By Mike Kinney
Skyrocketing commercial rents in Downtown Oakland became a gain for Richmond in the case of TMB Tax & Associates.
And for Tamika-Marie Smith — the Hercules resident who founded the tax and accounting firm that has helped thousands of people and professionals locally and abroad since 2005 — it’s been great to be work closer to home.
Two years ago, TMB Tax & Associates relocated from Oakland to take advantage of the more affordable opportunity in Richmond. The business, which offers a diverse array of services including payroll, payroll tax planning, business services, accounting automation and tax preparation, is located at 2231 Macdonald Ave.
Smith says moving to Richmond “has been one of the best things for business.”
“The community and culture here is amazing,” she said. “My kids are enrolled minutes away from the office…Family is important to me. I have a brothers and sisters that live here, my great grandmother settled here in the 30s. I’m rooted in Richmond and Oakland. I’m a Bay Area girl through and through.”
Smith is a financial literacy advocate who works with the Black Men’s Collective of Cal Berkeley and, along with her colleague Prentiss Mayo, launched a course to help prepare youth for the financial future. Smith realized several years ago that basic economics aren’t taught in most high schools.
“I learned how to fill out a basic 1040, write a check, balance the checkbook, open a bank account and apply for a job and college in the 11th grade,” she said.
Smith is a graduate of Nazareth College in Pittsford, New York with a BS in Accounting.
“I love all things finance and my passion is financial literacy,” she said. “Whether it’s small business accounting, filing a business or personal tax return, or audit assistance, I bring my clients peace of mind.”
Smith said real estate accounting is her niche, but she doesn’t have a target clientele: “I service people who need help.”
“I’m down to help whoever walks through my doors with a financial question,” she said. “Most recently we have been seeing an increase of small business owners and giggers that need help applying for COVID relief loans and grants and processing the subsequent forgiveness documents. We process the applications for free, so that has kept us busy.”
In times like these, Smith points out, “people need affordable accounting solutions and we are here to help.”
“I also offer budget, financial, tax, and credit counseling services to individuals,” she said.
When asked for ingredients to running a successful small business, Smith offers four valuable words: “Proper planning and good people.”
“I love what I do and I hire local people who do as well,” she said. “Providing financial services to the community and having the opportunity to teach young adults about fiscal responsibility are my passion. I combine my online presence with educational materials that people find informative and relatable. “
When Smith isn’t working hard for her clients, her “guilty shopping secret” is nearby at Naturally Herbs & More in Richmond.
“I source all kinds of local wears, along with herbs and sage for cooking and holistic purposes,” she said. “It has definitely improved my general care of my family’s diet. The tea and the atmosphere there is life.”
A self-described foodie, she also “waited, bated breath for the Agave Azul Restaurant to open.”
“I love the Mariscada and a Mango sidecar after particularly long day,” Smith said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard for some of the local merchants and I am looking forward to shopping when things open up again.”
TMB Tax has adjusted its appointment office hours and is accepting phone and Zoom consultations from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Weekend availability is by appointment.
For further information, contact TMB and Associates at (510) 239-5021 and visit here.