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

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):

Union Boss Calls Small Business Owners Opposed to Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage “Right-Wing Ideologues”

June 11, 2014 in Blog

An organization representing small business owners in Seattle has filed a charter amendment to undo the City’s recently passed $15 minimum wage law and replace it with a less aggressive and less complicated minimum wage increase.

Franchise Owners File Lawsuit to Block Seattle's $15 Minimum Wage

June 11, 2014 in Blog

Today the International Franchise Association filed a lawsuit asking a court to block implementation of Seattle’s newly passed $15 minimum wage law. The law received unanimous support from the Seattle City Council and is scheduled to go into effect April 1, 2015.

Coincidence or Consequence: 160 CenturyLink Jobs to Move to Other States One Week After Seattle Passes $15 Minimum Wage

June 10, 2014 in Blog

Is CenturyLink the first major casualty of Seattle’s passage of a new law mandating a $15 minimum wage for all workers?

Will Seattle Be Ground Zero of an Automation Nation?

June 10, 2014 in Blog

Everyone is predicting what the real world impact of Seattle’s newly passed $15 minimum wage will be.  The truth is there will not be a mass exodus of businesses from the city, nor will the economy crash.

Everyone Will Pay for Seattle's $15 Minimum Wage

June 9, 2014 in Blog

Last week I blogged about the unintended consequences of the $15 minimum wage approved by SeaTac voters last fall.