Be your own boss.
There is a variety of resources available within Pierce County to offer entrepreneurs help starting and expanding their businesses.
- City of Tacoma Support & Loan Programs
The City of Tacoma’s mission is to facilitate equitable economic growth and opportunity by supporting existing businesses, enabling reinvestment and revitalization, and promoting the attraction and creation of new businesses, living wage jobs, and housing options to enhance the quality of life in the community.
The City maintains a list of financing planning options to assist businesses in accessing capital.
- City of Tacoma Small Business Enterprise Program
The City of Tacoma’s Small Business Enterprise Program (SBE) offers contracting and procurement of goods/services opportunities to qualified small businesses interested in doing work in the City.
The goal of the SBE program is to facilitate a substantial procurement, education, and small business assistance program designed to promote equitable participation by historically underutilized businesses in the provision of supplies, services, and public works to the City.
- Pierce County Library System: Business Programs and Resources
Pierce County Library System offers many programs and resources to help start a small business and grow a business. All of the resources are free, some are free with a library card, which is also free. Online and in-library classes share how to plan for a new business and develop a business plan, how to apply for and get financing, and other information to help small businesses get started and be successful.
The Job+Business Center portal provides access to a variety of resources, such as market research to help determine the best location for a business and demographic data about potential customers. The Library System offers a number of small business workshops throughout the year on topics such as finance, starting businesses, marketing and other topics.
- Pierce County Loan Programs
Pierce County offers loan programs through a variety of sources to businesses located in or expanding in Pierce County. All loans are made in partnership with bank financing. Staff can also provide other technical assistance to help your business be successful.
- Readiness Acceleration and Innovation Network
Readiness Acceleration and Innovation Network (RAIN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit collaborative medical and biotechnology incubator in downtown Tacoma, WA. RAIN’s mission is to catalyze the development of innovative med/biotech companies that generate sustainable, high-paying jobs in the greater Tacoma area. We serve as the collaborative, boundary-crossing environment necessary to spark innovation and help startups overcome the unique challenges in this domain by providing direct access to the people and resources they need to succeed.
SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. Because their work is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and thanks to their network of 11,000+ volunteers, SCORE is able to deliver its services at no charge or at very low cost.
- Small Business Administration
Since its founding on July 30, 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses.
Spaceworks cultivates creative communities because they know that strong communities are built on having rich opportunities for artists, entrepreneurs, and everyone who calls Tacoma home.
Find more about these programs at their website:
- Special projects
SURGEtacoma empowers startups, freelancers, entrepreneurs, students, and nonprofits by providing state-of-the-art offices, co-working space, resource, and networking opportunities, freeing up members’ time and energy to focus on their goals.
- Veterans Incubator for Better Entrepreneurship at UW Tacoma
The Veterans Incubator for Better Entrepreneurship (VIBE) at the University of Washington Tacoma provides an applied training environment that supports military veterans’ entrepreneurial aspirations and promotes their understanding of the modern startup life cycle. Many of its program offerings are free and open to members of the public.
- Washington Small Business Development Center
The Washington Small Business Development Center (WSBDC) is a network of business advisors, trainers, and support staff who operate from Washington State University, Western Washington University, several of the state’s community and technical colleges, and selected economic development agencies. Core services revolve around assisting clients with making better informed business decisions to grow and sustain their businesses. WSBDC provides in-depth, confidential, no cost customized one-on one business advising, business training, and advisor assisted market intelligence.
- Washington State Funding Programs
Having ready access to capital is essential for business success these days. Whether it’s short- or long-term loans, crowdfunding or even funding to clean up once polluted and unusable lands, Washington State has several funding strategies to help businesses grow and expand.
- Washington State Office of Minority and Women's Business Enterprises
The Washington State Office of Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) develops programs designed to improve the contributions of minority- and women-owned small businesses to the Washington State economy. The OMWBE assists qualified minority- and women-owned businesses in the State OMWBE certification programs for public contracting and procurement and access to financial opportunities.
- Washington State Office of Regulatory Innovation and Assistance
The Washington State Office of Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA) provides helpful information, links to valuable resources, and outlines the steps for starting and operating a business in Washington state. The Small Business Guide is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Korean, Vietnamese, and Chinese.
The Business Guide includes sections that will help you plan, run, grow, or close a business in Washington State.