"TEC Offices Close, SBA and SCORE Keep Business Assistance Center in Business"

“The Tacoma Empowerment Consortium may have closed its offices at the Tacoma Business Assistance Center as of last week, but the center is anything but dead. In fact, local businesses will find all of the services at the center provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Service Corps of Retired Executives, SCORE, still in place – and expanding.The news stories in Tacoma’s print media last week offered comprehensive coverage of the closing of the TEC, an economic and community development nonprofit agency that had been administering a number of programs under a federal Enterprise Community designation. Those programs are being spun-out for partnering agencies to continue, and the TEC Board of Directors will continue to meet. TEC offices at the center, however, are closed.While the center is without the TEC’s programs, the center itself will continue to operate and provide a wide selection of business support services and information. But it will be moving from its storefront location on Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma in the near future.SBA Business Information Specialist Sharon Barber said the move, from the first to the fourth floor of the building at 1101 Pacific Avenue, is not expected to have any noticeable impact on services the center offers.We’re not anticipating any disruption, and if there is any, it will be extremely minor Barber said. All of our services provided here will be provided there.Barber said the center is anticipated to be fully operational at its new location by April 3, with one day of possible disruptions while the move is conducted. The move is slated to take place sometime during the last week of March. Telephone numbers will remain the same and the street address will remain the same with the addition of Suite 401. Barber recommends calling the center prior to visiting during the moving week.Key Bank has been donating the space for the center for several years, and now requires the space for expansion of services, Barber said. The new space is also provided by the bank, but will be a temporary home for the rest of this year. The SBA is seeking similar organizations to partner with and options for a permanent site to locate the center by the end of the year.The SBA continues to appreciate the assistance and support Key Bank has shown the Tacoma Business Assistance Center, Barber said. They’re continuing to support the center by providing the additional space on the fourth floor.The new address information for the center as of April 3, 2000 will be:Tacoma Business Assistance Center1101 Pacific Avenue, Suite 401Tacoma, Washington 98402.”