Resources for businesses in response to COVID-19
Updated Wednesday, October 15
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
Here are more resources available to help
*New* Pierce County Business Accelerator
The Pierce County Business Accelerator will provide direct access to business resources such as relevant training, coaching, technical assistance, and networking support to launch and grow micro businesses in Pierce County. Upon completion, participants will receive access to potential funding options, matching grant resources up to $10,000, a commercial rent stipend for one year up to $500/mo., and coaching/mentorship for one year.
First Round Application Deadline: September 10
First cohort will kick-off by the end of September. Applications submitted after September 10 will be considered for a later cohort.
- Business must be physically located in Pierce County
- Start-up or micro-stage business with 2019 annual revenue under $325k (pre-revenue businesses are eligible to apply).
If you need assistance completing the application please call us at 253-798-6150 or email PCBizAccelerator@piercecountywa.gov. Spanish language assistance is available. Click here for more information.
*New* No-Cost Accountant Services Statewide Now Available to Washington Businesses with 100 Employees or Fewer. The Seattle Metro Chamber’s REACH Program and Business Health Trust are sponsoring accounting consulting services for small businesses to help employers navigate PPP, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, Shuttered Venue Operators Grant and Employee Retention Tax Credits. CPA assistance is available to Washington businesses with 100 employees or fewer. Email Leigh to get connected with an accountant at Clark Nuber.
The Small Business Administration
*New* SBA Enhances Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) to Assist Small Businesses
The SBA announced the following key changes to the EIDL Program:
- Increasing the COVID EIDL limit from $500,000 to $2 million. Loan funds can be used for operating expenses and working capital, such as payroll, equipment purchases and debt repayment.
- Implementing a deferral payment period. Small business owners will not be required to begin COVID EIDL repayment until two years after loan origination.
- Establishing a 30-day exclusivity window. The SBA will implement a 30-day exclusivity window to approve and disburse funds for loans of $500,000 or less. Approval and disbursement of loans over $500,000 will begin after the 30-day period.
- Expanding eligible uses of funds. COVID EIDL funds will now be eligible to prepay commercial debt and make payments on federal business debt.
- Simplifying affiliation requirements. Affiliation requirements will be simplified to model those of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
The application deadline is December 31, 2021. Learn more about SBA’s Disaster Assistance programs by clicking here.
State of Washington
The State has up-to-date information and helpful notices regarding the Coronavirus response at coronavirus.wa.gov.
Small Business Flex Fund
Small business owners and nonprofits across Washington can start applying today for low interest loans of up to $150,000 through the newly-launched Small Business Flex Fund.
Low interest rates
- Borrow up to $150,000
- 3% – 4.5% interest rates
- No fees & interest-only payments for the first year
- 60-month & 72-month loan terms
- 72-month loan term only available until 12/31/21
Applying is simple
- Fewer than 50 employees
- Annual revenues of less than $3 million
- Experienced direct economic hardship due to COVID-19
- Have been in business for one year/prior to June 30th, 2020
Loan use is flexible
- Utilities & rent
- Marketing & advertising
- Building improvements or repairs
- Other business expenses
Washington State Microenterprise Association Resources.
Access resources to help your small business succeed online here. Services include training, technical assistance, microloans and advocacy.
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.
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 Joseph Gosar at email@example.com (253-604-8406).
City of Tacoma
Minority Business Development Agency
Apply for technical assistance for your minority small business and partner with the Tacoma-MBDA Tacoma Business Center.
- 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.