to $5,000, subject to availability of federal funding) for the following eligible improvements (other improvements may be allowed upon review):

Security and Alarm Systems Point of Sales Equipment 
Kitchen Equipment Computer Ordering Systems
Interior Lighting Sound Systems
Seating (exterior and interior) Display Furnishings and Shelving
Coolers, Refrigeration Units Interior Signage

Marketing Enhancement 

A reimbursement grant (up to $2,000, subject to availability of federal funding) for the following eligible improvements (other improvements may be allowed upon review):

Printed Marketing Materials (e.g. postcards, business cards)  Website Design Reusable Branded Bags
Brand and Logo Design Social Media Development Marketing Content Development

Next Steps

Next round of the Small Business Enhancement Program begins July 1, 2017. Applications are needed for both parts of the Program. Businesses may apply to either in-store or marketing enhancement grants, or both. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until May 1, 2018. Completed applications will be evaluated for compliance with funding priorities. This opportunity is funded by the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is subject to their rules and regulations.

If you are interested in applying to the Program, please contact Pardis Saffari at 617/349-4654 or via email at

Photo Gallery

For before and after examples of Small Business Enhancement Program, take a look at the SBE story map. 

For More Information

If you have questions about the Small Business Enhancement Program, please contact Pardis Saffari, at or 617/349-4654.