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.
City of Tacoma City/TPU Building Mask Guidance
- Mask Mandate Update. Governor Inslee recently announced that beginning March 12, 2022, face masks will no longer be required in many indoor settings including K-12 schools, restaurants, gyms, grocery stores and retail locations. However, local governments and private businesses may still require masks.
- Masks will still be required in some settings, such as medical facilities, long-term care facilities and public transit.
- Starting March 12, 2022, the City of Tacoma will make facial coverings optional in public spaces and on work sites. Staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, will no longer be required to wear a facial covering in its buildings. However, anyone who wishes to continue wearing a facial covering is welcome to do so, and their preference should be respected. These changes are in line with guidance from the local health jurisdiction (Tacoma Pierce County Health Department) and WA Department of Labor and Industries. Their decision follows recent changes in guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a decision by Governor Jay Inslee to lift the mask mandate, beginning March 12, 2022.
COVID 19 Vaccine Resources:
Please check local pharmacies and healthcare providers for availability or access vaccination information and events offered by the Pierce County Health Department:
A variety of Covid19 testing options are now available: Official information about testing in Pierce County is available here:
City of Tacoma Permitting Support
The City of Tacoma is continuing its phased reopening of City buildings, Planning and Development Services will offer additional days for in-person appointments. Starting April 18th, customers may schedule an appointment Monday through Thursday between 9 AM and 1 PM to meet with Planning and Development Services staff to drop off permit documents; make payments by check, cash, or credit card in-person; or discuss 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. • If you arrive without an appointment, one of our team members will help you schedule for the next available appointment. • To schedule an appointment CLICK HERE or call 253.591.5030 option 3, then option 2. 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 MeetingsHERE.We 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
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:
- “Log In” or Register” their business if the business has not already registered on the Pierce County Solicitation Portal;
- 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;
- Complete and submit your bid.
Questions? Contact us at 253.798.6150 or send an email.
TACOMA PUBLIC UTILITIES UPDATE
Moratorium on Utility Disconnections ends March 31, 2022
The City of Tacoma’s utility service disconnection moratorium for nonpayment will expire on March 31, 2022, and at that time, Tacoma Public Utilities will start the process of collecting on past due balances. We know this has been a tough time on our small business community and our team is here to help. Our goal is to help all customers keep their services.
· Small business accounts (B rate) will be placed on automatic, interest-free installment plans for 24 months.
· Businesses who prefer an installment plan of shorter duration can work with our Business Solutions office to set up an installment plan that works for them.
· Commercial accounts (G rate) will not automatically be placed on installment plans, but can contact TPU’s Business Solutions office if they would like to be.
· You must stay current on your installment payments and all new bills to remain on this plan and prevent service interruption.
Business Solutions Advocates at Tacoma Public Utilities are available 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to support business customers with billing inquiries and to set up payment plans on utility accounts. Call us at 253-502-8606 or email BusinessSolutions@cityoftacoma.org.
Minority Business Contracting Opportunities with Sound Transit
Capacity Building Mentorship Program for vendors
In response to COVID-19, Workforce Central is providing links to resources for the community and businesses, a listing of partners and affiliate sites that are temporarily closed, and a listing of events and activities that are cancelled or postponed.
Washington Creatives Academy
The Washington Department of Commerce has launched its new Creatives Academy, the third in a series of self-directed educational academies for small business owners. Designed to teach the essential skills needed to turn a creative pursuit into a successful small business, the academy contains 11 tracks. Lessons range from developing a business mindset and accessing capital to finding customers, creating winning pitches and negotiating terms.
The Creatives Academy lessons are available at MyStartup365.com. It joins two other academies on the state’s small business resource site, the Entrepreneur Academy and Restart Academy. A smaller series covers Mastering Financials. All of the training materials are free of charge and do not require registration.
“The creative sector is an essential part of Washington’s economy, employing nearly 400,000 workers,” said Lisa Brown, Commerce Director. “As I travel around the state, I am continually impressed with the tremendous talent we have in Washington, from artisans and musicians at community festivals to those exploring their passion for craft brewing, dance, coding or 3D printing. There is so much untapped potential in the creative sector.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are more than 250 specific creative occupations, including artists, performers, musicians, technicians, video game designers, 3D designers and modelers, projection mapping artists and sound designers. To ensure that the sector is appropriately resourced, Commerce is also hiring a Creative Economy sector lead to oversee development of a comprehensive strategic plan that will open new opportunities in the industry, especially in rural and underserved parts of the state.
“Creatives are really good at bringing a new idea to life, but the nuts and bolts of running a business and monetizing their work can be somewhat mystifying,” said Robb Zerr, Senior Managing Director at the Office of Economic Development and Competitiveness. “The Creatives Academy was designed from the ground up to lift that veil of mystery and teach the practical skills needed to own and operate a successful creative enterprise.”
Learn more about all of Commerce’s small business services and assistance programs.
COVID 19 GUIDANCE FOR EMPLOYERS
Businesses must be able to meet all safety criteria in order to open.
- March 12, 2022 New Guidance Posted Here
- Guidance documents are posted on the governor’s website.
- The state Department of Health also provides guidance and information for businesses, non-profits, service providers, health providers and others.
Have questions or complaints?
- Read our Frequently Asked Questions page
- Ask questions about the Healthy Washington plan
- If you think a business is not complying with the healthy Washington plan, submit an anonymous report. Background: Guidelines for enforcement for the Governor’s order (pdf)
- For employees to file workplace safety and health complaints, call the L&I Call Center: 1-800-423-7233
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.
The Governor’s proclamations page can be found here.
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.
- COVID-19 FAQs: Answers to frequently asked questions during the Coronavirus pandemic.
- How to Report a Change Online Through Washington Healthplanfinder
Current Washington Healthplanfinder enrollees are experiencing life changes as a result of COVID-19, including loss of income. Reporting changes may qualify individuals for additional financial help
ESD needs employer assistance regarding unemployment insurance fraud
- Paid sick leave
- Workers’ compensation
- Workplace safety and health
- Stay informed
Central repository of information regarding:
- Business and workers
- Childcare/K-12/higher education
- Government emergency actions
- You and your family
- Travelers and commuters
Employer Provided Vaccine Clinic Resources
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.
America’s Small Business Development Center Washington
Federal Website for Up to Date Covid 19 Information