Best Retail Practices Program


The Best Retail Practices (BRP) Program reaches out to Cambridge retailers and restaurant owners seeking to improve their establishments’ interior appearance, marketing, advertising, and operations.

The City hires expert retail consultants to share best practices in the industry with participants. Components of the Program include free workshops covering such topics as best practices in interior design, marketing and management. In addition to the workshops, the program offers individual in-store consultations and grant assistance. A business must meet eligibility requirements to participate in individual in-store consultations and the grant program. The Program’s goal is to assist business owners with technical and financial assistance to build a stronger customer base and boost sales.

For more information on eligibility requirements for the Best Retail Practices Program, please click here.

The next Best Retail Practices Part I Workshop (required for Cambridge businesses interested in the in-store consultations and grant program) will be held Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 8:30 A.M. If you are interested in attending this workshop, please contact Pardis Saffari at 617/349-4654 or via email at The workshop is free to all Cambridge retailers, restauranteurs and storefront service businesses

Business Development Workshops

Take a look at the September offerings of the Economic Development Departments Business Development Workshops.

September 2014

Cambridge Business Assistance Info Session

  • Date: Monday, September 15, 2014
  • Time: 6:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.
  • Location: Cambridge City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd floor Community Room
  • Description: Staff from the city’s Economic Development Division will discuss the variety of programs that the city offers to residents and business owners interested in starting or growing their business. Learn about future workshops and commercial programs available. Presented by the City of Cambridge.
  • Registration and Admission: Free to all. Register by calling Rona Abrahams at 617/349-4637 or via email at

Search Engine Optimization Workshop

  • Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014
  • Time: 8:30 A.M. – 10:30 A.M.
  • Location: Cambridge City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd floor Community Room
  • Description: Attend this workshop to get easy-to-implement tips to help you improve your online visibility, build your brand, and grow your website traffic. Topics include: improving user experience, understanding and optimizing your online presence, and demystifying Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Presented by the Center for Women and Enterprise.
  • Registration and Admission: Free to Cambridge residents and business owners, $25 for all Non-Cambridge participants. Register by calling Rona Abrahams at 617/349-4637 or by email at

Steps to Starting Your Own Business

  • Date: Wednesday, September 24, 2014
  • Time: 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
  • Location: Cambridge Public Library – Main Branch, 449 Broadway, Community Room Level 2
  • Description: This workshop is ideal for those in the early stages of starting a business or those thinking about owning a business. Topics include: developing your business idea, considering your business structure, licenses and permits; and additional tools and tips to get you started quickly. Presented by the City of Cambridge.
  • Registration and Admission: Free to all. Register by calling Rona Abrahams at 617/349-4637 or via email at

NStar Scam

Please be aware there have been multiple business that have been called by scammers claiming to be from NStar.  It is easy to be fooled by the callers as they have what seem to be legitimate call back numbers as well .  See below message from the NStar website and educate yourself to protect yourself and your business from these scammers

Protect You & Your Family From Scams

Recently there has been an increase in scams both in our region and nationally. At NSTAR we want to protect you from potential scams.

As an important safety reminder, all NSTAR employees carry photo identification at all times and most of our employees also drive a company vehicle.

If you believe somebody is falsely claiming to be an NSTAR employee, report the incident immediately to your local police.

NSTAR employees also rarely make unsolicited house visits. Some exceptions include following up on collections notices, accessing our equipment to ensure the safe and efficient operation of our distribution system, or there is another safety concern.

To help further protect yourself from potential scams, please keep the following tips in mind:

  • Never provide personal financial information to any unsolicited individual, whether in person, on the phone, or online.
  • Customers schedule for disconnection due to non-payment receive advanced written notice, which includes actions they can take to ensure their service isn’t interrupted.
  • Customers have multiple payment options available, including E-Bill, One Time Payments, Pay by Phone, Money Orders, Walk-In Locations and credit card payments.
  • NSTAR would never ask customers to purchase prepaid cards.
  • You can verify a caller claiming to be from NSTAR is legitimate by asking for some basic information about your account. Our representatives are able to provide the name on your account, the account address and exact past due balance on your account.
  • Always decline any door-to-door offer claiming to be from NSTAR – even if the individuals provide proof such as a utility company badge number. You can also call us directly at 800-592-2000 to confirm any offers.

