Events and Training

Access event calendars, courses, and resources to help in your business endeavors!

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Investor to Founder Roundtable

Startup253 / Make it Tacoma Investor to Founder Roundtable
Venture Capitalists from Tacoma Venture Fund and Keeler Investment Group will join Startup253 and Make it Tacoma on June 9th for a virtual Investor to Founder roundtable. Pose your questions to our panel of VCs and tech leaders from companies like Blue Origin, Tacoma Venture Fund, and Keeler Investment Group. Space is extremely limited, so reserve your seat today! Join NOW
Investor to Founder Roundtable…

Hard times call for tough decisions. If faced with the choice between getting lean or closing shop, startups can take smart steps to reduce costs, increase efficiency, and come out even stronger. Get advice from entrepreneurs, investors, and…

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SBA Washington Export Outreach Team

Join the Washington Export Outreach Team (WEOT) for this interactive online workshop on Tuesday, June 16th from 1:00 to 3:00pm PST where you will:

  • Meet the local, state, regional, and federal export reps who will help you on your journey
  • Learn about
    • developing an export plan
    • identifying and validating international markets
    • finding qualified buyers, agents, and distributors to grow sales
    • financing international growth and mitigating risk 
  • Hear real-life success stories!

All are invited!

Register Now!


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COVID-19: Pivoting to Recovery and Sustainable Growth

COVID-19: Pivoting to Recovery and Sustainable Growth

As owners of small- and medium-sized businesses are adjusting to economic changes from the COVID-19 pandemic faculty form the University of Washington Foster School of business are offering 7 workshops to help businesses pivot to new opportunities. Please join us for all of them or just a few as your schedule permits.

DATES: Every Wednesday from May 13 to June 24

TIME: 5:30-6:30 PM Pacific Time

REGISTRATION: Advance registration is required (see below)

Adapting Your business to the COVID-19 Reality and Beyond – May 13 – Jeff Shulman, Professor of Marketing

The needs of consumers and businesses will be substantially different during and after the COVID-19 crisis. Attendees will hear what to expect in the months ahead and will leave inspired and prepared to adapt their businesses to survive and ultimately thrive in the new normal.

The Coronavirus Pivot: Customer Discovery Strategy for Your Business – May 20 – Emer Dooley, Lecturer of Entrepreneurship with Reggie Brown, Owner of Nutress Hair

Once businesses start to open, life will not be the same. This session will cover ways to look at serving customers in different ways based on the business you have today. To survive and grow, businesses will need to find new customers and new ways to reach old and new customers.

Cash and Debt in Good and Bad Times – May 27 – Thomas Gilbert, Professor of Finance. The precipitous drop in demand from consumers, businesses, and government has added pressure for businesses to manage case and their debts wisely. This workshop will explore how to maintain liquidity over the next 12-24 months while the economy gradually re-opens.

Negotiating with Employees, Vendors, and Other Business Partners – June 3 – Elizabeth Umphress, Associate Professor of Management. As employees, consumers, businesses and governments manage through the crisis, business owners will need to re-negotiate written and unwritten contracts ranging from employee sick leave to rent payment and from payments from corporate customers to loan terms with creditors. This workshop will help business owners to hone their negotiating skills.

Inventory and Supply Chain Management in Volatile Times – June 10 – Shi Chen, Assistant Professor of Operations Management. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter global supply chains and businesses are needing to adapt new strategies to manage inventory. This workshop will explore supply chain challenges and strategies that businesses can use to ensure they can meet customer needs.

Leadership in Volatile times – June 17 – Christina Fong, Principal Lecturer of Management. Business owners are being asked to make decisions and lead their employees through times that none of us have been trained for. This workshop will highlight how business leaders can leverage  these complex, fast-changing, and uncertain contexts to create vision, purpose, and positive impact.  Our session will also include an exploration of how leaders can create, build and sustain resilience during times of crisis and challenge.  Christina Fong’s research and teaching focuses on building managers into leaders.

