Opening a Business
Permits & Licensing
Arts & Culture
Doing Business with the Town
What is the Growth Management Department?
In September of 2005, the Town of Barnstable undertook a bold new endeavor in directing its growth and development. The Growth Management Department merges previously separate town divisions within the Town to create a multi-disciplinary team, comprised of six functions: Regulatory Review, Comprehensive Planning, Community Development, Economic Development, Property Management, and Traffic and Parking Management. The Growth Management team:
-Coordinates a long-term vision for the future of the town and its villages
-Bridges that long-term vision with the regulatory review of private development
-Coordinates capital improvements towards that overall vision
What is Economic Development’s role within Growth Management?
The Economic Development program provides professional staff support to implement the Town’s economic development plan. Specific activities include promoting Hyannis’ revitalization, collaboration with the Hyannis Area and Cape Cod Chambers of Commerce, the Downtown Hyannis Business Improvement District, planning and study initiatives for Route 132 Regional Commercial area and corridor, Hyannis Harbor and Route 28 corridor.
Business Outreach: Through this initiative we learn about the Barnstable business climate and share the Town’s goals and planning initiatives. Most importantly we engage in open and honest discussion about how Barnstable fares at being “Open for Business”. This cornerstone communication strategy is a top priority.
Arts and Culture: The Harbor Your Arts (HyA) program is a key component of the Downtown Hyannis revitalization initiative and has stimulated collateral development on Pearl Street and attracts and retains visitors to Main Street and Downtown Hyannis. More information can be found at http://hyartsdistrict.com/
What are the 7 villages of the Town of Barnstable?
Barnstable Village, Centerville, Cotuit, Hyannis, Marstons Mills, Osterville & West Barnstable
Opening a Business
Do I need a Business Certificate? Where do I obtain one?
Any individual, partnership or corporation doing business under a name, other than their own name or incorporated name, must file a business certificate. The certificate costs $40 and is good for 4 years. You need to come in to the Regulatory Services Department at 200 Main St, Hyannis, submit a routing slip and after getting signoffs from 3 departments as directed, a business certificate is issued.
Business Certificate routing slip
Is there any business start-up assistance available for Veterans?
- General Services Administration: Assistance for Disabled Veterans Small Business in Doing Business w/the Government
- National Veteran Owned Business Assn (Start-up Assistance) (412) 424-0164
- NOLO.com (Small business law; answers to legal questions)
- Small Business Administration: Planning Tools
- Small Business Administration: Free On-Line Courses for Small Business Start-Ups
- Small Business Administration: Business Assistance (202) 205-6773
- VA: Center for Veterans Enterprise (866) 584-2344
- VA: Small and Disadvantaged Businesses (800) 949-8389
Veterans Services District Office
Contact: Edward Merigan
How do I obtain a tax ID # for my business?
To set up a federal tax ID number (also called an Employer Identification Number, or EIN), contact your nearest Local IRS Field Office, or call the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Hotline at 800-829-4933. You can also apply online for an EIN via the IRS web site. The online application asks the questions, you provide the answers and, just like that, you get your EIN immediately. You can then download, save, and print your EIN confirmation notice.
If you want to apply the old-fashioned way, the form you'll need to fill out is IRS From SS-4 (.pdf).
How can I find available commercial properties for sale or lease?
The local commercial real estate brokers each maintain a listing of available properties for sale or lease.
What is the current property tax rate?
Town Residential - $8.76
Town Commercial/Industrial - $7.89
Town Personal Property - $7.89
Community Preservation Act - 3% of Real Estate Tax Bill
Barnstable FD - All Classes- $2.57
Cotuit FD - All Classes - $1.75
Cent/Ost/MM FD - All Classes - $1.48
Hyannis FD - Residential - $2.00
Hyannis FD - Commercial/Industrial/PP - $3.18
W Barnstable FD - Residential - $2.85
W Barnstable FD - Commercial/Industrial - $2.50
What do I need to do when I close a business in Barnstable?
When you close your business you must cancel your registration with both the federal government and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts by following the applicable procedures(see Comm of Mass link): Closing a Business
You also need to notify the Town Clerk’s Office of your closing
Permits & Licensing
Which services are located at 200 Main St in Hyannis?
