On October 19, the 45th Annual Business Leadership Academy embarked on a half day bus tour of the Port of Tacoma focusing on the main economic impact drivers of the South Sound. We focused on the Port footprint and highlighted the history of the Port and major economic impact industries- maritime, military and manufacturing.
We started the morning with a presentation from Kristen Ang, commissioner, Port of Tacoma with a Port Overview. Our next stop was Tacoma Rail where Superintendent Dale King let attendees get up close to working Tacoma Rail.
Leslie Barstow, Community Relations, Port of Tacoma took the group on an hour-long tour of Port of Tacoma Road. The tour provided the group with an overview of port operations, equipment and waterways. The Port highlighted efforts to restore critical salmon habitat and ensure that the future of operations in Tacoma will continue to set the standard for economic impact and sustainability, and environmental stewardship.
Lastly, the group toured Foss Waterway Seaport Museum with Executive Director Brent Mason. We learned about the historic role the building played in Tacoma’s port-maritime activities, serving as a grain terminal. We were able to learn how Tacoma’s “rails to sales” story evolved over the years, and the influence of the labor movement on Tacoma’s working waterfront. The museum is also home to a marine science program that serves Tacoma Public Schools and a wooden boat shop which offers a range of community programming.
It is important to be able to see first-hand how our Port and industrial areas along with a robust manufacturing sector connect with Joint Base Lewis McCord to form the backbone of our economy in Tacoma and Pierce County. Special Thanks to Tour Guide, Ryan Spence, of the Chamber’s Manufacturing Industrial Council.
Special thank you to our speakers and tour guides: Kristen Ang, Port of Tacoma Commissioner - Tacoma Rail Superintendent Dale King - Leslie Barstow, Community Relations, Port of Tacoma - Brent Mason, Executive Director of the Foss Waterway Seaport - Ryan Spence, TPCC Manufacturing Industrial Council
Education is a powerful tool for growth and development, and when it's tailored to the unique needs of entrepreneurs, it can be transformative. The Pierce-County Business Accelerator (PCBA) program is designed to equip budding entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge needed to take their business ventures to new heights. As the recent PCBA cohort reached its graduation milestone, we are thrilled to celebrate with them and welcome them as Chamber members.
In the PCBA program, participants undergo a 6-week class designed to provide them with new skills and mentorship to guide in their entrepreneurial journey, enabling them to navigate challenges and seize opportunities. It's not just about the skills learned during the program; it's also about the optimism and connections it provides. Graduates find value in the relationships formed during the program, and we are excited to provide more networking opportunities as they work to continue to grow and thrive.
The graduation commenced with a warm welcome from the Instructors, Pierce County representatives, and the Chamber. After the official welcome, the program was turned over to the entrepreneurs, who had prepared a pitch for their business, showcasing the culmination of their hard work and the skills they had acquired during the PCBA program. These pitches were a testament to the growth and development that had taken place over the six-week cohort.
The success of the recent PCBA cohort is a testament to the program's effectiveness in nurturing and empowering entrepreneurs. With high levels of engagement, skill development, and a focus on mentorship and professional services, the PCBA program is creating a thriving community of entrepreneurs ready to take on the challenges and opportunities in the business world. As these graduates embark on the next stage of their entrepreneurial journeys, we take a moment to celebrate them and all their achievements.
Join us for the PCBA Showcase, on November 8th, 2023 at the Washington State Fair Grounds Expo Hall from 5 – 7 pm. Discover potential collaborators, savor outstanding catering services, engage with enthusiastic business leaders, and explore the hidden gems of Pierce County’s innovative products and services you never knew you needed.
Event is free and family friendly. Don’t miss out – secure your spot by registering now!
On October 17th the Chamber helped celebrate a milestone with a ribbon cutting for Always in Bloom!
Also celebrating a grand opening with a ribbon cutting was Sir Grout Tacoma.
Congratulations to both businesses on your milestones and we wish you continued success!
October 10-12, 2023
The Chamber was grateful to welcome twenty-four audacious and courageous leaders with us on our Aspire Austin Intercity Leadership Conference as we experienced how that community tackled rapid urban growth, technology and innovation, workforce development and supporting the creative economy and housing and homelessness.
We started our conference with a tour of Cruise, an autonomous vehicle company driven to improve life in the communities they serve by safely connecting people with places, things and experiences. These self-driving cars, currently only available in a handful of markets, are setting the pace to truly transform our transportation system. Imagine a city with no need for parking, with fully accessible vehicles, all running on an electric grid. The future is nearer than you may think with the technology advancing rapidly.