Reaching and Engaging Your Audience (or Your Customers) Using Technology While Keeping Social Distancing – June 24 – Shaosong Ou, Senior Lecturer in Information Systems. Modern day information technologies such as the Internet and smartphones have enabled small businesses to expand their reach to a global scale. As the current COVID-19 pandemic keeps a large portion of the society at home and more dependent on the technologies, using them to reach and engage your customers is particularly important. This workshop will explore various technology-based channels through which small businesses can personalize the relationship with their customers without meeting them face-to-face.


Space is limited and advance registration is required. Registration deadline is 11:00 AM Pacific Time each Wednesday and a link to Zoom session will be sent to all registered participants on Wednesday afternoons.

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****Registration for this free course opens Thursday, April 30 at 10 a.m****

ScaleUp, COVID-19 Edition: Commerce has created ScaleUp to help small businesses navigate the current economic climate while building resiliency. One hundred Washington businesses will be able to register for the online classes. 

The ideal candidate for ScaleUp is the president/owner of a business that has been in operation for two years and has annual revenues in excess of $100,000. 

 This special webinar series begins May 6 and runs through July 8. Virtual classroom sessions are held from 8:30 a.m. to noon each week. A special Study Hall session is held on Mondays to provide enrolled companies with individualized assistance.

There is no cost to qualifying businesses. For more information, contact James Davis,, or (360) 464-6051. Register at


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Association of Washington Businesses COVID-19 Employer Resources Webinars

This series of webinars will guide you through the resources available for you and real-time, expert insights on all aspects of the crisis as we navigate how COVID-19 continues to impact our state and the economy.

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

View upcoming installations and register Here.

May 11: E-Commerce | Taking Your Brick and Mortar Business Online

Register Here

Speakers this week:

  • Erin Callahan, storytelling strategist, Trillium Creative Solutions, Inc.
  • Brian Forth, founder & president, SiteCrafting
  • Justin Stiefel, co-founder and CEO, Heritage Distilling Co.
  • Olowo-n’djo Tchala, founder and CEO, Alaffia

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How To Become A Seller On The Amazon Business Marketplace

Amazon is hosting a series of webinars designed for small business owners and their employees to hear best practices for successful selling in Amazon stores. Each webinar will include an interactive Q&A session.

To view dates and times available and register, visit the Amazon Small Business Academy.

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America's SBDC Washington Coronavirus Business Survival Workshops

To support business owners in Washington State, helping them keep their employees on the payroll and their businesses open, America’s SBDC Washington us hosting webinars for Business Survival Strategies and SBA Disaster Loans & CARES Act.

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Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber COVID-19 Conference Calls/Webinars


Join the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber for in-depth panel discussions of issues for our businesses that have arisen due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

View upcoming webinars dates and register here.

Federal Coronavirus Relief Bills: What Do They Mean for Nonprofits?

This 90-minute webinar shared the latest analysis and information for charitable nonprofits, recognizing that multiple federal agencies must write the rules and forms and establish processes for getting money into the hands of nonprofits and for-profits as quickly as possible.

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2020 Free Tax and Licensing Workshops

The City of Tacoma offers a series of free tax and licensing workshops for Tacoma business owners and tax preparers.

Click here to view upcoming workshop dates and register.

Completed presentations will be uploaded to the City’s webpage.

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SBA's Money Smart for Small Businesses

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Money Smart for Small Business (MSSB) provides an introduction to topics related to starting and managing a business. MSSB was developed jointly by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The materials are available for immediate download at Money Smart – Teach – For Small Business.

This instructor-led curriculum consists of 13 modules in English and Spanish that can be downloaded ( or ordered in CD format (

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Free Google My Business Workshop

Grow your business through Google. A free workshop hosted by City of Tacoma + Google.

* This event has passed, but a recording is available. Click here to watch recorded training.

Please contact Will Suarez, Management Analyst II, Community & Economic Development Department with any questions.

(253) 591-5590 or

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Organizational Resources

Please explore below to see what resources are offered by the following organizations:

Learn more about the Tacoma's business resources:

Contact the City
of Tacoma Team today

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