The Regulatory Services Department’s mission is to provide public health, public safety and environmental services to town residents and visitors so that the quality of life enjoyed by the community is sustained.
Building Division is responsible for the permitting and oversight of all aspects of building construction, zoning enforcement, sign codes, site plan review and permitting and inspection activities related to electrical, gas and plumbing codes
Public Health Division is responsible for public health services including food establishment inspection, fuel storage monitoring, public lodging permitting and inspection, septic system permitting and inspection and public nurse services:
Consumer Affairs Division is responsible for licensing activities and enforcement, parking citation processing and enforcement, weights and measures activities in the retail marketplace and non-criminal citation administration:
Conservation Division is responsible for wetlands and natural resources protection and the management and maintenance of Town of Barnstable Conservation lands. Programs include Wetlands Protection and Conservation Land Management:
Regulatory Review provides professional planning support, technical assistance and clerical services to the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Old King’s Highway Historic District Committee, and Hyannis Main Street Waterfront Historic District Commission and Appeals Committee. The function provides general advice and assistance on day-to-day zoning, planning and historic issues to Town residents, businesses, and other Town entities. Regulatory Review also provides technical assistance and clerical services for Site Plan Review.
Hyannis Main Street Waterfront Historic District Commission (HHDC) promotes the preservation of the unique historic character of downtown Hyannis and Hyannis Inner Harbor. The Commission strives to create a desirable place to live, work and enjoy through the preservation, maintenance and improvement of historic vernacular
Old King’s Highway Regional Historic District (OKH) is designated as the area north of Route 6 (the Mid Cape Highway) from Sandwich to Orleans. The Town of Barnstable OKH Committee reviews applications for any change in the exterior of buildings and structures, landscapes, fences and signs, and applications for new construction or demolition
Planning Board is the permit granting authority for subdivisions and land divisions under the subdivision control law (MGL Chapter 41 Section 81)
Site Plan Review is an administrative process established to advise the Building commissioner. The objective of Site Plan Review is to assure development standards are met in all business, commercial, industrial, and multifamily projects
Zoning Board of Appeals is entrusted with the granting of special permits for certain uses and evaluation of requests for variances to the Zoning Ordinance. The Board also decides appeals of administrative officials and is responsible for the issuing of comprehensive permits for affordable housing
Where do I access Building Permit information & applications?
Where can I see zoning maps?
What is the procedure for obtaining a sign permit in the Hyannis Main St Historic District?
Building Division: HHDC Sign Permit
What are the requirements for obtaining a sign permit in any other area of Town?
Building Division: Sign Permit
What are the Building Permit Fees?
Effective 7/1/10: Building Permit Fees
What is the process for Site Plan Review?
Site Plan Review is an administrative process established to advise the Building commissioner. The objective of Site Plan Review is to assure development standards are met in all business, commercial, industrial, and multifamily projects. Site Plan Review is composed of representatives from these Town Departments: Health, Building, Conservation, Growth Management, and Engineering. Also included are the fire districts and water and utility purveyors.
Site Plan Review Requirements
Where can I access the Town Ordinances and Regulations?
Where can I get information about Liquor Licenses?
Licensing Authority is responsible for balancing the needs of the community with the needs of license applicants. The Licensing Authority holds regular public meetings to hear requests for new and amended licenses and considers impact on neighborhoods, public safety, public order, and compliance with state and local regulations in their decision process.
How do I obtain permission for a sidewalk café in Downtown Hyannis?
Licensing Authority and the Town Manager are responsible for approval of applications for outdoor dining in Hyannis.
Licensing Agreement for sidewalk Cafes
What is Hyannis Main Street Waterfront Historic District?
The Hyannis Main Street Waterfront Historic District(HHDC) was created in 1996 as part of the ongoing efforts to address revitalization and historic preservation in downtown Hyannis. The HHDC promotes the preservation of the unique historic character of downtown Hyannis and Hyannis Inner Harbor. The Commission strives to create a desirable place to live, work and enjoy through the preservation, maintenance and improvement of historic vernacular.
