Tacoma Public Utilities launches new utility bill assistance relief program with City CARES Act funds to support small businesses impacted by COVID-19

Tacoma businesses within the city limits could qualify for up to $750 each in utility assistance; applications are due November 6

Today, Tacoma Public Utilities launched a relief program to support small businesses in Tacoma that have been impacted by COVID-19. The funds are a component of the City of Tacoma’s Coronavirus Relief Funds from the federal CARES Act that were allocated to cities as part of Washington State’s response to COVID-19. Businesses located within the city limits could qualify for up to $750 on utility charges incurred since March 17, 2020.

“Supporting our small business community is a priority at Tacoma Public Utilities,” said Jackie Flowers, Director of Utilities. “We understand these are challenging times for many business owners, and we appreciate our City leaders’ support in providing utility bill assistance funds from our CARES Act disbursement to help small businesses in Tacoma.”

“We are pleased to use our City of Tacoma CARES Act funds to provide assistance to small businesses in our community for their utility bills,” said Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards. “Easing the financial pressures on our small business community will hopefully help alleviate some of the economic impacts of COVID-19.”

To qualify, small businesses need to have an open account with TPU, be located within the City of Tacoma, have 50 or less employees, and operate from a brick and mortar building.

Applications for the funds must be submitted to TPU by November 6, 2020, at MyTPU.org/SmallBizAssistance. Applicants need their account number and other basic information about their business to complete the application.

Earlier this year in response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, TPU established a $2.4 million Emergency Assistance Fund for income-eligible residential customers. This new CARES Act funding represents the first relief funds TPU has been able to offer to business customers during the State of Emergency.

In addition to the new CARES Act funding, TPU continues to waive late fees, suspend disconnections for nonpayment, and offer payment arrangements for all customers through the duration of the State of Emergency.

Many agencies throughout Pierce County including the City of Tacoma have funding and other forms of assistance that small businesses may be eligible to receive as well.

Resources for business customers can be found online at:

  • MyTPU.org/ COVID19Biz – resources related to Covid-19 impacts
  • MyTPU.org/Biz – general resources for businesses including conservation tips and rebates
  • makeittacoma.com – business/employer resources for Covid-19

For more information about the utility bill assistance relief fund for small businesses, visit MyTPU.org/SmallBizAssistance.Small business customers can contact TPU’s Business Solutions Office at 253-502-8606 or BusinessSolutions@cityoftacoma.org for help identifying other resources and payment options.  

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