Resources for businesses in response to COVID-19
Updated Thursday, April 26
We know this has been a tough time on our small business community. Business customers can qualify for extended payment plans and waived late fees. The Mayor has also suspended disconnections for all customers, including businesses.
Business Solutions Advocates at Tacoma Public Utilities are available 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to support business customers with billing inquiries and to set up payment plans on utility accounts. Call us at 253-502-8606 or email email@example.com.
Water System Restoration: Flushing your water system now is important for businesses that have been closed or significantly reduced their water use under Washington’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Click here to read our steps to take to prepare your business water pipes after periods of low flow or no-flow conditions.
HVAC system operations during the COVID-19 pandemic
For up to date guidance on managing the spread of COVID-19 with respect to HVAC systems, including building readiness, guides, and resources, visit ASHRAE.org.
Questions? Maddie Merton at 253.317.1903 or firstname.lastname@example.org
*New* Rental Assistance Available in Pierce County
Pierce County Human Services and the City of Tacoma have received funding for rental and utility assistance for tenants impacted by COVID-19 and who are behind on rent.
These funds apply to both past due rent and past due utilities, and will be distributed by Pierce County on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to learn how residential customers who rent qualify for the funds and where they can apply.
*New* Department of Health – Food Establishments in Pierce County
DOH is adjusting their processes for food permits to help restaurants make it through the pandemic. This includes: Extended due dates, waived late fees and refunds/partial refunds for restaurants closed six months or more.
For more information and who to contact about these adjustments, click here.
Click here to see the DOH COVID-19 information for food establishment’s webpage.
Here are more resources available to help
The Small Business Administration is now issuing a second round of Paycheck Protection Program loans. View details here.
The Small Business Administration is still issuing Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EDL). To learn more, visit sba.gov/disaster or sba.gov/wa or apply online here. You can also call 1-800-659-2955 or email email@example.com.
*NEW* SBA Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program Opens April 8
The Small Business Administration (SBA) Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program grant provides emergency assistance for eligible venues affected by COVID-19. Eligible entities include live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria, motion picture theater operators, and talent representatives. Visit the below links to learn more and get ready to apply.
*NEW* SBA Restaurant Revitalization Fund to Open Soon
This program will provide restaurants, bars and other places of business that serve food and/or drink with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are utilized for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.
Eligible entities include:
- Food stands, food trucks and food carts
- Bars, saloons, lounges and taverns
- Snack and non-alcoholic beverage bars
- Bakeries (on-site sales to the public must comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public must comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
- Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public must comprise at least 33% of gross receipts), and
- Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may test, sample or purchase products.
Applications are not being accepted at this time, but can be filed directly via SBA in a forthcoming online portal.
*NEW* Digital Transformation Strategies for small business webinars
In partnership with the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) – Tacoma Business Center, the Consulting and Business Development Center at the Foster School of Business will offer a Digital Transformation Strategies seminar series starting this February! Join them as industry experts lead impactful sessions on Management of Telework, Supply Chain, and Remote Customer Service.
Seminar Topic: Remote Customer Service: Building Customer Relationships and Brand Loyalty
- Date: Wednesday, April 28th
- Time: 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM PST
Seminar Topic: Turning Strategies into Practice
- Date: Wednesday, May 12th
- Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST
State of Washington
The State has up-to-date information and helpful notices regarding the Coronavirus response at coronavirus.wa.gov.
*NEW* Free Business Training – ScaleUp: The Rebuild Edition
ScaleUp business training is focused on teaching proven strategies to small businesses that will increase resiliency and spur growth in the wake of a global pandemic.
The three-hour online courses are held weekly, allowing up to 100 businesses around the state to restart and rebuild, improving their strategic thinking and decision-making, creating operational efficiencies and strengthening the bottom line as we engage in economic recovery.
This eight-week program provides tangible tools to examine strategic alignment, optimize market strategy, and master finances.
The ideal candidate for ScaleUp is the president/owner of a Washington State business that has been in operation for two years and has annual pre-COVID revenues in excess of $100,000.
Course topics include:
- Organizing and creating business systems to get more done in less time.
- Strategies for increasing revenue.
- Strengthening your product and/or service.
- Creating your own competitive advantage in the marketplace.
- Designing a marketing strategy that increases sales leads.
- Understanding financial statements and key business drivers and metrics.
ScaleUp is a partnership between the Washington State Department of Commerce, U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and Thurston EDC Center for Business Innovation.
Association of Washington Business
The Association of Washington Business (AWB) offers customizable materials to support your reopening and help you communicate new COVID-19 requirements with employees and customers. Download your toolkit here.
Impact Washington – Manufacturer Recovery Assistance Funds
Washington based small and medium-sized manufacturers can apply for CARES Act Recovery Assistance funds. These funds provide services that directly support a manufacturer’s ability to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to learn more or contact Geoff Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org (253-973-0390) or Joseph Gosar at email@example.com (253-604-8406).
City of Tacoma
Minority Business Development Agency PPE Grants and Technical Assistance
Apply for PPE or technical assistance for your minority small business and partner with the Tacoma-MBDA Tacoma Business Center. Contact:
CARES Act Project Manager
MBDA-Tacoma Business Center
Free PPE for Pierce County Businesses
Pierce County is offering free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to businesses physically located in Pierce County. Learn more any apply online.
The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce has several resources available including a COVID-19 Business Info webinar series. Learn more on their website and click here to download their resources flyer.
Rapid Response South Sound
The Rapid Response South Sound team provides expert guidance for South Sound employers so businesses can comply with changing rules and regulations. Click here to learn more about how they can help with questions regarding financial or legal issues, government regulations, HR & employees, back to work strategies or communications.
- Additional Resources
- Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department
- Economic Development Board
- Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber
- Washington Department of Health
- US Chamber of Commerce – Small Business
- Washington Employment Security Department
Click here for an overview on the different programs in the CARES Act from the US Chamber of Commerce.