UPCOMING EVENTS

These events are designed to help small business owners who are just getting started, to help existing businesses navigate new waters during the public health crisis, and more. They are being provided free of cost by community partners unless otherwise specified, and will typically require an advance registration. These workshops may be offered on a variety of different platforms like Zoom, Skype, or Teams, which may require that you have access to that app on your device. Events marked with an asterisk (*) are being held in-person. Please read all registration information carefully.

Tax & License Workshop | Wednesday, October 13th | 10:00am | FREE

Are you a Tacoma business owner or tax preparer? Are you thinking of opening a business in Tacoma? The Tax & License team offers a free workshop focusing on Tacoma’s Tax & License requirements. Topics Include:
-Tax classifications and how they apply to your business
-Minimum thresholds that apply before filing is required
-Completing your tax return
-Online filing for tax returns and license renewals with FileLocal
-Tacoma’s paid sick leave law

Virtual Drop-In Business Coaching | Thursday, October 14th | 10:00am-2:00pm | FREE

Are you a Tacoma or Pierce County entrepreneur or business owner?

Looking for guidance and answers to questions about finances, funding, or general business questions?

Join us for free drop-in Business Coaching on the 2nd and last Thursday of every month from 10am-2pm.

Text Message Marketing | Thursday, October 14th | 10:00am | FREE

Are you interested in enrolling more business through texting? In the US, almost everyone receives or sends a text message every day, and 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of being received. The average text message response time is 90 seconds, vs 90 minutes for email. Our B2B and B2C clients have received on average 43x and 67x return from text message marketing, respectively.

Whether you’re texting via Google Voice or Zipwhip, or if you’re still evaluating how to do text marketing, this training will give you great ideas that you can implement today. You’ll learn how to execute your own text message marketing campaigns through the strategies, tactics, and technology.

How to Write a Business Plan | Thursday, October 14th | 11:00am | FREE

Do you want to start your own business? Are you wondering what steps you need for a successful start? Join us in this webinar to learn all about writing a business plan. Business plans are the blueprints of your business. Whether you need a loan or plan to self-finance, business plans should be on every start up’s list to do. We will review topics included in standard business plans such as executive summary, business structure, management, marketing, and financials. You will come away from the webinar with solid ideas of how to get started on your business plan.

You will learn:

-The information needed for a solid business plan
-Why business plans are integral for a business loan
-How a business plan will serve you no matter your industry

Leading with Confidence | Thursday, October 14th | 11:30am-1:00pm | FREE

No matter how we present ourselves to the outside world, internally, we often struggle with our inner critic that is telling us we are not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough… overall not enough. The number one way to improve self confidence is to control the stories we tell ourselves.

This will be an interactive session, where you will journal on your beliefs and how your inner critic and fear may be holding you back. By becoming aware of the story we tell ourselves, you can change the dialog and increase your confidence. This workshop will provide the tools you need to improve your confidence.

Grow with a Pro – Insurance | Tuesday, October 19th | 8:30am-9:15am | FREE

Whether you are in the idea phase or a growth phase in your business, we invite you to attend our weekly Grow with a Pro coffee chats. You will hear from Business Professionals from Umpqua Bank, Tax-u-Sign, Farmers Insurance and an Attorney from the Rational Unicorn.

Every Tuesday from 8:30 to 9:15 Pacific Time, you will get to hear from one of these professionals as they chat about their area of expertise as it relates to current times and we will have an opportunity for a few of your non-confidential questions to get some answers. We’ll even be offering you opportunities to connect with other business owners through these morning coffee chats.

Flex Fund Info | Tuesday, October 19th | 1:00pm-2:00pm | FREE

The Washington State Small Business Flex Fund is a new loan program for the smallest Washington businesses and nonprofits affected by COVID-19. To be eligible to apply, small businesses and nonprofits must employ 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, have annual revenues of less than $3 million per year, and experience a direct economic disruption as a result of COVID-19. Should you apply? What should you prepare if you decide to apply? This webinar will provide information about the loan program and application process and help you prepare to apply.

Some of the topics covered will be:

The Flex Fund
Eligibility
Loan Size
Use of Funds
Term & Interest
Step by step in the pre-application portal and moving to the lender’s application
What is and is not required to apply
What will cause a declined application
Key Parts of a Loan Application
Short Form Business Plan
Underwriting Tips
What does a lender look for
Questions will be answered as time allows

E-Commerce from Scratch on Shopify | Thursday, October 21st | 10:00am | FREE

Let’s get started on your business! Whether you are just starting off, or looking to get started, this webinar is for you. Join an E-Commerce Expert who will cover tips and tricks for building your business on the Shopify platform.

