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

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.

Bill Would Require Health Coverage for Virtually All Part-Time Workers at Large Companies

February 13, 2014 in Blog

During this Legislative Session there has been no shortage of bills that would increase the cost of doing business in Washington and stymie job creation.

Leave Mandates Would Cost Businesses Over $1 Billion Annually

February 10, 2014 in Blog

During this Legislative Session, lawmakers in the House of Representatives considered two bills that would require employers to offer paid leave to workers. 

HB 1313 would require employers with 5 or more employees to pay employees for 5, 7 or 9 days of sick leave per year, depending on the size of the company.  This bill passed the House and will now be considered by the Senate.

Lawmakers Consider Teen Training Wage

January 31, 2014 in Blog

On Wednesday I testified on two bills that would help alleviate our state’s high teen unemployment rate.  SB 6495 and SB 6471 would extend the current law that allows businesses to pay 14-15 year old workers a sub-minimum wage, to 16-19 year olds.

Lawmakers Call for Passage of “Jobs Now” bills

January 30, 2014 in Blog

Yesterday Washington Policy Center was invited to participate in a press conference at the Capitol highlighting the “Jobs Now” package of bills introduced in the House and Senate that would improve the state’s small business climate.  Many of the bills highlighted in the press conference reflect long-standing WPC recommendations. 

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.