What is the Growth Incentive Zone(GIZ) in Hyannis?
The designation of a Growth Incentive Zone(GIZ) in downtown Hyannis is a streamlined regulatory approach to allow local control by raising Cape Cod Commission Development Regional Impact thresholds. The GIZ allows the Town to direct opportunity to the center of the Village of Hyannis by supporting village-scale density and mixed use zoning furthering a town-wide plan to create a healthy community and a sustainable economy.
What types of local incentive programs are available to new or expanding businesses?
1) The Growth Incentive Zone will allow the Town to direct opportunity to the center of the Village of Hyannis by supporting village-scale density and mixed use zoning furthering a town-wide plan to create a healthy community and a sustainable economy. Downtown Hyannis is an area of Barnstable with existing growth infrastructure and capacity but many underperforming properties. This plan maximizes the infrastructure advantage while minimizing the negative impacts of growth. It highlights the potential for people to live and work on a smaller environmental footprint reinforced by steps taken to offset growth in areas of Town where development threatens those human and environmental measures that determine our quality of life
2) The Town of Barnstable seeks to enter into Tax Increment Financing(TIF) Agreements for qualifying projects that:
-Encourage qualifying existing businesses to expand
-Attract new businesses that are compatible with the Barnstable Local Comprehensive Plan (LCP) and the goals of the Barnstable Economic Development Commission (BEDC)
-Stimulate capital investment and creation of jobs paying above the area median income for Barnstable. Provide substantive increases in employment with salaries higher than the area median income. Provide private capital investment resulting in a substantive increase in net taxable property value.
-Foster reconstruction and renovation of vacant or underutilized commercial properties.
TIF Application Checklist
Contact: JoAnne Miller Buntich
What type of loans does the SBA offer?
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a variety of loan programs for very specific purposes:
7(a) Loan Program
The 7(a) Loan Program includes financial help for businesses with special requirements. For example, funds are available for loans to businesses that handle exports to foreign countries, businesses that operate in rural areas, and for other very specific purposes
The Microloan Program provides small, short-term loans to small business concerns and certain types of not-for-profit child-care centers. The SBA makes funds available to specially designated intermediary lenders, which are nonprofit community-based organizations with experience in lending as well as management and technical assistance. These intermediaries make loans to eligible borrowers. The maximum loan amount is $50,000, but the average microloan is about $13,000.
CDC/504 Loan Program
What is the CDC/504 Program? The CDC/504 loan program is a long-term financing tool, designed to encourage economic development within a community. The 504 Program accomplishes this by providing small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing to acquire major fixed assets for expansion or modernization.
A Certified Development Company (CDC) is a private, nonprofit corporation which is set up to contribute to economic development within its community. CDCs work with SBA and private sector lenders to provide financing to small businesses, which accomplishes the goal of community economic development.
For more information on SBA Loans
What is the Micro Enterprise Loan Program and who administers it?
The Town of Barnstable partnered with Coastal Community Capital to establish and administer a Micro-Enterprise Loan Program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG). The general guidelines and contact information are listed below:
1. Eligible applicants: defined as micro-enterprise a business; that is a business that has five (5) or fewer employees, one or more of whom owns the enterprise. Owners of such business must be income eligible to qualify. Please click here to see the current Income Limits.
2. Location: The micro-enterprise must be located within the boundaries of the Town of Barnstable. The Town includes the seven villages: Barnstable, Centerville, Cotuit, Hyannis, Marstons Mills, Osterville, and West Barnstable.
3. Loan Amounts: A job must be created or retained for each $35,000 borrowed. For amounts less than $35,000 one job must be created or retained.
4. Eligible Activities - under the program, eligible activities are defined as the provision of credit to micro-enterprise businesses (or micro-enterprise start-ups) by way of loans and loan guarantees for establishment, stabilization and/or expansion. Most bona-fide costs associated with starting and operating a business are eligible for funding, except for purchase of land, major rehabilitation of structures, demolition of structures, new construction, purchase of vehicles and all activities which may cause displacement of residents and/or businesses. Some restrictions apply.
