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.


Would the "Taxpayer Protection Act" really protect taxpayers?

April 7, 2014 in Publications

Key Findings

Even Seattle liberals think a $15 minimum wage goes too far

March 24, 2014 in Publications

As Seattle officials continue pressing forward with plans to impose a $15 minimum wage, some of the city’s liberal business owners and nonprofit organizations are sounding the alarm.  Following a narrow victory in Sea-Tac, where a $15 minimum wage measure passed by 77 votes out of some 6,000 cast, labor activists say they plan to push the same measure in communities around the state.

HB 2175 would improve Washington’s wireless telecommunications competitiveness

March 7, 2014 in Publications


This Legislative Memo provides an overview and analysis of HB 2175. This bill would help improve Washington’s wireless telecommunications climate, making it easier and less costly for wireless companies to respond to the ever-increasing consumer demand for wireless telecommunications services.

HB 2175 would, among other things, require local governments to allow one permit for multiple small cell networks, known as microcells, instead of requiring a permit for each individual microcell facility.

Paid Leave Bills Would Cost Businesses Over $1 Billion Annually

March 6, 2014 in Publications

Key Findings

ESHB 2023, The Washington Jobs Act, to allow crowdfunding for certain small securities offerings

March 5, 2014 in Publications

Every day, startups and entrepreneurs across Washington develop exciting new products and services that might benefit consumers. Of course there are no guarantees. Any two-guys-in-a-garage idea could lead to brilliant commercial success or miserable failure, but there is no way to know until the new product or service is tested in the real-world marketplace. All these would-be profitable business owners face a basic problem (unless they are already wealthy) – raising enough money to get started.

Training Wage Bills Would Increase Job Opportunities for Teen Workers

February 24, 2014 in Publications


This legislative memo provides an overview and analysis of two bills, SB 6471 and SB 6495. These proposals would help alleviate our state’s high teen (16-19 years-old) unemployment rate, and create job opportunities for young Washingtonians across the state.

SB 6495 would extend to 16-19 year-olds the current law that allows businesses to pay 14-15 year-old workers 85 percent of the state minimum wage.

SB 6471 would allow employers to pay the federal minimum wage to workers 14-19 years old during the summer months of June 1 to August 31.

Is $15 minimum wage coming to a city near you?

January 13, 2014 in Publications

The Puget Sound Business Journal published this column on January 10, 2014

Voters in SeaTac approved Proposition 1 in November by the narrowest of margins—just 77 votes out of more than 6,000 cast.

The controversial measure mandates paid sick leave and increases the minimum wage to $15 per hour for some workers in SeaTac, among other requirements. The labor unions that sponsored the measure are exempt.

Alcohol related arrests down after liquor store privatization

October 29, 2013 in Publications

In 2011, when 59 percent of Washington state voters decided to end the 78-year-old government monopoly on selling liquor by approving Initiative 1183, opponents said privatization would lead to an increase in alcohol-related arrests.  It hasn’t. A year after Washington joined the majority of states in allowing the private sale of liquor, law enforcement data shows the worst predictions of opponents have not materialized.

A high minimum wage won't always work in workers' favor

October 15, 2013 in Publications

The debate over raising the minimum wage is everywhere right now. Voters in the City of SeaTac will decide in November whether to increase the minimum wage for workers in that city’s hospitality and transportation industries to $15 per hour, fast food workers around the country are striking for higher pay, and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is demanding Whole Foods pay workers in that city more than the company’s current average wage of $16.15 per hour.

Summary of Proposition 1, to enact mandated worker benefits in SeaTac

October 1, 2013 in Publications

Key Findings