Examples of Recent Scams

A common theme of most scams is threatening customers with disconnection if a same-day payment is not made. Here are some examples of scam attempts that have been reported to NSTAR.

  • A caller states they represent the Billing Department and tell customers they will be shut off if they don’t make a payment by midnight.
  • A caller instructs a customer to make a payment by purchasing a “Green Dot” VISA card. The customer is then asked to call another phone number where information is obtained from the credit card and the monetary value is removed.
  • A customer reported receiving a phone call from another electric utility telling him that we are disconnecting the customer’s service by 7 p.m. unless a payment of $500 was made.
  • A business customer reported receiving a call advising him that “the system crashed after the hurricane” and a payment was needed over the phone to maintain the customers’ service. Similarly, another caller told customers a payment wasn’t received because of the hurricane, so their service would be disconnected immediately unless a payment was made.
  • A customer was told by a caller that their meter was malfunctioning and the customer was being overcharged. The customer was instructed to purchase a prepaid credit card for $200. The customer was later called back and told the payment wasn’t completed, so another card needed to be purchased for $300 – with the assurance the customer would be refunded $1,000 and the meter repaired.
  • In some instances, customers reported NSTAR’s 800-number appearing on their caller ID.

Smoke This Rib Fest 2014


The East Cambridge Business Association Presents:

The 5th Annual

Smoke This Rib Fest

Sunday October 5, 2014

The East Cambridge Business Association (ECBA) is proud to present The East Cambridge Business Association “Smoke This” Rib Fest 2014, on Sunday October 5, 2014 from 12:00 noon – 4:00pm. The Rib Fest and Street Fair will take place on Cambridge Street in East Cambridge, between Fulkerson Street and Fifth Street.

The Rib Fest is a culinary showdown pitting pit master against pit master for the title of the best ribs in town. The event is perfect for all ages so come and enjoy some BBQ, live music and so much more. There will be plenty of food and fun to be had, but for the best chance to sample a variety of ribs and to cast your vote, you’ll need a Taste Ticket which will get you 10 rib samples from the restaurants of your choice at a first come first serve basis. Taste Tickets are on sale starting September 3rd. Taste Tickets sell out every year, so each restaurant will also be selling a dish at a great price, showcasing food from their fall menu. So even if you miss out on buying a Taste Ticket, you can still enjoy tasty food from the best restaurants around town!

Enjoy cooking demonstrations from local chefs, while the kids enjoy fun and games with The East End House. Music provided by Local favorites The Atwood’s Monday Night Bluegrass Band and more

Participating restaurants include Abigail’s, ARTBAR, Atwood’s Tavern, Bambara, Cambridge Brewing Co., Champions, Commonwealth, East by Northeast, East Side Bar & Grille, Filarmonica Santo Antonio, Lone Star, Lord Hobo, Ole Mexican Grill, PF Chang’s China Bistro, Portugalia, Puritan & Co., Ridge Vocational Culinary Arts Students, State Park, and Tupelo. And welcoming special guests: The Cambridge Police Department Pitmasters and The Cambridge Fire Department Pitmasters

Rib Fest is a perfect opportunity to get a taste of the local fare in and near East Cambridge and is produced by The East Cambridge Business Association and sponsored by Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Naveo Credit Union, East Cambridge Savings Bank, EF, Avalon Bay Communities, Beacon Capital, Forest City, HYM Investments, Leggat McCall, McKinnon Co., Mount Vernon Group, Boston Properties, Cambridge Savings Bank, Consigli Construction, Cushman & Wakefield, Geek Offices, Graffito SP, Linear Retail, MIT, Turner Construction, Urban Spaces LLC, Veolia, and Vinfen. Rib Fest is also made possible by our friends at Atwood’s Tavern, Blossom Floral Design, Cambridge Printing, Cambridgeside Galleria, CCTV, East End House, Gentle Giant, Kroner Design, The Loyal Nine, and the Royal Sonesta Hotel.


The mission of the East Cambridge Business Association is to promote and maintain sustainable commerce in East Cambridge; to be a single voice for its members; to promote activities that bond East Cambridge businesses with their neighborhood; to preserve the historical integrity and importance of East Cambridge; and to promote an active stewardship of our neighborhood. We believe, that by working together with the community and by working toward improving our businesses we hope to make East Cambridge a better place to live and work.



