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 - Complete an Eligibility Form and then participate in an Exploration Session with the Program Manager to confirm your eligibility and to discuss the business aspirations and desired improvements.

Documents/information required:

  • Lease (if brick-and-mortar business or co-working business)
  • Last two years of your household’s personal tax returns (If applying as an income eligible micro-enterprise and not based in the NRS areas. See eligibility guidelines below.)

      ***Must complete Part 1, before moving onto Part 2.***

2. Part II - Apply for the grant, which includes completing a full Application and providing quotes for your desired improvements.

Example documents/information required:

  • Two detailed written quotes for each improvement item from qualified contractors and/or vendors

  • Written permission signed by the building/condo owner to make improvements to the leased property (if a brick and mortar business)
  • Various forms (e.g. CORI form, Certificate of Authority, Tax Compliance, and W-9)
  • Other possible documents depending on requested improvements

Grant Opportunities

1. Home-based and Co-working-Based Businesses - Marketing Grant - A reimbursement grant (up to $2,000, subject to availability of federal funding) for marketing. This grant is available for viable HUD-eligible 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 $8,000, subject to availability of federal funding) for equipment or marketing. 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. 


We are currently accepting applications until March 15. 2024. 

Completed applications will be evaluated for compliance with funding priorities. Grants are subject to availability of federal funding. 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.

Eligibility Guidelines - Click here to check your business's eligibility for the program

Next Steps

If you are interested in applying to the Program, please request an Eligibility Form. You may also request an Eligibility Form by contacting Pardis Saffari at or 617/349-4654. 

Local Examples

Check out the SBE Story Map 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 Pardis Saffar ipsaffari@cambridgema.govor 617/349-4654.