Employer/Employee Resources

Explore resources for employers and their employees to navigate coronavirus-related business closures. Visit the Financial Support page for information on available funding opportunities and Health + Public Services for additional resources.



EnviroStars for your Greening Business

Washington’s Green Business resource, EnviroStars, is a one-stop shop for businesses to access environmental assistance and gain recognition for being green. Not only can you save money through rebates and resources, but you can take steps to save the planet!

For more information or to apply, visit https://envirostars.org/

We’re here to help at envirostars@cityoftacoma.org

City of Tacoma – EnviroStars 

City of Tacoma Permitting Support

As the City of Tacoma is continuing its phased reopening of City buildings, Planning and Development Services is now open for in-person walk-in customers and appointments Monday through Thursday between 9 AM and 1 PM. Services available during these hours include dropping off permit documents; making payments by check, cash, or credit card in-person; or discussing general development questions at the Tacoma Municipal Building (747 Market Street, 3rd Floor, Tacoma, WA 98402).

• Walk-in services such as over-the-counter reviews will not be offered during this reopening phase and customers are urged to schedule a virtual counter meeting for this service. To schedule a virtual counter meeting, CLICK HERE.• To schedule an appointment CLICK HERE or call 253.591.5030. If you need to meet with review staff virtually and are unable to do so from your place of residence or business, you can schedule an appointment with our permit specialist and we will help you connect with the desired staff member using our support kiosk.• You can visit us 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week to apply for permits, check permit status, schedule inspections and pay for permits at tacomapermits.org or aca-prod.accela.com/tacoma.

Virtual Counter MeetingsWe continue to offer virtual counter meetings to meet with review staff regarding residential development, commercial building permits, land use, and application services. Scheduling of appointments and availability can be found HERE.

Planning and Development Services offers easy management of inspections through text.

Schedule, reschedule, cancel and obtain results for your inspections 24/7 through our new automated text option.

To get started on managing inspections, follow these easy steps:

1. You will need your permit number. This can be found in your online Tacoma Permits account or on documentation when your permit is issued.

2. From your smartphone, simply start a text to 844-475-1480 with one of the following commands:

“SCHEDULE” to schedule an inspection“CANCEL” to cancel an inspection“RESCHEDULE” to reschedule an inspection“RESULTS” to obtain inspection results

3. Continue following the interactive prompts for entering your permit number, inspection code, and other details until you reach the confirmation process. After you submit your confirmation, you will receive back a message confirming your inspection type, permit number, and date of inspection. Additional information will be provided to prepare you for the upcoming inspection.

Please remember you must schedule your inspection by 3pm to receive next business day service.

For customers who schedule inspections often with Planning and Development Services, there are express commands you can use. Find more information here.

See our website for full details and instructions on this new service along with additional ways to manage inspections through phone and online.


Pierce County Professional Services Providers Roster RFQ Now Open

Professional services providers have the opportunity to be on a list of qualified professional services providers who will be matched with Pierce County businesses

The Pierce County Council has allocated American Rescue Plan Act funding for grants to assist businesses with their professional services needs such as: bookkeeping, tax advice, graphic design, web design, marketing strategies, and legal advice.

Professional services providers interested to be on the list need to submit a bid with some basic information regarding your business. To submit a bid:

  1. “Log In” or Register” their business if the business has not already registered on the Pierce County Solicitation Portal;
  2. Once logged in to the Pierce County Solicitation Portal  go to “Bids” and select Bid Number 21-145: Professional Services for Pierce County Businesses – Roster;
  3. Complete and submit your bid.

Questions? Contact us at 253.798.6150 or send an email.

State grant application portal opens Mar. 14, 2023 for hospitality and lodging businesses

$100 million available to support businesses affected by pandemic; information webinar March 13

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Department of Commerce announced a new grant opportunity for businesses in the hospitality and lodging industry that suffered business losses due to the pandemic. The application portal opens on March 14 at wahospitalitygrants.com.

An informational webinar is scheduled for Monday, March 13. To learn more and subscribe to email updates about the program visit wahospitalitygrants.com. For questions, email info@wahospitalitygrants.com.

Who can apply

The grants are open only to:

  • Restaurants; food stands, trucks and carts
  • Caterers, bars, saloons, lounges, and taverns
  • Snack and non-alcoholic beverage bars
  • Licensed alcohol producers where the public may taste, sample or purchase products
  • Hotels and motels (except casinos), and inns and bed and breakfast establishments that have a least five private lodging rooms or onsite sales of food and beverage that account for at least 25% of gross receipts or sales
  • Bakeries, brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms, breweries, microbreweries, wineries and distilleries are also eligible to apply if onsite sales to the public comprise at least 25% of gross receipts or sales.
  • Bowling alleys and convention and visitors bureaus will also be considered for a grant, depending on the availability of funds.

