Upham's Corner Online

  ReStore Boston - Business Development Assistance

Posted: July 21, 2012     Nancy J Conrad

What is Restore Boston?

Restore Boston a citywide storefront improvement program offered through the Office of Business Development, part of DND, the Department of Neighborhood Development.

The Office of Business Development (OBD) is Boston's go-to resource for small businesses. OBD provides businesses and neighborhood commercial districts access to a range of financial and technical resources in order to start or grow.

The program name, "ReStore Boston" is cleverly constructed, easy to remember and pertinent to its task, doing exactly what it suggests – helping neighborhood business and property owners with storefront improvements.

Goal of ReStore Boston

The goal?  Make business and districts more attractive and inviting, promoting the attraction of new customers and new businesses. 

Since its inception, ReStore Boston has provided professional design services to over 300 businesses and completed 80 storefront improvement projects. Business owners sporting new storefronts often see an increase in sales. Storefront improvements also help landlords rent their vacant or difficult-to-rent properties.

Type of Projects Considered

ReStore Boston helps complete storefront renovations with projects ranging from the simple, such as new signage, to the more complex, such as complete reconstruction. As a condition of the funding requirements, all projects are required to remove solid, roll-down security grates or, at a minimum, convert them to the interior open-mesh type. Improvements may include:
  • Restoration of exterior finishes/materials
  • Repair or replacement of storefront windows and/or doors
  • New signage
  • Building and sign lighting
  • Removal of roll-down grills
  • Installation of awnings
How Does ReStore Boston Work?

  • Restore Boston provides matching grants (up to $7,500 per storefront) to help neighborhood business and property owners complete storefront renovation projects. All loans and grants must meet eligibility criteria.
  • A separate signage component ($2,000 grants) provides assistance on a non-matching basis for signage improvements.
  • In addition to funding, ReStore Boston provides professional architectural design services at no cost to the business to ensure improvements are well planned and of the highest quality.
Getting Started

To apply to the ReStore Boston program, a building or business owner submits an application to the Office of Business Development. Once the selection committee has determined eligibility, the building or business owner meets with project management and design staff who will help the owner decide what physical improvements he or she would like to make.

To learn more about ReStore Boston and how we can potentially help you improve your storefront, call Aaron Schleifer at 617-635-0290 or Lisa Slavin at 617-635-0680.

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