Small Business Enhancement Program

1369 Coffeehouse After Grant

The Small Business Enhancement (SBE) 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 their 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. 

SBE Program Entails Two Parts:

  1. Part I  - Participate in an Exploration Session with the Program Manager to confirm your eligibility and to discuss the business aspirations and desired improvements. 
  2. Part II - Apply for the grant(s).

Additional application requirements:

  1. Obtain a DUNS number.
  2. Provide a copy of your City of Cambridge Business Certificate
  3. Provide a copy of your lease (if brick and mortar)

Grant Opportunities

1. Home-Based Businesses - Marketing Grant - A reimbursement grant (up to $1,000, subject to availability of federal funding). This grant is available for viable home-based businesses. Click here for a list of eligible marketing improvements. 

2. Brick and Mortar Businesses - Equipment-Marketing Grant -  A reimbursement grant (up to $6,000, subject to availability of federal funding). This grant is only available to viable HUD-eligible brick and mortar businesses. Click here for a list of eligible equipment improvements

Please click here for a list of non-eligible business improvements. 

Next Steps

Next round of the Small Business Enhancement Program begins July 1, 2019. Applications are needed for both parts of the Program. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until April 1, 2020. 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 Bonnie-May Shantz to request an Eligibility Form at (617) 349-9122 or via email at

Local Examples

Check out the SBE Story Map or watch the video below to view examples of how local business owners utilized SBE funds to enhance their businesses. 

For More Information

If you have questions about the Small Business Enhancement Program, please contact Bonnie-May Shantz, at or (617) 349-9122.