We will discuss some favorite and most helpful topics, including Sourcing, Brand building, and of course, getting started building your eCommerce store.

PPP Updates | Friday, October 22nd| 10:00am | FREE

This webinar will cover the new Coronavirus relief bill updates to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application and related instructions. Representatives from the SBA and the Washington State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will provide updates on the new PPP loan and loan forgiveness requirements:

Topics Covered:

    • New Direct to SBA PPP Forgiveness Portal for PPP loans of $150,000 and less
    • PPP Basic Forgiveness Application Information
    • The PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Required Docs
    • Simplified Process for PPP loans under $150,000
    • Effect of the EIDL Advance
    • Retro-active elements of the new legislation
    • What you will need to be most successful in obtaining loan forgiveness

South Sound Women in Business Virtual Sustainability Summit

Saturday, October 23rd | 9:00am-1:00pm | Sliding Scale Fees

Learn about how to build sustainability deep into your business, office settings, and other spaces. Learn from leaders on the intersections of sustainability, environmental and racial justice, and the essentialness of building a business that will last. Connect deeply with other local business owners and employees, who are ready to lift you up and support your growth!

South Sound Business Roundtable | Tuesday, October 26th | 8:00am-9:00am | FREE

We all know that a business’s climb to the top is not an easy one. Small Business Roundtable is a forum where ascending businesses can gather to discuss issues, share solutions, and develop new ideas to help them succeed. The agenda is set by the participants.

Grow with a Pro – Legal | Tuesday, October 26th | 8:30am-9:15am | FREE

Whether you are in the idea phase or a growth phase in your business, we invite you to attend our weekly Grow with a Pro coffee chats. You will hear from Business Professionals from Umpqua Bank, Tax-u-Sign, Farmers Insurance and an Attorney from the Rational Unicorn.

Every Tuesday from 8:30 to 9:15 Pacific Time, you will get to hear from one of these professionals as they chat about their area of expertise as it relates to current times and we will have an opportunity for a few of your non-confidential questions to get some answers. We’ll even be offering you opportunities to connect with other business owners through these morning coffee chats.

Square One: Intro to Business Impact NW | Tuesday, October 26th | 9:00am-11:00am | FREE

Square One is your gateway to accessing capital or business coaching through Business Impact NW. Whether you’re new to BINW, just starting out, in need of coaching or ready to apply for a loan, this course will introduce you to the programs and services we offer, give you the opportunity to schedule meetings with a business coach, and offer specific information regarding our lending process as it applies to you individually.

2021 South Sound Summit

Tuesday, October 26th-Thursday, October 28th | 9:45am-11:00am Daily | $28

Join us for this year’s Summit – The Vision for Moving Business Forward. South Sound Summit is the Sound’s Premier Business Event!

This is a Virtual Event – Sessions on October 26, 27, 28 from 9:45 am to 11:00 am

    • Session 1- Workforce & Education
    • Session 2- Diversity & Equity in Business
    • Session 3 – Celebrating Pierce County

Virtual Drop-In Business Coaching | Tuesday, October 26th | 12:00pm-3:00pm | FREE

Are you thinking of starting a business? Do you already have a business but want it to grow? Are you facing a business puzzle that you’d like help with?

Join us for free drop-in Business Coaching: Auburn Area on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 12pm-3pm.

Writing Powerful Copy | Tuesday, October 26th | 1:00pm | FREE

What is Copy? Copy focuses primarily on content written for advertising. This can include printed materials, blog posts, emails, and social media posts. Copy is immensely important for business because it is EVERYWHERE in marketing.

In this webinar you will learn:

Tips on how to write copy effectively and succinctly for business.
How to use your copy across different marketing outlets.
How to save time with your marketing by being more efficient with your copywriting

Virtual Drop-In Business Coaching | Thursday, October 28th | 10:00am-2:00pm | FREE

Are you a Tacoma or Pierce County entrepreneur or business owner?

Looking for guidance and answers to questions about finances, funding, or general business questions?

Join us for free drop-in Business Coaching on the 2nd and last Thursday of every month from 10am-2pm.

How to Plan Your Website | Thursday, October 28th | 11:00am | FREE

In these crazy times, many businesses are relying on their websites and on ecommerce more than ever. This is a virtual class for business owners, to talk through the details of how to prepare to build a new site or to upgrade your site. We’ll talk about what to look for in a web designer, what should be in your design contract, and how to put together all of the materials for your site.

Investing Basics for Women | Thursday, October 28th | 11:30am | FREE

This workshop will focus on the unique financial challenges that women face. If you have little to no experience with investing and you are looking to do more with your money, this is the course for you! Our goal is to help build your confidence to navigate the investment world so that you can get started on your investment strategy for future financial security.

