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Additional Business Resources

Local, State, and Federal Resources

Local Resources

  • Apply for a City of Tacoma Business License through the Tax & License portal, File Local.
  • The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center provides technical assistance and strategic business consulting to minority-owned Tacoma businesses regardless of size. The center works with minority business enterprises to generate increased financing and contract opportunities and to create and retain jobs.
  • Tacoma Means Business is a one stop shop for new and existing business in Tacoma or looking to relocate to the area. The site offers a wealth of resources ranging from business assistance, classes and training to support to grow your business.

State Resources

Federal Resources

  • The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.
  • The Internal Revenue Service Small Business and Self Employed Tax Center provides tax resources for self employed, independent contractors, or employers. It provides assistance with preparing your taxes, online learning, and stages of owning a business.

 

Business Classes and Training Workshops

  • Small Business Development Center (SBDC) - Located at Bates Technical College, the Tacoma SBDC offers no fee business advising on an appointment basis for existing businesses. 
  • The World Trade Center Tacoma - The World Center Tacoma is a non-profit located in downtown Tacoma that helps local businesses connect to the global economy. It offers training, counseling and connections for Tacoma area companies that want to trade internationally.
  • Business Impact NW - Offers one on one free business coaching and lunch and learn workshops for small businesses.
  • Invista Performance Solutions - A collaboration of four Pierce County Community and Technical Colleges and their services help companies gain competitive advantage in the global economy by increasing the skills of workforce through education, in-person and web-based training, and consulting support for organizational change and growth.
  • South Sound/Tacoma SCORE - A team of nationally Certified Mentors who provide free professional counseling to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners in Pierce, Thurston, Lewis, Mason and Grays Harbor counties.

Business Coaching and Consultation

  • Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center - MBDA provides strategic business consulting-services include sales consulting and forecasting, market feasibility studies, operations management and quality control, bid preparation and many more services.
  • City of Tacoma Economic Gardening Program - Free business coaching and customized services to start and grow your business in Tacoma. Email the program to get started!
  • SCORE Association - SCORE mentors are business executives who volunteer their time to assist small businesses with strategic planning and business plan review. 
  • CRAFT3 -  Provides loans to finance businesses including those in start-up and expansion phases. Our loans range in complexity and size, from $25,000 to $5 million. 

Data Resources & Tools

  • SizeUp - Are you a business owner or aspiring entrepreneur? Make smarter decisions with data that shows how you measure up against the competition in your industry. This free tool helps you determine what percent of businesses you are outperforming in your industry in revenue, size, salaries and more.
  • Zoom Prospector - Are you a site selector or investor? Get robust, high-quality data that drills all the way down to the zip code level, as you assess possible locations. This free tool helps you research hundreds of criteria to find the community that meets your specific needs, and helps you analyze locations based on more than 1,000 variables to find the perfect one.
  • ESRI Business Analyst Online - Provides demographic reports with 75 different templates. Psychographic tapestry profiles showing socioeconomic and consumer behavior are measured against national averages and medians. Businesses can use this to build business and marketing plans or site selection. Annual subscription fee associated. Email the program to learn more.
  • The Puget Sound Economic Forecaster - Provides trends for the Puget Sound area for a subscription.
  • IMPLAN - Provides economic impact data and modeling to governments, universities, and public and private sector organizations for assessing the economic impacts of project decisions in all industry sectors. When you need to know how businesses, projects, or policies interact with and shape the economy, IMPLAN is here to help.

 

How to File a Title VI Complaint

If you feel you have been subjected to discrimination as a service beneficiary, in contracting opportunities because of race, color, or national origin, you may file a complaint with the City of Tacoma, Small Business Enterprise Program, the Federal Transit Administration, and/or US Department of Justice.  Complaints must be filed within 180 days of the alleged discriminatory act. 

Complaints can be emailed to the Small Business Enterprise Program or the Customer Support Center.  Complaints can also be mailed to:

City of Tacoma
Customer Support Center
Attention Title VI Coordinator
c/o Small Business Enterprise Program
747 Market Street
Second Floor
Tacoma, WA  98402
(253) 591-5000