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.


Payday Lending Proposal Would Limit Access to Short-term Credit

April 7, 2009 in Publications

Lawmakers are considering legislation which would place new restrictions on the payday lending market. The proposal would impose further limits on citizens’ ability to access short-term credit, in addition to existing state regulations. Policy research and the depressed state of the economy, however, indicate that lawmakers should be cautious about adding new restrictions to this already highly regulated form of credit. Payday lending is one of the few areas of the financial services sector that is functioning well and where easily-available credit is flowing to individuals and small businesses.

Gauging the Economic Impact of Home Construction in Washington State

April 2, 2009 in Publications

Washington state’s housing construction industry has been hit disproportionately hard by the economic downturn. For the past 24 months, one problem after another has led to the state’s housing construction dropping off, which in turn has caused a massive detrimental economic impact. Everything from jobs, new homes, existing homes, employers, tax revenue and all the industries that rely on a robust construction environment have been affected.

State-Mandated Warranty Would Slow Housing Market Recovery

March 17, 2009 in Publications

This op-ed appeared in The Olympian on March 30, 2009.

Lawmakers in Olympia are debating a bill that would hurt the recovery of the housing market, and would hit small homebuilders particularly hard.

Economic Stimulus Starts with Private Sector Job Growth

March 17, 2009 in Publications

Suddenly everything old is new again. This saying usually applies to the fashion industry, but today we are digging up old economic theories, dusting them off, and re-applying them.

The Effect of Tax Preferences on B&O Taxes Paid by Washington Businesses

March 7, 2009 in Publications

In late January the Senate Ways and Means Committee and House Finance Committee held a joint hearing to receive testimony from JLARC staff and Commission members on the Citizen Commission for Performance Measurement of Tax Preferences’ latest report.

Expanded “Family Security Act” Will Expand Government Benefits and Raise Payroll Taxes

March 7, 2009 in Publications

Legislators are proposing to expand and fund the Paid Family Leave Act, which was passed into law in 2007. As originally passed, the program would send qualified recipients a check for $250 per week for up to five weeks—$1,250 total. Beneficiaries of the new entitlement would be eligible if their family had recently given birth to, or adopted, a baby.

Procurement Policies and the Differences among Open Source Software, Open Standards, and Open Government

March 2, 2009 in Publications

Most computer software is sold like any other commercial product and is protected by U.S. intellectual property laws (primarily copyright and patent protection). Such software products are sold under defined legal controls. Customers, without prior permission or a license agreement, cannot see or change the software program’s basic source code.

Principles for the State’s Economic Stimulus

February 7, 2009 in Publications

The Governor and other policymakers are proposing a multi-pronged strategy of state-financed infrastructure and transportation projects, along with increased unemployment insurance payouts and housing assistance, in an effort to stimulate Washington’s economy.

An Economic Stimulus Package Must Focus on Long-Term Growth, Not Short Term Jobs

January 17, 2009 in Publications

As the United States struggles through a recession, political leaders are hoping a "stimulus package" will save us. There is nothing wrong with the government trying to stabilize or even energize the economy. It is the reason we craft fiscal and monetary polices. The problem with most stimulus packages is that they usually don't work.

Requiring Specific Legislative Authority for Agency Rule-Making Would Help Washington Businesses

January 7, 2009 in Publications

A proposal has been introduced in the legislature that would revise rule-making requirements to assure that the legislature can carefully review rules that impose significant burdens on Washington businesses before the rules take effect.