We’ll discuss knowing yourself – identifying your characteristics, some of the risks and returns of investing, budgeting and debt management, the different types of investments, planning for your retirement and more!

Operation Entrepreneur | Monday, November 1st-Thursday, November 4th

11:30am daily |FREE

Join the Veterans Business Outreach Center for this years’ Operation Entrepreneur – an event dedicated to empowering small business success throughout the military community! We’re bringing together great speakers, spotlighting some current veteran business owners, sharing some knowledge and there’s a chance to win professional services for your business or a gift card just for attending!

This live, virtual week will feature daily webcasts in topics from government contracting, finance, social media, ecommerce, and more. Come join us for one, two, three or all of the events listed in the week’s calendar of events!

Grow with a Pro – Banking | Tuesday, November 2nd | 8:30am-9:15am | FREE

Whether you are in the idea phase or a growth phase in your business, we invite you to attend our weekly Grow with a Pro coffee chats. You will hear from Business Professionals from Umpqua Bank, Tax-u-Sign, Farmers Insurance and an Attorney from the Rational Unicorn.

Every Tuesday from 8:30 to 9:15 Pacific Time, you will get to hear from one of these professionals as they chat about their area of expertise as it relates to current times and we will have an opportunity for a few of your non-confidential questions to get some answers. We’ll even be offering you opportunities to connect with other business owners through these morning coffee chats.

Year-End Tax Planning | Tuesday, November 2nd | 10:00am | FREE

In the final quarter of this challenging year, there is still time to take actions that can favorably impact your bottom line and your tax bill for 2021. These measures relate to your employees, your customers, your equipment, and your operations. They reflect big changes made by the American Rescue Plan Act and other legislation (including extension of the Paycheck Protection Program), as well IRS pronouncements. Whether you work with a CPA or go it alone, learn which tax breaks apply to you and how to nail them down now before times runs out.

In this webinar you will learn:

Year-end actions to reduce your 2021 tax bill
Best business practices to avoid problems with the IRS
Strategies for potential tax changes to come
Necessary actions to get ready for 2022

Growth and Development Webinar | Tuesday, November 2nd | 1:00pm | FREE

Could you use a boost to keep your business going and growing? This webinar is designed to give business owners hope and options to survive and thrive in challenging and normal times.

Topics include Cashflow management, forecasting, breakeven, and contribution margin, Funding & Capital Infusion including what you can do to prepare for a loan, Managing Debt, Turnaround strategies, Financial discipline, Survival tips, Exit strategies including closing down, selling the business and bankruptcy, and more.

Grow Your Business | Tuesday, November 2nd | 2:00pm | FREE

This webinar is for established businesses that are actively seeking opportunities to grow their business from beyond its current model – new markets, new products, new locations, new staffing, and new financing. Its focus is on government-supported opportunities and assistance, and regulatory impacts of growth to factor in your planning.

RAMP | Wednesday, November 3rd | 8:00am | FREE

RAMP is a regional coalition including business, labor, public and private organizations and citizens dedicated to improved mobility in the South Sound and Washington State. RAMP is co-chaired by Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier, Port of Tacoma CEO John Wolfe and Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber President & CEO Tom Pierson.

Our mission is to ensure a healthy regional economy associated with the development of an effective, efficient transportation system and the resources to sustain it.

Ready to Start a Business? | Thursday, November 4th | 11:00am | FREE

Are you looking to start up a business but have no experience running one? Do you have an idea you are excited about and want insight into how to get started? Join a Washington SBDC Certified Business Advisor to hear about the basics of starting a business.

Topics that will be covered include identifying reasons for starting a business, self-analyzing your readiness for running a business, understanding the conditions of running a business (ie possible long hours, stress management…), brick and mortar business vs consulting/online business and their different levels of risk, financial basics for starting a business and more!

Grow with a Pro – Accounting | Tuesday, November 9th | 8:30am-9:15am | FREE

Whether you are in the idea phase or a growth phase in your business, we invite you to attend our weekly Grow with a Pro coffee chats. You will hear from Business Professionals from Umpqua Bank, Tax-u-Sign, Farmers Insurance and an Attorney from the Rational Unicorn.

Every Tuesday from 8:30 to 9:15 Pacific Time, you will get to hear from one of these professionals as they chat about their area of expertise as it relates to current times and we will have an opportunity for a few of your non-confidential questions to get some answers. We’ll even be offering you opportunities to connect with other business owners through these morning coffee chats.