Additional qualifications

  • Eligible business must have experienced a 25% or greater loss in gross receipts or sales between 2019 and 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health and safety measures.
  • Eligible businesses must generate minimum gross receipts or sales of $12,000 in 2019 (or 2020, if the business opened that year); generate at least 51% of revenue in the state, have not permanently closed or intend to close in 2023.
  • Eligible businesses must have expenses that are necessary to continue business operations, such as payroll and rent.

“While some of our small businesses are starting to recover and rebuild in the wake of a global pandemic, more continue to face historic challenges,” said Chris Green, Assistant Director of Commerce’s Office of Economic Development and Competiveness. “The hospitality and lodging industry is an essential part of our economy and these grants will help affected businesses across the state recover from public health concerns that disrupted their operations for the last three years.”

The $100 million in grants was provided to the Department of Commerce through the Coronavirus State & Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, which was part of the federal American Rescue Plan. Of the amount provided, $15 million has been set aside expressly to reimburse qualifying lodging establishments that experienced economic losses during the state’s eviction moratorium under the governor’s proclamations.

The grants are targeted primarily for small businesses with $5 million or less in annual gross receipts or sales within designated NAICS codes. If Commerce is able to fund all the eligible applicants from the target pool, and funds remain, Commerce may be able to provide grants to additional businesses who have annual gross receipts or sales larger than $5 million.

WA Small Business Disaster Relief

The Washington State Department of Commerce has announced the availability of $9.7 million in disaster relief grants for eligible small businesses. Applications are due March 31. The grant limit is $75,000 per business.

Eligible small businesses are those with annual gross receipts of $5 million or less that have sustained a reduction in business income or activity as the result of:

  • Natural disaster such as flood, earthquake, or a comparable event.
  • Human-caused disaster such as a major utility disruption resulting in property damage or prolonged outages.

Funds may be used to reimburse the following eligible expenses:

  • Payroll
  • Utilities and rent
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Building improvements and repairs
  • Replacing damaged inventory and equipment
  • Other operational and business expenses related to a qualifying disaster

How to Apply

Businesses need to first identify and contact the Associate Development Organization representing their county. They will need the name of their local ADO and a representative’s name and contact information to complete the online grant application. In addition to the ADO information, eligible businesses must provide all of the following in the application:

  • Washington State Business License
  • Proof of address
  • W-9 and 2019-2021 tax returns
  • Documentation of receipts

Once businesses have gathered the required information, they can visit the application portal here.

Tacoma’s Associate Development Organization is the https://choosetacomapierce.org/

Washington State Small Business Liaison Team

A cross-sector team working to make Washington the best place to do business. The team includes 27 agencies participating in subgroups that focus on outreach programs, soliciting ideas for regulatory improvement, and developing new business tools. Download the liaison contact list.

Washington State Department of Commerce Economic Resiliency Team (ERT) Business Response Center.

Business owners and operators may obtain answers to general business inquiries regarding financial assistance, return to work or other business questions related to recovery efforts. ASK YOUR QUESTION HERE.

Governor Jay Inslee’s Office

The Governor’s proclamations page can be found here. ​

Washington Health Benefit Exchange

One in four Washingtonians get health and dental coverage through the Washington Healthplanfinder at wahealthplanfinder.org or the mobile app WAPlanfinder. Individuals can receive free help applying from an expert in their community at wahealthplanfinder.org/find-expert-advice.html.

Washington State Employment Security Department

ESD needs employer assistance regarding unemployment insurance fraud

The State Employment Security Department has advised companies and organizations to check their records carefully to ensure that the list of furloughed/laid off staff is accurate regarding unemployment insurance claims.
To report unemployment insurance fraud, call 1-800-246-9763 or access https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/unemployment-benefits-fraud

Washington Department of Labor and Industries

  • Paid sick leave
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Workplace safety and health
  • Stay informed

Veterans Small Business Certification Program

SBA is now accepting applications for the Veteran Small Business Certification program. Through this new program, certified veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses can compete for set-aside government contracts. The program will be SBA‘s primary certification vehicle for all veteran-owned small businesses and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses, important classifications that enable those businesses to qualify for sole-source and set-aside federal contracting awards.

Learn more

SBA Provides Small Business Cybersecurity Guidance

Cyber incidents have surged among small businesses that often do not have the resources to stay safe online. Protect your small business by securing networks, using antivirus software and backing up sensitive data. Get more tips and learn about cybersecurity threats and how to protect your small business.

Learn more

SBA Small Business Lender Matching

Looking for capital for your small business? Lender Match connects small businesses with SBA-approved lenders, community development organizations, and micro-lending institutions.

Learn more

Employer Provided Vaccine Clinic Resources: Covid 19 & Flu Vaccinations

Eligible businesses that allow employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine can receive a tax credit. Partner with a vaccine provider to host an on-site vaccination clinic.

Find a vaccine provider

Federal Website for Up to Date Covid 19 Information



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