The SPACE (Supporting Pandemic Affected Community Enterprises) Grant Program prioritizes helping our small businesses, with a priority for industries that were most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These prioritized businesses include, but are not limited to:
- food service and production, restaurants
- repair and maintenance and laundry services (i.e., laundromats, dry cleaning)
- art, entertainment, creative economy, and
- fitness, wellness (including spas and salons), and recreation.
Please note: Liquor stores, cannabis establishments, office spaces, franchises, and lab spaces will not be considered for this program.
Eligibility and Benefits
All applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered for a grant:
- Business must be incorporated in a Qualified Census Tract or one of the prioritized businesses mentioned above.
- Fewer than twenty-five (25) employees (not including the business owner).
- Business owners must provide proof of a Boston business address (e.g., a signed lease, business permit / license / title, utility bill in which the business is named directly, or other home office documentation).
- Business and business owner must be in good-standing with the City of Boston
- Business must provide a copy of its up to date Business Certificate
- We will provide grants of up to $200,000 to small businesses disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 that are looking to fill vacant commercial space in the City.
- The grant can be used for start-up costs like rent, infrastructure build-out, security, deposit.
- The funding will be delivered over the course of three years, not all at once.
- In addition to grant funding, SPACE Grantees will receive wrap-around technical assistance services thanks to the Small Business Technical Assistance Program, and free one-year memberships to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM) organizations. Grantees have also been granted a two-year membership to the Retailers Association of Massachusetts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are nonprofits eligible for this grant?
Yes, as long as the nonprofit fits the eligibility criteria listed on the website and application.
My business is not incorporated in Boston, but I live in Boston. Would I be eligible for this grant?
Unfortunately, no. This is a grant program serving Boston business owners, and the incorporated address must be within the City to qualify.
I am a small business owner and I recently signed a lease or letter of intent with a landlord, but I still need help with build-out, rent, and start-up costs. Could I be eligible even if I already found a space?
Possibly. This is a new program and we are open to looking through our pool of applicants to see what businesses are the best fit for these grants. We suggest you apply, though if you've already signed a lease, your application might not be as high a priority as others.
Do I have to open my business in downtown Boston if I am interested in applying for a SPACE Grant?
No. This is a city-wide program with a focus on commercial hubs, so that includes Main Street districts and other commercial corridors in our neighborhoods. The business you are looking to open does need to be in the City of Boston.
LIST OF GRANTEES
Congratulations to our first round of SPACE Grantees!
These 24 grantees were awarded a total of $2,830,000 for rent, build-out, and start-up costs for their business as they fill vacancies across the City in addition to wrap-around technical assistance through our Small Business Technical Assistance Program.
For more details about the first round of the program, you can view the full SPACE Grant press release from July 26, 2023.
Full list of grantees:
- BoldSkinBabe, LLC
- Brown Bear Excel Learning Center
- Canvas Event Studio
- Centro Educativo Cooperativo Resplandor
- Dance Academy Limited PArtnership
- Dani’s Queer Bar
- Dorchester Community Food Co-op
- Fior’s Little Garden
- Flourish & Foundry
- Jamaica Mi Hungry
- McCrea’s Candies
- Micro Plant Studio, LLC
- Mo’Rockin Fusion
- More than Words, Inc
- Problakart, LLC
- Reign Drink Lab
- Revamp Training, LLC
- Sweet Teez
- The FITT PIT
- The Local Hand, LLC
- Uvida Shop
- Vico Style
- WWOC Media, LLC