Black Business Empowerment Panel Discussion on Feb. 17


--Brief Update + Q&A on Round 2 of Paycheck Protection Program to Follow Panel Discussion-- TACOMA, Wash. -- In celebration of Black History Month and Tacoma's Black business community, the City of Tacoma's Community & Economic Development Department and Minority Business Development Agency are hosting a Black Business Empowerment Panel Discussion on Feb. 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. During this virtual event, prominent local Black entrepreneurs will discuss the steps they took to achieve business success in Tacoma, as well as the resources and funding available for small and micro-businesses through the City of Tacoma and the Minority Business Development Agency. While this event is free to attend and open to all, pre-registration at BBETacoma.eventbrite.com is required. "As we take decisive steps toward economic recovery, the City of Tacoma continues to find more ways to highlight, and engage with, our local small and micro-businesses," said Mayor Victoria Woodards. "I am confident that, with the rich diversity and broad talent base that we have across our great city, we will get through this current public health and economic crisis. And we will do it together." "Tacoma is home to some amazing Black-owned businesses who, despite the pandemic, have continued to operate and demonstrate their tremendous resiliency," said Community and Economic Development Director Jeff Robinson. "This event seeks to highlight Tacoma's local Black-owned businesses and empower others in the Black community who are on the rise as entrepreneurs and seeking to make more professional connections. Our hope is that attendees will leave with a heightened sense of community and knowledge of the many resources available to all small and micro-businesses in Tacoma." The panel discussion on Feb. 17 will be followed by a brief update and Q&A session regarding the second round of the U.S. Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including best practices for completing an application. The PPP provides federal loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additional details about the resources available to businesses of all types are posted at makeittacoma.com