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

Activists Speculate MLK Would Support a $15 Minimum Wage…But Would He?

January 21, 2014 in Blog

Yesterday supporters of a $15 minimum wage used the observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day to rally their cause in Seattle.  The chairman of Seattle’s MLK Celebration Committee, Seattle City Councilmember Larry Gossett, endorsed the hijacking of the MLK celebration event to promote a $15 minimum wage, speculating, “He [Martin Luther King Jr.] would fight for this…why wouldn’t he?”

The Governor Won’t Build a “Working Washington” with a 27% Minimum Wage Increase

January 16, 2014 in Blog

Last month Governor Inslee said it was time for Washington to “have a conversation” about increasing our state’s minimum wage, already the highest of any state in the nation.  At the time the Governor did not specify what the higher minimum wage should be, only that the current wage of $9.32 is not enough.

Two New State Studies Say Regulatory Relief is a Priority

January 10, 2014 in Blog

Reducing the state’s regulatory burden has long been a top priority for the business community.  Businesses large and small have, for decades, complained our state’s layers of complex regulations are confusing, disjointed, contradictory and often impossible to fully comply with.  The call has repeatedly been to reform our state’s regulatory system in order to make Washington a more competitive state to do business.

State Study Shows New Businesses Paying Entry-Level Wages are the Job Creators in Washington

January 9, 2014 in Blog

The state Employment Security Department’s (ESD) most recent report on job vacancies and new hiring showed a welcome increase in hiring in 2013.  An official with ESD said, “the employment picture in early 2013 was the strongest and most optimistic we’ve seen in several years.” 

Governor Wants to Have “Conversation” About Increasing State’s Minimum Wage

January 8, 2014 in Blog

On the heels of a new law requiring some employers in the City of SeaTac to pay a $15 per hour minimum wage and Seattle giving every indication a similar wage will be mandated in that city, the Governor has signaled his support for increasing the state’s minimum wage.

The most important vote of 2014 - Boeing 777X contract

January 2, 2014 in Blog

Although 2014 is a general election year with control of the Legislature up for grabs and still unknown ballot measures yet to qualify, perhaps the most important vote of the year will be tomorrow on Boeing's 777X contract offer. Not only does this union vote have the potential to impact tens of thousands of jobs, but it could dramatically change the state's fiscal outlook, not to mention its economic psyche.

$15 Minimum Wage Initiative Filed in Seattle

December 12, 2013 in Blog

Despite Seattle mayor-elect Ed Murray’s hope that a $15 minimum wage would be decided by the Seattle City Council and not by voters, an initiative was filed today with the City of Seattle Clerk’s Office to establish new minimum wage rates.  In a twist, the initiative also would also lower the City’s Square Footage Business Tax and Business & Occupation Tax on employers.

House Finance Committee discusses B&O reform

December 11, 2013 in Blog

The House Finance Committee continued its important interim work discussing the state's tax structure by holding a work session yesterday on ways to reform the B&O tax. Earlier this year the Committee discussed what the principles of the state's tax system should be.

Another $15 Minimum Wage Battle Headed for the Ballot?

December 5, 2013 in Blog

The City of Seattle is giving every indication it plans to follow the City of SeaTac’s footsteps and increase the minimum wage for at least some workers in the City to a whopping $15 per hour.  

More Misinformation from L&I

November 25, 2013 in Blog

Last week representatives of the business community received a copy of the Department of Labor & Industries’ (L&I) snapshot comparison of workers’ compensation benefits and employer costs in Washington and five other aerospace states.  The L&I chart was presented in a legislative task force meeting on Boeing’s 777x.