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: July 22, 2021

Latest Updates:

COVID-19 Reopening Guide for Small BusinessesChamberofCommerce.org
See guide from ChamberofCommerce.org for reopening guidelines, restrictions by state, and other resources for reopening your business. Click here to view.

Small Business Flex Fund Washington State Department of Commerce
The Small Business Flex Fund, developed in response to COVID-19, is designed to get financial support into the hands of Washington State’s smallest businesses and nonprofits. Interest rates of 3% – 4.5%, borrow up to $150,000 with 60 or 72-month loan terms. To be eligible to apply, small businesses and nonprofits must employ 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, have annual revenues of less than $3 million per year, and experience a direct economic disruption as a result of COVID-19. Learn more and apply here.
*Note: see upcoming Info Webinar about the Flex Fund on August 17th here.


August 17: Small Business Flex Fund Info Webinar, 1 PMSmall Business Development Center 
The Washington State Small Business Flex Fund is a new loan program for the smallest Washington businesses and nonprofits affected by COVID-19. To be eligible to apply, small businesses and nonprofits must employ 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, have annual revenues of less than $3 million per year, and experience a direct economic disruption as a result of COVID-19. This webinar will provide information about the loan program and application process and help you prepare to apply. Register here.

August 3: How to Sell Your Business during COVID, 11 AMSmall Business Development Center 
Have you ever thought about selling your business to move on to a new chapter in your life? Or has the recent COVID pandemic accelerated your thoughts of exiting your business earlier than you anticipated? This webinar will help answer questions such as: What does it mean to plan an exit? What if you don’t have a plan? Who is involved? How is your business valued? Who can you sell to? How does a buyer feel about your good or bad financial performance during the COVID pandemic? How do you chose the right broker to help you? Register here.

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Small Business Basic Requirements

Your small business must meet some basic requirements before you can compete for government contracts. See following criteria to learn about requirements:

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SAM.gov Entity Registration Training

System for Award Management entity registration training WEBINAR. Providing step by step guidance on registering your entity, be it a business, individual, or organization, in the System for Award Management, also known as SAM.gov for Federal Assistance Awards Only.

Click here to watch the training provided by SBA.gov

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant

Program details

The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

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SBA Extends Deferment Period for all COVID-19 EIDL and Other Disaster Loans until 2022

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced extended deferment periods for all disaster loans, including the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, until 2022.

  • All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2020, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 24-months from the date of the note.
  • All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2021, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 18-months from the date of the note.

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Fact Sheet: Changes to Paycheck Protection Program by Biden-Harris Administration Increase Equitable Access to Relief

 Early indications show program reforms and efforts to engage with communities authentically are working in meaningful ways.

Two weeks ago, the Biden-Harris Administration made several reforms to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to further ensure small businesses get the help they need, especially Mom-and-Pop businesses in underserved communities.

Putting equity at the center of its policies and programs, the Biden-Harris Administration launched a comprehensive plan to engage small businesses and nonprofits, focusing on building trust in underserved communities.

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American Rescue Plan Act Elevates Small Business Support in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

Statement from SBA Senior Advisor Michael Roth

WASHINGTON – Upon President Biden signing the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Senior Advisor Michael Roth stated:

“The American Rescue Plan Act enables the SBA to continue to lift up the cornerstones of our communities; the mom-and-pop businesses and nonprofits that provide essential services for our everyday lives, hire from within neighborhoods, and more. Our nation’s more than 30 million small businesses are the economic engine of this country and, in alignment with the Biden-Harris Administration’s focus on equitable treatment, the SBA will work tirelessly to ensure eligible borrowers will get access to this critical economic relief.”

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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


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


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.

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