Data Fundamentals for Small Business | Tuesday, November 9th | 10:00am | FREE

Would you drive full speed down the highway in a white-out blizzard? Probably not. But many of us fly nearly as blind in how we run our small business because we haven’t taken the time to implement analytics.

Tracking and monitoring a few key data elements can help us know exactly where we are and recognize right away when things are changing. If you aren’t sure how to begin or take the next step in your analytics journey, this talk will help you get started and improve how you use data.

Black-Owned Business Excellence: Stimulate Your Marketing Strategy

Tuesday, November 9th | 11:00am-1:00pm | FREE

Black-Owned Business Excellence is a collaboration of more than a dozen organizations coming together to support, promote, educate and elevate businesses that are owned by underserved business owners. We have organized a collective calendar of events focused on the advancement of BIPOC businesses. This quarterly event will focus on funding your business.

Stimulate Your Marketing Strategy: Come and focus your marketing, branding, and advertising to reach your target audience. Enhance your marketing strategy to be prepared for holiday shopping and the new year with multiple channels and delivery methods.

Franchising: is it for you? | Thursday, November 11th | 10:00am | FREE

Franchising is more than just fast food and retail stores and many individuals are realizing that franchise ownership could be the pathway to the American Dream. Register today for this interactive workshop led by the industry’s most trusted leader in matching entrepreneurs with business opportunities; you’ll learn about:

    • What it takes to succeed
    • Qualities of a good franchise system
    • Solidifying your financial plan
    • Questions to ask franchisors and franchisees
    • How to overcome roadblocks

Grow with a Pro – Insurance | Tuesday, November 16th | 8:30am-9:15am | FREE

Whether you are in the idea phase or a growth phase in your business, we invite you to attend our weekly Grow with a Pro coffee chats. You will hear from Business Professionals from Umpqua Bank, Tax-u-Sign, Farmers Insurance and an Attorney from the Rational Unicorn.

Every Tuesday from 8:30 to 9:15 Pacific Time, you will get to hear from one of these professionals as they chat about their area of expertise as it relates to current times and we will have an opportunity for a few of your non-confidential questions to get some answers. We’ll even be offering you opportunities to connect with other business owners through these morning coffee chats.

Business Roundtable | Thursday, November 18th | 9:00am | FREE

The SE Washington PTAC/SBDC Business Roundtable is an open forum discussion where you can learn from PTAC about government contracting, and SBDC Business Advisors about growing your business. PTAC Counsel can help you decide if you’re ready for government contracting opportunities.

An advisor with the Washington Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will be available to answer your questions about growing your business.

These roundtable discussions are held every month on the Third Thursday.

Financial Milestones | Thursday, November 18th | 10:00am | FREE

Small Businesses face different financial challenges throughout each life stage of their business. From initial startup investments to deciding when is the right time to hire employees, business owners are constantly evaluating the impact of financial decisions.

Join a financial expert from TV’s hit series Small Business Revolution to discuss and hear advice and guidance around understanding your comprehensive business costs,  understanding the difference between variable and fixed costs, how to know when you’re ready to expand, when it makes sense to hire someone vs. bring in industry expertise, understanding your numbers as it relates to your business model and much more!

Grow with a Pro – Legal | Tuesday, November 23rd | 8:30am-9:15am | FREE

Whether you are in the idea phase or a growth phase in your business, we invite you to attend our weekly Grow with a Pro coffee chats. You will hear from Business Professionals from Umpqua Bank, Tax-u-Sign, Farmers Insurance and an Attorney from the Rational Unicorn.

Every Tuesday from 8:30 to 9:15 Pacific Time, you will get to hear from one of these professionals as they chat about their area of expertise as it relates to current times and we will have an opportunity for a few of your non-confidential questions to get some answers. We’ll even be offering you opportunities to connect with other business owners through these morning coffee chats.

Square One: Intro to Business Impact NW | Tuesday, November 23rd | 9:00am-11:00am | FREE

Square One is your gateway to accessing capital or business coaching through Business Impact NW. Whether you’re new to BINW, just starting out, in need of coaching or ready to apply for a loan, this course will introduce you to the programs and services we offer, give you the opportunity to schedule meetings with a business coach, and offer specific information regarding our lending process as it applies to you individually.

Virtual Drop-In Business Coaching | Tuesday, November 23rd | 12:00pm-3:00pm | FREE

Are you thinking of starting a business? Do you already have a business but want it to grow? Are you facing a business puzzle that you’d like help with?

Join us for free drop-in Business Coaching: Auburn Area on the fourth Tuesday of every month from 12pm-3pm.

