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

If this is “the plan” to grow the economy, we need a new one

February 13, 2013 in Blog

Today Governor Inslee unveiled his “Working Washington Agenda,” a package of “legislative proposals to create and sustain a thriving economic climate.” In a press conference, the governor claimed his plan will “create a positive climate for job growth” and “give Washingtonians the tools to get back to work.”

This Is Not the Way to Create Jobs

February 13, 2013 in Blog

Just hours before Governor Jay Inslee holds a press conference to unveil his “Washington Jobs Agenda,” his “legislative proposals to create and sustain a thriving economic climate,” the House Labor & Workforce Development Committee this morning passed two bills that would do more to kill jobs and strangle the economy than any legislation in recent history.

Lawmakers Tackle Our State’s High Teen Unemployment Rate

February 1, 2013 in Blog

It’s been a busy week for the Small Business Center.   Between holding a press conference to present lawmakers with the results of WPC’s Small Business Survey and testifying on bills that will reform workers’ compensat

Despite Moratorium, Hundreds of New State Regulations Imposed in 2012

January 31, 2013 in Blog

Despite Executive Order 11-03 from Governor Christine Gregoire implementing a moratorium on “non-critical” agency rulemaking in 2012, state agencies still imposed more regulations than the previous year.  Under the Executive Order, agencies weren’t supposed to adopt new regulations unless they, “protect Washingtonians from significant risks to public health, safety or welfare, or by request of local governments, businesses or entities the state regulates.”

It does not appear agencies paid much heed to Gregoire’s directive.

Survey of Washington small business owners released at press conference today

January 30, 2013 in Blog

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.

Single-Payer Health Care: Paid for One Job at a Time

January 22, 2013 in Blog

Throughout his campaign and even in the days leading up to his inauguration, Governor Inslee has repeatedly said he is, “focused like a laser beam on jobs.” 

She Said What?

January 16, 2013 in Blog

In yesterday’s final State of the State speech, Governor Gregoire spent 44 minutes summarizing her struggles and accomplishments leading the state of Washington for during the last tumultuous eight years.

When she finally got to the state’s business climate, Gregoire bragged that, “…over the past eight years, we had little or no increases in workers’ comp premiums.” 

This simply isn't true.  

A Tax Hike By Any Other Name…is Still a Tax Hike

December 17, 2012 in Blog

Last week the Washington State Employment Security Department (ESC) issued a press release announcing unemployment tax rates will be unchanged for most employers in 2013.

Seattle City Council Wants to Ban Employers' Access to Criminal Records

November 7, 2012 in Blog

Seattle is often the incubator for bad business policy. Last year the city became one of the few in the nation to mandate paid sick leave for all workers.  Now the City Council is considering an ordinance that would make Seattle one of the few to limit employers’ ability to access public records and conduct background checks on potential employees.