[9/27/22] The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce is excited to partner with Comcast on a new initiative to benefit small businesses owned by women and people of color in Pierce and King Counties. The Comcast RISE Investment Fund will contribute $1 million to small businesses in the region. Grants of $10,000 will be distributed to 100 businesses throughout Pierce and King Counties.
The application to apply for this fund will be open October 3rd - October 16th, 2022. Eligible businesses must be located within Pierce or King County, have established business operations for 3 or more years, have 25 or fewer full or part-time employees, and be at least 51% owned and operated by a woman or person of color (including Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, and Asian American owners).
Learn more here.
Watch below to see Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber CEO/President Andrea Reay introduce the Comcast RISE Investment Fund.
In addition to the investment fund, Comcast RISE also offers the opportunity for businesses across the country to apply for marketing and technology services from Comcast Business and Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable. For full details, eligibility requirements, and to apply visit www.ComcastRISE.com.
The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber is also currently partnering with Comcast and the City of Tacoma on the Thrive Tacoma Business Fund. This fund is open to BIPOC and women-owned small businesses located in the city of Tacoma. The application for the Thrive Tacoma Business fund closes on October 15th, 2022. Learn more here.
[9/27/22] Thursday evening, September 22nd, leaders in South Sound business and trade gathered at the Port of Tacoma to celebrate the 28th Annual Globe Awards.
This year's Globe Awards was a lively and highly-attended event where guests ate, drank, connected, and waited in excitement to learn the winner of the 2022 Globe Award.
The night kicked off with a beautiful performance of classical music by the Florence Trio of student violinists. The Tacoma Sea Scouts color guard from the Tacoma Youth Marine Center was also in attendance to post the flag for the event.
Attendees heard from Michael Fowler, executive director of the World Trade Center Tacoma, as well as Andrea Reay, President/CEO of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce. Other speakers include WTCTA Chair David Graybill, Port of Tacoma Commission President Don Meyer, Pierce County Economic Development Director Betty Capestany, and Columbia Bank VP and district manager Rob Lewis,
After much anticipation, Griot's Garage was announced as the winner of the 2022 Globe Award. Nick Griot, CEO of Griot's Garage, accepted the award on behalf of the company and shared how his family business in the Pacific Northwest has reached success and maintained excellence through small and medium enterprise (SME) trade.
Following ceremony, tickets for a variety of exciting raffle prizes, including a cruise from Tacoma's Youth Marine Center, were drawn and awarded to guests.
There could not have been a better night to enjoy this celebration of international trade than at sunset overlooking Tacoma's beautiful working waterfront.
Thank you to everyone who attended the 28th Annual Globe Awards and made this event such a stunning success.
[9/27/22] Last Tuesday, September 20th, Chamber staff and community members gathered to celebrate Platinum Benefits' new Downtown Tacoma location with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Attendees were able to view the beautiful office space of Platinum Benefits inside Tacoma's historic Court House Square. There were door prizes, refreshments, and an abundance of great company.
View a photo recap of the event below!
[9/22/22] Yesterday, September 21st, the Chamber joined Acts Pharmacy to participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating their 4 year anniversary! Acts Pharmacy is an independent, family-owned pharmacy in Tacoma that provides affordable vaccinations and healthcare services. Read more about Acts Pharmacy and listen to them on the Chamber podcast, Making It in the South Sound, here.
View a photo recap of the event below!
[9/20/22] Comadre: A Spanish word meaning "co-mother" ; mothers, grandmothers, sisters, friends, and partners who are part of a woman's circle of support, strength, and love. Komadre Kombucha Taproom on Tacoma's 6th Avenue pays tribute to this idea, as well as its founder's Latina roots, in its name.
The "mother" in kombucha is a term commonly given to the disc of cellulose that forms during the fermentation process and is essential to give the fermented tea drink its distinctive tang and sought-after health benefits. Without mothers, there could truly be no kombucha.
It's fitting then that Julie Davidson, founder and owner of Komadre Kombucha, is a mother herself—as well as an entrepreneur, mentor, and former CEO. Prior to venturing into the world of Kombucha brewing, Julie worked for many years in the consulting field, running a firm that specialized in leadership development programs for organizations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, her hobby of crafting home-brewed kombucha for herself and friends took on new momentum. In a time that brought dark clouds of uncertainty for many small businesses, Julie saw a bright spot of opportunity. She had dreamed of one day starting her own business since childhood. Now seemed like the perfect chance to do just that. Before long, her brewing operation had moved from her kitchen countertops into a storefront in Tacoma's 6th Avenue Business District.
Komadre is the first Kombucha Taproom to open in Tacoma, and the only Latina-owned taproom of any kind in Pierce County. Julie credits much of her success to her own comrades, the women in her life who have cheered her on and provided resources, support, and encouragement to follow her dream. Being of Central American and Caribbean heritage, Julie says she was surrounded by strong female presences and matriarchal leaders from a young age in her household and community. Julie hopes to share this spirit of collaboration and community by being a comadre herself to others in need of guidance and support. She states that her biggest value and business practice is "to bring along and uplift other women and people of color/Latinx entrepreneurs.
