Business Climate

WPC's Center for Small Business focuses on improving Washington's small business climate by working closely with business owners and policymakers. The Center provides accurate information and analysis on the state's regulatory climate, tax structure, health insurance systems, and more.

Business Climate Blog

A Real World Example of How a Free Labor Market Works

August 28, 2014 in Blog

A story today in The News Tribune demonstrates how the free market works and why government does not need to control the wages a business pays its workers. 

Torklift International, a manufacturer of recreational vehicle parts and accessories in Sumner, has decided to raise the wages of its 55 employees to $15 an hour.  The company made this decision voluntarily, because it was a good decision for their business.

Study: Take-Home Pay Buys More in Right-to-Work States

August 28, 2014 in Blog

A study released by the respected Tax Foundation last week ranks Washington among the top 10 most expensive states in which to live.  The study calculates the real buying power of $100 in each state to measure the true cost of living. 

Is Occupational Licensing is the New Poster Child for Regulatory Reform?

August 21, 2014 in Blog

Yesterday Congressman Sam Graves (MO), who chairs the Committee on Small Business in the U.S. House of Representatives, sent a letter to the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy asking the agency to study the “rise of occupational licensing across states and the economic effects of licensing on entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs.”

Governor Inslee opposed to new taxes on internet access

August 21, 2014 in Blog

What seemed almost impossible a few months ago is becoming more probable with each passing day; taxes being charged for internet access. The return of taxes on internet access may occur due to the failure of Congress to either extend temporarily or permanently the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA). The current ban on internet access taxes expires on November 1.

Did Washington Lose 6,500 Jobs Over Right-to-Work?

July 30, 2014 in Blog

News broke last week that Governor Inslee tried to “woo” Tesla Motors to build one of the biggest factories in the world in Washington State.  Unsuccessfully, it turns out.

Job Growth in States That Increased the Minimum Wage Doesn’t Tell the Whole Story

July 24, 2014 in Blog

Advocates of a higher minimum wage have seized onto new data from the Department of Labor showing higher than average job growth in states that increased their minimum wage this year.   According to the DOL data, 12 of the 13 states that increased their minimum wages at the beginning of this year averaged slightly higher job growth (.85%) from January through June than the 37 states whose minimums did not increase (.61%).   Minimum wage supporters say this pro

Small Business Owners Say Washington’s Business Climate is Getting Worse

July 22, 2014 in Blog

According to small business owners, Washington State’s already difficult business climate is getting worse.

The third annual Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey asked more than 12,000 small business owners across the nation to rank state and city friendliness to their business across various categories, such as the cost of hiring a new employee, tax burden, regulations, and licensing requirements. 

State Prepares to Adopt Water Quality Standards So High They Can’t Be Met

July 7, 2014 in Blog

Today Fox News aired a story discussing the dramatically increased fish consumption rate that will soon be adopted by the Washington state Department of Ecology (DOE).  The story included comments from the Washington Policy Center, which began researching and commenting on the fish consumption issue in 2012.

$15 Minimum Wage Won't Help Seattle’s High Teen Unemployment Rate

June 26, 2014 in Blog

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has unveiled a series of proposals to reduce crime in the city.  Calling it a “crisis of confidence” in public safety, Murray identified the city’s high youth unemployment rate as a contributing factor to crime.

“As it stands now, Seattle is not in our discussions for future growth or expansion.”

June 23, 2014 in Blog

Today The Seattle Times featured business owners who are grappling with how to deal with Seattle’s new $15 minimum wage law.  While sobering, none of the business owners’ reactions to the mandated high wage are surprising.

The owner of a small, family-run hotel said he plans to raise room rates and reduce workers’ hours (but not their job duties):