Cambridge businesses may be eligible to receive up to $4,000 for e-commerce, software, and/or point of sale systems. Grant applications are available starting January 9, 2023, until August 31, 2024 at 5 p.m. EDT. There is no guarantee that you will secure a grant. Grant awards are based on a business’s eligibility (loss of sales/business in 2020-2021 due to the pandemic and e-commerce need). Grant funds will be awarded on a rolling basis. It is possible that grant funds will no longer be available before the final deadline.
If your answer to most of these questions is “yes,” you could be eligible for this grant:
- Is your current non-franchise business located and operating in Cambridge, MA?
- Do you have 25 or fewer full-time employees including yourself?
- Did you open your business on or before March 3, 2021?
- Is your business still in operation?
- Can you provide business tax returns or profit and loss statements that your business loss sales/revenue between 2019 (pre-COVID-19 pandemic) or 2020 and 2021?
- Does your business need a website?
- Did your business not have a website prior to March 2021?
- Do you need an e-commerce or online ordering or booking system for your business or your current website?
- Do you need a new point-of-sale, scheduling, or register system that can connect to your website?
- Did you upgrade your business point-of sale system (including software), develop a website, or did you add e-commerce to your website after March 3, 2021? Do you have the paperwork to prove you made these upgrades?
- Do you need training to make sure you can update your e-commerce website on your own?
- Can you complete your website, e-commerce, and/or point of sale system improvements by December 31, 2024?
Businesses that are already participating in other City grant programs can still apply to the Small Business E-Commerce Grant. Some exclusions apply.
Businesses NOT eligible for this grant:
- Businesses not located in Cambridge, MA
- Cambridge businesses that recently closed
- Cambridge business that did not open in Cambridge before April 1, 2021
- You cannot provide taxes or sales documents that show a loss of sales/revenues between 2019 or 2020 and 2021.
- You have received another grant from the City or other organization to develop a website, improve your website, or point of sale system.
Grant Guidelines & Requirements
Before you apply to the grant, please make sure you are eligible for it. This grant is federally-funded through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and there are guidelines that the City must follow.
The City of Cambridge funds the E-Commerce Grant with American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funding from the federal government. Federal guidelines require that we obtain the following information from all applicants to the Program. This information is used by the City to determine the eligibility of the applicant under ARPA guidelines and is not shared with an outside party.
Proof of eligibility:
Provide the Cambridge business 2019 OR 2020 and 2021 business taxes, profit and loss statements. You must provide 2019 or 2020 AND 2021 sales/tax data for this grant. Businesses that cannot provide business tax or sales data will not be eligible.
Business must be compliant with all federal, state and local laws and regulations pertaining to zoning, licensing, and permits
If your business received a previous City COVID-19 grant, you must have completed all previous grant requirements.
Businesses participating in the program will be required to fill out an exit survey after using the grant funds and provide program staff proof of correct use of the grant funds. If a business does not provide proof of grant use, they may be required to return the funds to the City.
Note: The use and possession of cannabis is illegal under federal law for any purpose. Although cannabis businesses are permitted in the City of Cambridge, the Small Business E-Commerce Grant is a federally-funded program, so cannabis businesses are not eligible for the program.
Prepare these items before you apply for the grant:
- Provide the business 2019 (pre-pandemic) or 2020, and 2021 profit and loss statements or other business sales documentation. 2020 tax documentation is only needed if the business was not open in 2019. If you do not have loss of sales, you are not eligible for this grant.
- Prepare documents to show what you want to use the grant for.
If you have not made website or point of sale improvements, here are some examples of what you can attach to your application:
- An estimate from a web developer or other provider to design, upgrade your website, and/or train you on how to update your website.
- A picture or document showing the cost of a new point of sale/booking/registration system.
- Have a list of all other COVID-19 grants/loans you received and what you used the money for.
Incomplete applications will be denied.
How to Apply
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-349-4654 to request the application in a different format or language.