TACOMA, Wash. – Tonight (August 15, 2023), the Tacoma City Council unanimously adopted Resolution 41259, directing the City Manager to incorporate a review of 13.06.080.G, Home Occupation, into the work of the Planning Commission as a high priority. Resolution 41259 was brought forward by At-Large Council Member Olgy Diaz, with the support of co-sponsors Deputy Mayor Kristina Walker and At-Large Council Member Kiara Daniels.
“Tacoma’s economy is built on its small and microbusinesses, but rising rent costs are pricing our smallest businesses out of the market,” said Council Member Diaz. “With this resolution, we are reevaluating our home business occupation standards and aligning them with the needs of microbusinesses with one to five employees. By establishing themselves as home businesses, microbusinesses can safely test ideas, and grow into brick-and-mortar locations. I remain dedicated to supporting home-grown businesses here in Tacoma and providing them with an on-ramp to their future success.”
In its review of the City’s home business occupation standards, the Planning Commission would need to focus on bringing forward changes that:
- Help microbusinesses tap into expanded opportunities that emerge from updated home business occupation standards.
- Incentivize the growth and transition of microbusinesses into brick-and-mortar operations.
- Reduce the administrative burden for microbusinesses seeking home business occupation permits.
- Limit impact on surrounding community.
“Spaceworks knows that strong communities like Tacoma are built on having rich opportunities for everyone,” said Spaceworks Tacoma Business Training Coordinator Jennifer English. “This is why Spaceworks, with the City’s ongoing support, invests in meaningful business training for first-time business owners, ambitious creative professionals, and folks passionate about making Tacoma a great place to live and work. Our proposal for expanded home business occupation standards came from our outreach to this community of entrepreneurs, who want to grow their businesses in Tacoma. We’re excited by the Tacoma City Council’s clear statement that they want to expand allowable home business occupation opportunities to speed up the microbusiness growth process by providing a low-risk environment to test business ideas and workflows.”
According to the Washington State Microenterprise Association, the vast majority of microbusinesses are owned by entrepreneurs with limited incomes who are part of historically marginalized groups, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ individuals, immigrants, women, veterans, rural communities, Tribal populations, and individuals with disabilities. These populations have historically faced significant barriers to business success due to lack of financing, training, and other supportive resources.
In addition to passing Resolution 41259, the Tacoma City Council supports microbusinesses with technical assistance and other resources. More information is available at makeittacoma.com