Retail Vacancy Program
Downtown BID Partners with City of Boston to Help Small Business Owners Access Grant Program to Activate Vacant Retail Space.
Grants up to $200,000 available for businesses to expand into downtown
The Downtown Boston Business Improvement District (BID) and the City of Boston are working to identify creative ways to bring people back to commercial districts to revitalize our local economy. We are seeking to fill vacant storefronts and help small business owners secure new storefront space or expand to a space by subsidizing the costs associated with operating expenses.
Administered by the City of Boston, the S.P.A.C.E. (Supporting Pandemic Affected Community Enterprises) Grant Program will prioritize helping small businesses grow, with a priority for industries that were most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will provide grants of $100,000-$200,000 for 50 small businesses disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 that are looking to fill vacant commercial space in the City.
While the City of Boston is prioritizing broader categories of businesses that are eligible for the S.P.A.C.E. Grant Program, the Downtown Boston BID is specifically interested in attracting businesses that meet the following local needs and priorities:
- BIPOC-owned businesses
- Destination retail and restaurants
- Social impact businesses (ie. nonprofit-led and mission-driven restaurants and retailers)
- Childcare businesses
- Boston-based apparel stores
- Locally-owned and operated coffee shops
- Specialty grocery stores
- Creative spaces (ie. galleries, studios, and theaters)
Please note: Liquor stores, cannabis establishments, office spaces, franchises, and lab spaces will not be considered by the City of Boston for the S.P.A.C.E. Grant Program.
Apply for the S.P.A.C.E. Grant Program
Applications for the first cohort of the S.P.A.C.E. Grant Program are due to the City of Boston by February 17, 2023.
Interested in Opening Downtown?
Downtown customers bring over $3.1 billion in annual buying power
The Downtown Boston BID can help you through every step of the process of opening a business downtown — from finding the perfect location to navigating permits and approvals.
Here are just some of the ways our organization can offer assistance:
- Providing letters of support
- Offering customized guidance on available storefronts
- Advocating on your behalf with local landlords
- Lending our technical expertise with the S.P.A.C.E. Grant Program application
- Expediting permits and approvals
- Marketing your business once you open
- Helping to resolve many common problems you may face while operating
Contact us today and a member of our team will reach out to discuss your specific needs and questions.
Vacant Storefronts in Downtown Boston
To learn more about the City’s program, which provides funds to directly support businesses with commercial rent, build-out and other ramp-up costs, please visit the City of Boston's dedicated website.