“The Small Business Administration and SCORE are moving up in the world – four floors up – to be exact.The offices of the Tacoma Business Assistance Center have relocated from their storefront location in downtown Tacoma, to the fourth floor of the same building, Key Bank Plaza, 1101 Pacific Avenue, Suite 401.Area 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, intact and expanding in the new location.News stories recently offered coverage of the closing of the Tacoma Empowerment Consortium, an economic and community development nonprofit agency that had been administering a number of programs under a federal Enterprise Community designation. With the TEC a partnering agency based in the Tacoma Business Assistance Center, there was concern at the SBA’s offices there that people would think the entire center was closing.The center, however, will continue to operate and provide a wide selection of business support services and information. SBA Business Information Specialist Sharon Barber said the move from the first to the fourth floor of the building is not expected to have any noticeable impact on the services the center offers.We’re operational Barber said. The move went very smoothly due to the cooperation of Key Bank and Bates Technical College.Barber said Key Bank is providing the space for the center, while students from Bates high-tech courses helped break down and set up the center’s computers and network. Bates students will provide all of the maintenance and technical support for the center’s computers, Barber said.The center provides:- Information on SBA guaranteed loans and small business finance programs;- A computer/Internet resource area;- Interactive business plan creation software;- A small business audio-visual resource library;- SCORE volunteer small business counseling (free);- Small Business Development Counselor;- ON-premise SBA lenders and IRS personnel (call for times);- Procurement Technical Assistance Program (SBA and Metropolitan Development Council’s Center for Economic Opportunity);- The Tacoma Chapter of the Women’s Network for Entrepreneurial Training;- Internet access to the SBA’s PRONet procurement site;- National Trade Data Bank;- SBA’s Electronic Library; and,- Small Business Expert and Insight programs.Barber said the center was fully operational at its new location within days of the move. Telephone numbers will remain the same and the street address will remain the same with the addition of Suite 401.Key Bank has been donating the space for the center for several years, and now requires the space for an expansion of financial services, Barber said. The new space is also being provided by the bank, but will be only a temporary home for the center 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.”
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