EEH Sumer Block Party

BlockParty 2014

Families, friends, and neighbors are invited to this free community celebration! The party will feature a BBQ, ice cream sundaes, face painting, a magician, balloon animals, games, a moon bounce, live music and more!

With support provided by All-Brand New England, the Biogen Idec Blues Band, Cambridge Energy Alliance, Cambridge Fire Department, Cambridge Police Department, Cambridge Public Health Department’s Men’s Health League, CambridgeSide Galleria, East Cambridge Business Association, East Cambridge Planning Team, J.P. Licks, and the Kennedy Neighborhood Council and Community School.

For more information contact Tim Severyn, Senior Director of Community Programs, at, 617-876-4444, or visit us online at

East End House Back Pack Drive

back pack drive

At East End House, we want every child to be prepared for school.

We help students develop the academic skills, healthy lifestyles and social-emotional competencies that are essential for classroom learning, but sometimes one’s ability to succeed depends on simple, physical items like backpacks, pencils and notebooks.

Thanks to generous support from individuals like you and organizations like Alexandria Real Estate Equities, CambridgeSide Galleria and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, we are working to ensure that every East End House student will receive a backpack full of school supplies this fall.

Backpack Drive donations will also be collected at East End House‘s Annual Summer Block Party on August 13th.



BOOMTOWN – Free Summer Concert Series


The Multicultural Arts Center presents BOOMTOWN, a FREE Music Concert Series this summer, every evening from Monday July 28 – Thursday July 31.

Monday, July 28, 7 PM – Sol Y Canto
Since 1994, Sol y Canto has brought audiences to their feet from the Kennedy Center to the White House. The ensemble, led by Puerto Rican/Argentine singer/ bongo player Rosi Amador and New Mexican guitarist/composer Brian Amador, features Rosi’s crystalline voice and Brian’s lush Spanish guitar and creative arrangements. Rosi and Brian will be joined by bassist Keala Kaumeheiwa and special guest Alisa Amador.

Tuesday, July 29, 7 PM – Lisa Thorson
Known for her heartfelt renditions of standards and originals, vocalist Thorson brings a “grand…sassy and seductive” style to her music.” (Boston Globe) She’s appeared internationally at festivals, clubs and concerts with her duo, quartet and quintet. The popularity of her quartet – composed of acclaimed performing and recording artists – can be attributed to their spirited kinship over 25+ years of working together. They share the writing duties with her, creating music and arrangements that draw on the rich lexicon of jazz, giving a nod to the past and a look to the future.

Wednesday, July 30, 7 PM – Revolutionary Snake Ensemble
Led by saxophonist Ken Field, Revolutionary Snake Ensemble (RSE) is a costumed funk/street beat improvisational brass band performing a unique blend of original and traditional music. Spreading the gospel of groove far and near and using the raucous rhythms of the New Orleans brass tradition as a launching pad, the Boston band has forged a volatile and unbridled sound that’s captured in all of its expressive glory on its third album, Live Snakes (Accurate Records).

Thursday, July 31, 7 PM – Jetro Da Silva Group
Jetro da Silva, jazz pianist, music director, and producer, will join forces with singer extraordinaire Nimma Xiomara (Xiomara Barbosa) for a concert that showcases her talent as an interpreter of the music of Cabo Verde, Brazil, the US, and da Silva’s skills and his experiences as a soloist and vocal accompanist. The concert will be filled with improvisational musical ideas, with a repertoire that will include many musical influences and traditions from several African countries, Europe, Brazil, Cabo Cape Verde and the US.

All events are FREE and open to the public and will take place at:

Multicultural Arts Center
41 Second Street
East Cambridge, MA 02141

Learn More:

State Park – This Just In!

Lots going on at State Park in One Kendall Square:
Now open for LUNCH!  TuesdayFriday from 11:30am through close, so come early or stop by for a mid-afternoon drink and snack!  For full hours and menu visit our website:
Also did you know we have LIVE bluegrass music every Sunday night?  Never a cover, starts at 8:30.
Saturdays and Sundays from 5-6:30 we have a special promo called “Carrots, Cocktails, & Coloring Pages” … Ever want to bring your kids to a bar?  Now’s your chance!   Check it out here:
And our patio is open.  Come sit at our picnic tables and enjoy a beer and a chili slaw dog and your pet dogs are welcome, too.