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**Announcement**

As of December 3, 2021, we are encouraging all potential applicants of the Spaceworks Black Business Accelerator to first apply for the new Pierce County Business Accelerator. This program also offers 6 weeks of business training, PLUS $10,000 matching grants, $500/mo commercial rent stipend (1 year), and additional funding for technical assistance from business professionals (accounting, marketing, legal, etc). We are aligning our two programs so that entrepreneurs have access to as much capital and resources as they can. 

The focus for the Black Business Accelerator in 2022 will be preparing businesses to transition into new commercial spaces. This program will include resources to support commercial leases, permitting, planning and budgeting for a build-out, and working with developers and property owners. If you are still interested in joining the Black Business Accelerator in 2022, please fill out this brief intake form: https://forms.gle/jKK6qeiiqtAicwFfA

To apply for the Pierce County Business Accelerator, submit your application here: https://www.pcba.biz/

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Program Background
Spaceworks invites Black business owners and entrepreneurs who are looking to start or grow their enterprise in Tacoma to apply for our Black Business Accelerator program. Spaceworks’ Accelerator provides relevant and meaningful business training along with peer-to-peer support to systematically grow Tacoma’s black business economy to transform our Hilltop community. With more than 100k square feet of retail and office space coming to the area, our goal for each participant is to facilitate their grand (re)openings throughout the city.


The Black Business Accelerator is for folks who are further along than having a business idea. Please see the eligibility requirements below. We serve as a training ground to test new ideas, products and services with a safety net of technical assistance and mentorship.


ELIGIBILITY

  • Black-owned small and micro businesses
  • Planning to or currently doing in business in Tacoma (especially Hilltop)
  • Tested product or service in the market (friends, family, markets, social media, etc.


SELECTION CRITERIA
The review process is competitive, and the panel will be looking for a diversity of types of businesses. Businesses will be selected based on the criteria and scored per the percentages listed below.

  • Scale and Impact 50% - i.e., Brick and mortar/space activation, multiple employees, hours per week, commitment to their business, hilltop location 
  • Financial Need 10% - Low-to-moderate income household, impacted by COVID-19?
  • Quality of Product or Service 20% - Is this something people would buy/pay for? Is there a need in the market?
  • Community Investment/Involvement 20% - How will the entrepreneur collaborate and contribute to the vibrancy and growth of the Hilltop community? How willing are they to engage in a multi-year cohort experience?


Costs
If accepted into the Spaceworks Accelerator, there is a sliding scale $200 fee to support our services for small businesses. The services that we offer small businesses are valued in the $11,000-dollar range, and we are dedicated to bringing those services to you at a much lower price. To fill in the gap, we are dependent on grants, sponsorship, and donations. We offer a sliding scale and payments plans and will not turn anyone away due to inability to pay.
Payment will be requested upon acceptance into the program. There is no cost to apply.
Please contact Kiara Daniels, Spaceworks Accelerator Coordinator, at kiarad@tacomachamber.org  with questions, or to set up a time for an application review prior to your submittal (highly recommended).


2022 Program Dates: TBD

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.