Survey of Washington small business owners released at press conference today
At a press conference at the state capitol today, Washington Policy Center offered policy recommendations showing how lawmakers can improve Washington’s small business climate, help working families and spur economic recovery in our state.
Held in partnership with the National Federation of Independent Businesses as part of NFIB’s Small Business Day, the press conference highlighted the small business community’s top recommendations to make Washington a better state in which to do business and provide jobs for working families.
The recommendations are a preview of the results of Washington Policy Center’s small business survey, conducted last fall as part of WPC’s series of Regional Small Business Forums. Over 600 small business owners attended the eight forums held around the state, identifying and ranking the issues of greatest concern to their small businesses and offering suggested reforms.
The press conference also highlighted current legislation that reflects WPC’s longstanding recommendations and mirrors survey results. Bills to improve workers’ compensation, expand job opportunities by allowing a temporary training wage, repeal the costly Paid Family Leave Act and reduce and instill accountability in government regulations were among those praised for taking steps to improve the state’s business climate.
Senate Majority Coalition Leader Rodney Tom and Senate Commerce & Labor Committee Chair Sen. Janéa Holmquist Newbry spoke at the event, along with Rep. Matt Manweller, ranking minority member of the House Labor & Workforce Committee. Each stressed the importance of making job creation a priority this session.
“It was interesting reading your report as far as what are your number one issues, and your issues are our issues…,” noted Sen. Tom, who went on to explain the Majority Coalition would be addressing many of the issues small business owners identified as being the most important.
Sen. John Braun and Reps. Cary Condotta, J.T. Wilcox, Jason Overstreet and David Taylor attended the press conference to support the small business community’s message that more must be done to help employers create the jobs that will speed our state’s economic recovery.
The most best line of the press conference came from Rep. Condotta when talking about his efforts to address Washington’s high teen unemployment rate with a bill allowing a temporary training wage. When a reporter expressed surprised that some Democrats have expressed interest in his bill Condotta quipped, “Democrats have kids too.”