Flex Fund Info | Tuesday, November 23rd | 1:00pm-2:00pm | FREE

The Washington State Small Business Flex Fund is a new loan program for the smallest Washington businesses and nonprofits affected by COVID-19. To be eligible to apply, small businesses and nonprofits must employ 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, have annual revenues of less than $3 million per year, and experience a direct economic disruption as a result of COVID-19. Should you apply? What should you prepare if you decide to apply? This webinar will provide information about the loan program and application process and help you prepare to apply.

Some of the topics covered will be:

The Flex Fund
Eligibility
Loan Size
Use of Funds
Term & Interest
Step by step in the pre-application portal and moving to the lender’s application
What is and is not required to apply
What will cause a declined application
Key Parts of a Loan Application
Short Form Business Plan
Underwriting Tips
What does a lender look for
Questions will be answered as time allows

Working Smarter, not Harder | Tuesday, November 30th | 10:00am | FREE

Everyone knows they’re supposed to work “smarter” not harder, but how do you actually get yourself to do this with an overfull to-do list that goes on for pages? In the face of competing demands for your time and attention we’ll bottom line the way to actually DO “working smarter”, not theoretically, but practically speaking, from an “in the trenches” perspective.

Create a Website that Engages | Tuesday, November 30th | 11:00am | FREE

Most every business needs a website, but having a website that engages with visitors is key to helping you build your prospect base.

In this webinar, you will learn what is needed for easy navigation, techniques that will get your website to perform better, how to integrate video and testimonials to showcase your brand, how to create calls to action so you build your prospect base, and more!

Ready to Start a Business? | Thursday, December 2nd | 11:00am | FREE

Are you looking to start up a business but have no experience running one? Do you have an idea you are excited about and want insight into how to get started? Join a Washington SBDC Certified Business Advisor to hear about the basics of starting a business.

Topics that will be covered include identifying reasons for starting a business, self-analyzing your readiness for running a business, understanding the conditions of running a business (ie possible long hours, stress management…), brick and mortar business vs consulting/online business and their different levels of risk, financial basics for starting a business and more!

Start a Business in WA | Thursday, December 2nd | 2:00pm | FREE

Are you considering starting a business, or did you recently start one and still have lots of questions? This free, one hour webinar will give you a strong foundation for starting a business in Washington. It covers planning, registration and licensing, and other regulatory requirements. You’ll connect with business liaisons from the Governor’s Office of Regulatory Innovation and Assistance, the Secretary of State’s Office, and the Departments of Revenue, Employment Security and Labor and Industries, who will also provide you information about many free or low-cost assistance programs.

Conversion-Boosting Strategies | Thursday, December 9th | 10:00am | FREE

Shopping cart abandonment is a growing concern for all types of online sellers, from small businesses to the biggest names in e-commerce. Regardless of how much effort your business puts into building and launching an engaging site and driving customers to it, there are many reasons why users add items to their carts and leave without making a purchase.

You’ll learn about:

    • Optimizing your e-commerce site to help boost conversions
    • The do’s and don’ts that could make a difference to your cart abandonment rate and your bottom line
    • How to build a customer journey that can help you convert, from your homepage to your checkout process
    • Improving buyer confidence and order completion with the right returns strategy

Angel Investment for Start-Ups | Thursday, December 9th | 11:30am | FREE

A high-level presentation on options for funding your startup or new business from the angel investor viewpoint.

This presentation will cover:

    • What is angel investment? How is it different from other funding options?
    • Common myths
    • What Angel Investors are looking for
    • Is it the best funding option for your business?
    • Pros and cons of having an Angel Investor

Maximizing Profits by Optimizing Pricing | Tuesday, December 14th | 1:00pm | FREE

Small business owners continue to navigate many challenges. Now more than ever, it is important to maximize your business’s pricing strategies to drive profit and help ensure sustainability. From gross margin per item (al a carte strategy) and quantity/size combinations (component pricing strategy) to the applicability in both product- and service-based businesses, every business owner can realize valuable takeaways from this innovative webinar. In this webinar you will learn:

The two functions of price and their effects on customers
The different pricing strategies and how to leverage those which work best for your business and industry
How to increase revenue, maximize profit, and build customer loyalty through effective pricing strategies

Black-Owned Business Excellence | Tuesday, February 1st | 9:00am-12:30pm | FREE

BLACK-OWNED BUSINESS EXCELLENCE is a collaboration of different organizations and individuals coming together to support, educate, inspire and elevate businesses that are owned by underserved business owners in Washington State. Join the discussion about the current state and future of Black Businesses in Washington.

The events above are offered by community partners and outside organizations, and are not necessarily sponsored by or affiliated with the Pierce County Library System.