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

Union Exempted From Minimum Wage Initiative

April 28, 2014 in Blog

The organization behind the push for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle has announced it will begin collecting signatures to put a city charter amendment mandating the high wage on the ballot.  The group, 15 Now, needs 30,957 signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

Is the Momentum for a $15 Minimum Wage Ebbing?

April 25, 2014 in Blog

When voters approved an ordinance requiring certain employers in the City of SeaTac to pay a $15 minimum wage last year, supporters celebrated the victory and vowed to build on the momentum.  Seattle was quickly marked the next target, and city leaders eagerly jumped on the bandwagon, promising to increase the minimum wage for at least some workers in the city to $15.

Economic Outlook for Washington Continues to Slide

April 18, 2014 in Blog

A new report ranking the economic competitiveness in the 50 states shows that while Washington’s economic performance over the past ten years (2002-2012) has been better than most states, the future looks grim.  

Do As We Say, Not as We Do

April 17, 2014 in Blog

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz recently warned an increase in the minimum wage could result in a reduction in the company’s famously generous employee benefits.  Schultz argues minimum wages should take into consideration the “total compensation” an employee receives, which in the case of Starbucks employees includes full health coverage, free food, bus passes, 401K, education assistance, stock rewards, bonuses and more—even for part-time workers.

Seattle Employers Warn $15 Minimum Wage Will Come With a Hefty Price Tag

April 16, 2014 in Blog

A recent survey of employers by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce reveals what decades of research has already established—increasing the minimum wage comes with a cost.

Publicola Makes the Best Argument Against Minimum Wage Hike

April 4, 2014 in Blog

In a story on Seattle rent prices yesterday, the left-leaning Publicola asserts that the “most interesting” data point from an analysis of Seattle’s rental-market is that, “The law of supply and demand is, it turns out, an actual thing."  It seems the analysis shows that just as this most basic tenet of economics predicts, demand is inextricably linked to supply.  The

Hundreds Attend Spirited WPC Minimum Wage Debate in Seattle

April 3, 2014 in Blog

Last night hundreds of students, business owners and engaged citizens gathered at the University of Washington campus in Seattle to learn more about the arguments for and arguments against increasing the minimum wage.

The WPC-sponsored event, “The Minimum Wage Debate,” was moderated by award-winning political journalist Robert Mak and included pro and con panels comprised of economists, lawmakers, policy analysts and a Seattle small business owner.  The panelists discussed the impacts of minimum wage hikes at the local, state and national level.

A High Minimum Wage Doesn’t Always Kill Jobs, but It Does Kill Job Opportunities for Teens

March 14, 2014 in Blog

Just one day after running an article on a study that claims increasing the minimum wage “doesn’t have a drastic, negative impact on employment,” The Seattle Times featured a study that shows the employment rates for teens in Washington and Seattle are in steep decline.

Even Liberal Activists Think a $15 Minimum Wage Goes Too Far

February 26, 2014 in Blog

As the City of Seattle continues pressing forward with plans to impose a $15 minimum wage, some of the city’s most liberal business owners and nonprofit organizations are sounding the alarm.

In the past week, The Seattle Times has featured three prominently left-leaning business owners who say a $15 minimum wage will hurt their business.

The Trade-Off for a Higher Minimum Wage

February 19, 2014 in Blog

Advocates of increasing the minimum wage routinely claim that doing so will stimulate the economy, encourage growth and create jobs.   Ignoring the basic economic law of demand, which dictates that when the cost of something goes up, demand correspondingly goes down, these supporters instead argue that when workers earn more money they spend more money, which in turn benefits employers.  Everyone wins.

Of course, the only ones who really win are the workers who have a job; those who don’t will have a harder time finding one.