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MBDA-Tacoma Business Center: COVID-19 Business Information & Resources

See the following news and information compiled by MBDA-Tacoma Business Center related to COVID-19 business resources. You can also follow us on our Facebook page for more updates.
Last update: March 4, 2021

Latest Updates:

Four Things to Know about PPP This WeekSBA Newsletter, March 4, 2021
1. There’s a new calculation for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals.  2. PPP eligibility is expanded.  3. Use of Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) is clarified.  4. The 14-day exclusive PPP loan application period ends March 9, 2021. Read the Newsletter for full information.

Biden Administration takes Steps to Promote Equitable Access to SBA ReliefSmall Business Administration
On Monday, February 22nd, The Biden-Harris Administration and the SBA announced steps the agency is taking with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to further promote equitable relief for America’s mom-and-pop businesses. In order to reach the smallest businesses, SBA will offer PPP loans to businesses with fewer than 20 employees and sole proprietors only from Wednesday, February 24 through Wednesday, March 10, 2021. President Biden has also announced additional program changes to make access to PPP loans more equitable. Read more here.

Webinars/Events:

Webinar Series: PPP Updates for Self-Employed and Small Businesses with fewer than 20 employeesSmall Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration has some key changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which will be available for a limited amount of time to ensure America’s smallest businesses get exclusive access. If you are a small business owner with fewer than 20 employees, or are self-employed; there is new information for you. Join SBA for a series of webinars hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Public Private Strategies Institute, & other stakeholders to hear about:

  • – What steps you can take now to take advantage of this special opportunity, which closes at 2:00 P.M. PST, Tuesday, March 9th, 2021.
  • – Additional changes and recent policy announcements made by Biden-Harris Administration
  • – Have your questions answered by SBA Leadership

Schedule:

March 10: COVID-19 BUSINESS INFO SERIES Webinar, Wednesdays 11am – 12pm PSTTacoma-Pierce County Chamber
Please join Tacoma Pierce County Chamber’s panel for an in-depth discussion of issues for our businesses that have arisen due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This series of calls will continue each Wednesday as long as there is a need. Missed a Previous Call? Need next call info? Visit the Chamber’s COVID-19 Resource Page for more information.


Read More


Webinar Series: PPP Updates for Self-Employed and Small Businesses with fewer than 20 employees

Webinar Series: PPP Updates for Self-Employed and Small Businesses with fewer than 20 employeesSmall Business Administration
U.S. Small Business Administration has some key changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which will be available for a limited amount of time to ensure America’s smallest businesses get exclusive access. If you are a small business owner with fewer than 20 employees, or are self-employed; there is new information for you. Join SBA for a series of webinars hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Public Private Strategies Institute, & other stakeholders to hear about:

– What steps you can take now to take advantage of this special opportunity, which closes at 5:00 P.M. EST, Tuesday, March 9th, 2021
– Additional changes and recent policy announcements made by Biden-Harris Administration
– Have your questions answered by SBA Leadership

Schedule:

Source: SBA Newsletter


Economic Development Board: Thrive! Grant Launch

Pierce County businesses are eligible to apply for the $4,275 EDB Thrive! Grant for Expert-Level Consulting Assistance.

The Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County (EDB) is partnering with the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)-Tacoma Business Center and the WA State Department of Commerce to help businesses recover and rebound from the effects of the pandemic. Based on the Edward Lowe Foundation’s highly successful System for Integrated Growth (SiG)℠, Thrive! Program gives businesses access to experts, analytics and best practices that are usually only available to the largest companies.

Armed with this new-found knowledge, businesses will be able to address vexing internal and external issues that have been impeding growth. These issues can be related to sales and marketing, human resources, accounting, finance and operations, supply chain management, international trade, succession planning, customer prospecting and more. Graduates of this type of program typically experience a 15% to 30% increase in revenue.Read More


Boon Boona Coffee Overcomes Rejection to Bring More Than Just Coffee to Seattle

Situation

Efrem Fesaha started Boon Boona Coffee in 2012 after he took a trip to Asmara, Eritrea that changed the course of his life. Fesaha returned from the East African country with newfound joy, passion, and a desire to share the experience of coffee with Seattle. Fesaha pitched his theoretical business idea to banks, hoping to get the funding he needed to open a café, but he his applications for loans were denied at every bank he visited. Fesaha didn’t let the rejection stop him. When he realized he didn’t have enough capital for his café, he adapted his plan and began selling high-quality, responsibly-sourced green coffee beans from Ethiopia for East African communities in the Seattle area. Although Fesaha has a background in finance, he found himself with more questions than answers when it came to starting and running his business.

Solution

Fesaha turned to Bernard Bossom, a business mentor at the Greater Seattle SCORE chapter to find the answers to his growing list of questions on how to run a business. By working with Bossom and attending multiple training sessions, Fesaha was able to gain the knowledge required to effectively start and run his business. After six years of selling green coffee beans, Fesaha was able to get a SBA microloan from Craft3 to reach his goal of opening a café in Renton.

Impact
In 2019 Fesaha opened the doors to his café, fulfilling his vision of creating a space where people could come, spend time together and experience coffee, not just drink it. Fesaha was able to hire 15 employees and saw more than 1,000% revenue growth in the first year the café was open. Fesaha remains committed to running a socially responsible business that leaves positive impacts on both the African communities where his coffee beans are sourced and in his local community where Boon Boona Coffee is located. Fesaha will be opening a second location in Seattle once COVID restrictions allow for in-person gatherings.

From the Business Owner

“Being a business owner takes grit; a phone call rejection shouldn’t stop you when you’re doing what you’re passionate about,” Fesaha said. “Business ownership isn’t purely about financial gain; it shouldn’t be what motivates you.”

Company Name: Boon Boona Coffee

City of Tacoma Resurgence Business Loan – Apply on January 27th, Info Session on January 13th

In order to help businesses overcome the effects of the pandemic and thrive, the City of Tacoma will deploy $1.1 million received from the Economic Development Administration as low-interest business loans. The City of Tacoma will be awarding 5-year loans up to $25,000 that require no payments (no principal nor interest) for the first 12 months.

Resurgence Business Loan Timeline

January 27, 2021: Loan application opens
February 21, 2021: Loan application closes
March 12, 2021: All applicants are notified regarding a decision on their loan application

Information Session on January 27th:

Read More


ScaleUp: The Rebuild Edition Starting on January 13th

The next ScaleUp training series is kicking off soon and invite you to participate! Wednesdays, January 13th – March 3rd, 8 AM – 11 AM. See link in description below to sign up.

ScaleUp: The Rebuild Edition. Business is not as usual right now and may not be for a long time. 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. This next cohort will launch January 13th and will be a comprehensive offering spanning 8 sessions. 

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.Read More


Port of Seattle Prepares for Major Project Openings and Equitable Recovery with 2021 Budget and $3.7 Billion, Five-Year Capital Plan

Port of Seattle Commissioners have approved the 2021 budget and five-year, $3.7 billion capital improvement plan to support an equitable, rapid, and lasting recovery as we prepare for a transformative 2021.
With plans to spend $3.3 billion over five years on airport improvements, the 2021-2025 capital improvement plan invests in projects to preserve assets, improve customer service, expand economic activity, generate additional Port revenue, and reduce environmental impact. Major projects include the new IAF; the second phase of the North Satellite Modernization Project, Central Terminal Renovation, Main Terminal improvements in ticketing, bag check, and security checkpoint areas; a multi-story expansion with amenities and tenant space on the C concourse; and accelerated installation of noise insulation for residential neighbors.

Keep reading →


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