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

SeaTac Employer Says $15 Living Wage Would Put Him Out of Business

August 3, 2013 in Blog

One employer who would be impacted by passage of the proposed “living wage” ordinance in SeaTac, scheduled to go before voters November 5, says the new mandate would put him out of business.

So Much for Creating New Jobs

July 29, 2013 in Blog

Last week Boeing announced it will move more jobs out of Washington State.  The announcement is one in a series by Boeing over the years that has diminished the company’s workforce in Washington State. 

How Long Will Seattle Hold Ranking of 2nd Best City to Start a New Biz?

July 23, 2013 in Blog

In a ranking of the best cities to start a new business, tax-planning startup GoodApril awarded Seattle the #2 spot based in large part on the state’s nonexistent income tax. 

But Mitch Fox, co-founder of GoodApril, warns taxes are just one of many factors that influence where businesses locate and whether that business will be successful. 

House Democrats Tout Washington’s “Nonexistent Income Tax”

July 18, 2013 in Blog

The House Democrats today posted a blog dismissing the idea that policies increasing the burden on businesses are “job-killers.”  

Washington Has 2nd Highest Wireless Taxes in Nation

July 11, 2013 in Blog

A study by the Tax Foundation reveals cell phones are often taxed at a much higher level than other consumer items, even “sin” products like alcohol and cigarettes.  And when comparing the state and local tax and fee rates on wireless service, Washington ranks the second highest in the nation.

Six months ago L&I said reforms would save extra $223 million, now says reforms will save $242 million less than predicted

June 21, 2013 in Blog

The state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has announced the hard-fought workers’ compensation reform program passed in 2011 allowing structured settlements for injured workers age 55 and older is not saving the money it was expected.

It’s Nice to Acknowledge National Small Business Week—but Actions Speak Louder Than Words

June 17, 2013 in Blog

Today is the start of National Small Business Week, first designated in 1963 as a way to recognize the important role small businesses play in our nation’s economy.    Accordingly, President Obama is paying the expected platitudes to our nation’s job creators. 

Business Taxes Will Increase Yet Again

June 13, 2013 in Blog

The state Employment Security Department announced yesterday that Washington state's average annual wage grew by 3.4% last year to $51,595.  The average weekly wage rose from $959 to $992.  ESD says most of the wage increase was driven not by increased wages for all workers, rather by strong growth in industries that offer above-average pay—a 6.1% increase in the number of workers earning more than $75,000.

City of Seattle passes law restricting use of criminal background checks

June 10, 2013 in Blog

Today the Seattle City Council unanimously passed the so-called "Job Assistance Bill." The new law prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their criminal history until after an initial screening to eliminate unqualified applicants and prohibits employers from rejecting job applicants with a criminal history unless they can prove a “legitimate business reason” for doing so. 

The new law will go into effect November 1, 2013.

Seattle City Council voting on criminal background check bill today

June 10, 2013 in Blog

Today the Seattle City Council is scheduled to vote on an ordinance that would prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their criminal history until after an initial screening to eliminate unqualified applicants and prohibit employers from rejecting job applicants with a criminal history unless they can prove a “legitimate busin