5. Interest Rate: The interest rate charged to borrowers is WSJ Prime Rate.
6. HUD National Objective: Successful applicants are required to meet the HUD National Objective defined under the low-moderate job requirements (i.e. create/retain one full-time equivalent job for every $35,000 of loan fund received).
7. Additional Requirements: Loan applications from eligible micro-enterprises submitted to the Coastal Community Capital must address all applicable requirements of the Community Development Block Grant (i.e., Environmental Reviews, Davis-Bacon Wage Determinations, Section 3 Local Employment, reporting and others)
A 3.25% fixed interest rate business loan is available to eligible businesses located in the Town of Barnstable. Loans can be used for machinery and/or equipment acquisition, debt refinancing or working capital. The business must employ five or less including the owner(s) must be for profit and the business owner must be income eligible. Other guidelines apply.
Prospective applicants under the program should contact:
Coastal Community Capital
5 Shoot Flying Hill Road
Centerville, MA 02632
Contact: Jeannine Marshall
What is Tax Increment Financing (TIF)?
The Town of Barnstable is part of the Barnstable County Regional Economic Target Area which allows Barnstable to use local and state tax incentives to attract new business, expand existing businesses, and stimulate job creation and business investment.
The Town of Barnstable seeks to enter into Tax Increment Financing(TIF) Agreements for qualifying projects that:
- Encourage qualifying existing businesses to expand
- Attract new businesses that are compatible with the Barnstable Local Comprehensive Plan (LCP) and the goals of the Barnstable Economic Development Commission (BEDC)
- Stimulate capital investment and creation of jobs paying above the area median income for Barnstable. Provide substantive increases in employment with salaries higher than the area median income. Provide private capital investment resulting in a substantive increase in net taxable property value.
- Foster reconstruction and renovation of vacant or underutilized commercial properties.
TIF Application Checklist
Contact: Jo Anne Miller Buntich at 508 862 4735 for more information.
Arts & Culture
What is the HyArts District?
The HyArts District in downtown Hyannis is home to local artists with seaside shanties, year round artist studios and galleries, free events all year including theater and musical performances alongside Hyannis Harbor, art walks, open studios, art festivals and much more. These initiatives are key components to the success of the revitalization of downtown Hyannis and has stimulated collateral private development on Pearl and North Streets. It has become a live/work/play area for residents and a true destination for visitors.
What are the area Chambers of Commerce?
Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce(Local)
Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce(Regional)
What is the Hyannis Main St Business Improvement District (B.I.D.)?
The Hyannis Main Street Business Improvement District (HMSBID) is a private nonprofit organization that was established in 1999 in response to the need to carry out the revitalization of downtown Hyannis. Business Improvement Districts (BID) across the country have been successful in revitalizing downtowns because they are funded by the property owners within the district who provide a dependable revenue stream. The HMSBID is a special assessment district, enabled by Mass. General Laws Chapter 40 (0) and sanctioned by the local legislative body; fees are binding.
Contact: Elizabeth Wurfbain
What are the various Economic Development boards and committees in the area?
-Barnstable Economic Development Committee(BEDC)-Town advisory committee
-Hyannis Chamber Economic Development Committee (HEDC)-local chamber
-Cape Cod Chamber Economic Development(Cape Cod, Inc)-regional chamber
-Cape Cod Economic Development Corporation(CCEDC)-county
Where can I obtain demographic information about Barnstable? Cape Cod?
Stats Cape Cod
Cape & Island Workforce Investment Board
Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
What other business resources are available?
Coastal Community Capital(small business loans)
SCORE Cape Cod(small business counseling)
Workforce Education Resource Center (WERC)
Cape & Island Workforce Investment Board (WIB)
Doing Business with the Town
How can I bid on Town of Barnstable contracts for goods & services?
The Procurement and Risk Management Office provides purchasing services, expertise, contract support, sourcing guidance, and oversight of the compliance with the Massachusetts Public Procurement Laws for the Town, School Department and Enterprise Accounts
Bid and Requests for Proposal (RFP)
On the link above you will find all the Invitations for Bid and Requests for Proposal (RFP) for the Town of Barnstable that are currently available to the public.
Johanna Boucher, Purchasing Agent/Contract Compliance Officer