County expands programs for entrepreneurs and small businesses
In response to the pandemic and the adverse impacts on underserved communities, Pierce County Economic Development is expanding its reach to help entrepreneurs and small business owners succeed.
Connecting people with resources
The new Pierce County Community Navigator Program is a hub-and-spoke network that provides an easier way for small businesses and entrepreneurs to find the assistance they need. Pierce County Economic Development serves as the program’s hub and contracts with seven trusted, local organizations that connect businesses with programs and resources, including:
- Contracting and procurement
- Financial assistance and access to capital
- Marketing, operations, business development and exporting
- Industry-specific training
Participating organizations include:
Pierce County businesses continue to accelerate
The Pierce County Business Accelerator (PCBA) program continues to serve entrepreneurs and business owners across the County with a focus on underserved communities.
Launched in 2020, the PCBA provides direct access to business resources and network support to launch and grow micro businesses in Pierce County. To date, 105 business owners have completed the program.
Here are just a few PCBA graduate success stories:
- Five participants received Comcast RISE grants. (PCBA assisted with the application process.)
- More than a dozen graduates were fully funded through Kiva, an online lending platform. (One received $15K in Kiva crowd funding in 14 hours.)
- One graduate quadrupled his business sales and clients.
- A business did a tasting for an international delegation and is currently exploring potential exporting options.
The PCBA and the Community Navigator Program are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.