This from the Somerville Arts Council Webpage regarding incentives for Union Square businesses:
Announcing a new cultural economic development initiative. The ArtsUnion ArtSpace Improvement Program (AAIP) provides financial reimbursement to businesses or property owners who desire to improve their physical space for expanded artistic and cultural activity within Union Square.
Similar to a traditional storefront improvement project, but uniquely different, this initiative seeks to further develop and strengthen the physical and cultural infrastructure for arts and culture within Union Square. For example, a restaurant owner may seek funding for a sprinkler system, to adhere to state safety codes, thereby enabling the business to offer live music to patrons. Another example could be a business owner who owns garages within the Square and desires to upgrade them to create and lease artist studios. The projects must specifically relate to physical improvements that expand cultural activity.