We continued that first day with set of panel discussions where we paired industry and subject matter experts from Austin with Tacoma to discuss education and workforce development, urban planning and development, and technology and innovation. We also toured the Paramount Theatre and learned more about the impact of the creative economy in Austin, which is so well known for both Austin City Limits and South by Southwest.
The final day of the conference awarded us with an opportunity to see and experience what we discussed the previous day during our panels. Part of the focus of Aspire is not only discussing solutions with other communities, but it’s bringing together our own leaders to build trust, grow relationships with each other and truly see the change for themselves. The only way change happens is when people can experience it for themselves. Aspire attendees toured Austin Community College’s Highline Campus and Communities First! Village.
Full conference report and information about Aspire 2024 coming soon!
Spanning Pierce County, Cohort 14 of the Pierce County Business Accelerator (PCBA) includes a diverse range of 28 unique businesses. From the flavors of charcuterie to the aromas of freshly brewed coffee, from wellness and fitness to cutting-edge networking solutions, printing services, and janitorial services, this cohort represents the rich tapestry of entrepreneurship.
Pierce County Business Accelerator is more than just a business support program; it's a catalyst for economic growth and inclusivity. With a focus on BIPOC, veteran, and women-owned businesses, PCBA is committed to bridging the gap and creating opportunities. Cohort 14, now going into their last week, is excited to use the tools to grow their businesses.
Cohort 14's journey through the PCBA is an intensive 6-week, 12-session program. During this time, participants gain access to invaluable tools and resources that are essential for success in today's competitive business landscape. From refining business plans to mastering marketing strategies, each session equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive.
PCBA doesn't stop at education; it's a springboard for growth. By nurturing diverse businesses, the accelerator sparks new ideas, drives economic growth, and creates wealth-building opportunities in Pierce County. One of the standout features of the PCBA program is the grant opportunities it provides to graduates upon completion. This financial support is a game-changer for these budding entrepreneurs, allowing them to invest in their businesses, expand their operations, and realize their dreams.
Cohort 14's journey through the PCBA is not just an individual achievement; it's a communal success story. The businesses within this cohort are poised to make a lasting impact on Pierce County, creating jobs, driving economic development, and enriching the local community.
Pierce County Business Accelerator Cohort 14 is more than just a class; it's a testament to the power of diversity, innovation, and community support. As we wrap up their remarkable journey, we look forward to witnessing the positive transformations these businesses will bring to the region. The PCBA's commitment to fostering entrepreneurship ensures that the future is bright for Cohort 14 and for Pierce County as a whole.
Businesses participating in this cohort:
Jammin On The One, LLC
Homies Coffee House
777ISH Cookie Desserts
Clover Daydreams: A Safe and Inclusive Bookspace
Dream Beauty Bar LLC
Sugar Faced Sweets DBA Girl Loves Cake Desserts
Nakem at the Table, LLC
RE Wellness Consulting, LLC
MACHOS GYM LLC
Glocal Solutions LLC
Kristal Klear LLC
Promo Up Now
Mattice Beauty Supply
Happy Asian Fast Food
Lunar Landing Games
Eco Repurpose Boutique, LLC
5 Star Restoration LLC.
Teine Teu Teu
Fresh Squeeze Juice Bar
Premier Janitorial Service LLC
We are honored to announce the list of nominees for the 2023 Spotlight On Business Awards. Each year, these awards celebrate exceptional businesses and organizations that achieve incredible things in local commerce, in their industries, and in the community.
We are thrilled to see the sheer number of amazing businesses nominated this year! We can't wait to celebrate all the nominees (and announce the winners!) at our upcoming Annual Meeting on November 1st.
The categories for awards this year are: Business Excellence, Small Business Excellence, Non-Profit Excellence, Representation in Business, and Business Supporter of the Military.
Nominations for these awards were submitted by businesses and community members.
The 2023 Spotlight On Business Awards Nominees
Portland Ave. Hair and Beauty Supply
The Space Tacoma
Bottimore and Associates
Rejuvenation Junction Massage and Spa
Accident and Injury Chiropractic
Financial Insights Wealth Management
Fitness Quest for Women
Homewatch CareGivers of Tacoma
Indulge Massage Therapy
America's Credit Union
Rebuilding Hope! Sexual Assalut Center for Pierce County
Sprague Pest Solutions
The Doty Group
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