Through Komadre Kombucha, Julie is already accomplishing this goal in many ways. In her time as an entrepreneur, she says that she has realized one of the biggest challenges for small businesses is simply finding a storefront to sell their products and services. To help with this, Komadre has space available in its storefront for other retailers, small businesses, and creators to display and sell their products. In Komadre's tiendita, meaning "little shop," one can find products ranging from handmade earrings, to glassware, to t-shirts. Many of these creations are made and sold by women and Latinx artists, which has the dual benefit of uplifting these entrepreneurs as well as bringing vibrant pops of culture to Komadre's storefront.
The cultural exchange and celebration taking place in Komadre are undeniable. Julie casually converses with customers in both English and Spanish, making everyone feel at home inside the taproom. In the near future, Komadre will be partnering with the University of Puget Sound to host a social space for Latinx students to study and relax. The taproom is also planning to host a student concert series. In October, Komadre will be participating in the 6th Avenue Business District's Dia de los Muertos celebration. Looking toward the future, Julie says she would love to see Komadre host more language exchange events and programs where people can practice speaking Spanish while enjoying a refreshing glass of kombucha.
Komadre Kombucha is currently sold in retail locations across the South Sound. Julie participated in and graduated from the Pierce County Business Accelerator, which helped get her business off the ground and secure resources. Komadre was also a recipient of support through the Comcast RISE program in 2021.
This Member Feature story is part of a series by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber to promote stronger connections and increased engagement between the Chamber, its members, and the local business community. Member stories are non-promotional opportunities to share members' business stories with the community. If you are a Chamber member interested in being featured for a story, please contact Digital Marketing Outreach Coordinator Audrey Widner at firstname.lastname@example.org
[9/20/22] Last Thursday, September 15th, Chamber representatives, local leaders, business owners, and entrepreneurs gathered together at the Asia Pacific Cultural Center for September's Chamber After Hours event. This was an amazing night full of friendly faces, new connections, delicious food, and prizes. Thank you to everyone who came out and made this event such a huge success, and to APCC for hosting this After Hours! View a photo recap of the event below!
[9/13/22] The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce is honored to partner with the City of Tacoma and Comcast to lead the Thrive Tacoma Business Fund, which will provide $150,000 of direct financial support to BIPOC and women-owned small businesses in Tacoma. The point of this fund is to see small businesses recover, survive, and thrive in the face of challenges dealt by the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to affect many local businesses.
The Thrive Tacoma Business Fund is part of a larger partnership between Comcast and the City of Tacoma to advance digital equity throughout the South Sound.
On Monday, September 12th, Chamber staff including President/CEO Andrea Reay joined Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards, representatives from Comcast, members of the Tacoma City Council, as well as many other city leaders and stakeholders at the University of Washington, Tacoma, for a roundtable discussion on digital equity. At this event, participants shared insights on the need for digital access, literacy, and equity for individuals of all ages in Tacoma. Key takeaways included lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic on the importance of hybrid modalities and the continued need for collaboration between organizations as a pathway to success.
Following this event, attendees gathered at Downtown Tacoma's Tollefson Plaza for a press conference. Standing alongside Mayor Woodards, Chamber CEO Andrea Reay, local BIPOC entrepreneurs, non-profit organization heads, and other city leaders, representatives from Comcast announced an investment of $300,000 to advance digital equity across the South Sound.
$150,000 of this will go directly into the hands of BIPOC and female small business owners through the Thrive Tacoma Business Fund. Funds will also go to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the South Puget Sound, the Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region, and TEAM WRK.
This partnership is part of Comcast's Project UP initiative, a $1 billion commitment to advance digital equity and bring new opportunities to tens of millions of people over the next ten years.
Applications for the Thrive Tacoma Business Fund open on September 15th, 2022 and will be available to access on the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber website. To be eligible to apply for this fund, businesses must meet a set of criteria including having 15 or fewer employees, being majority-owned by a woman or person of color, having a current Tacoma business license, being physically located within the Tacoma city limits, and being in operation on or before 9/12/22.
Stay tuned for updates and apply for the Thrive Tacoma Business Fund on the Chamber website starting 9/15/22.
Read a press release from the City of Tacoma on their partnership with Comcast to bring digital equity to the South Sound.
[9/6/2022] Last Friday, the Ambassadors Club of the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber was treated to a visit to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in celebration of all they do for the Chamber. This visit was also an opportunity to connect closely with a key business in our area. Ambassadors were joined by zoo staff and given a guided tour of the zoo's many animals and exhibits. With help from the expert knowledge of zoo staff, ambassadors were able to ask questions and learn more about the wonderful work that takes place at Pierce County's own zoo and aquarium. Thank you to our ambassadors for all their hard work, and to the Point Defiance Zoo for having us as guests!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.