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.


The Workers' Comp Chokehold

January 17, 2010 in Publications

This Op Ed appeared in the January issue of Seattle Business

Economic crises tend to expose flawed systems. The current crisis surrounding the financial markets and housing bust displayed the weaknesses of mortgage-backed securities. The recession a decade ago brought overexposed dot-coms to their knees. A decade before that saw the trials of savings and loans.

Lawmakers Cannot Count on Sin Taxes for Budget Relief

January 2, 2010 in Publications

Washington lawmakers are again facing a multi-billion dollar deficit, due to their decision to sharply increase spending in recent years and slower revenues resulting from a weakened economy. 

Lead the Way: Small Business and the Road to Recovery

January 2, 2010 in Publications

Lead the WayIn late 2009, economists began predicting the reemergence of the American economy. The Dow had regained some of its wealth lost in the aftermath of the financial market meltdown of 2008 and the credit markets were beginning to thaw.

How Government Officials Increase Home Prices

January 1, 2010 in Publications

Policymakers should remove regulatory barriers that increase the cost of building a home and drive up the cost of living in our state.

In answer to a question about the high cost of living in Washington, Governor Christine Gregoire told a TVW interviewer that “the cost of building a home is not determined by the state.” The Governor was responding to an aerospace industry study that shows Washington is at a severe competitive disadvantage compared to other states because of our higher cost of living.

The Use and Abuse of Washington's Community Renewal Law

November 6, 2009 in Publications

Following the Kelo v. City of New London decision by the United States Supreme Court in 2005, many public officials have strenuously argued that eminent domain reform is unnecessary in Washington State because the Washington Constitution protects property owners from the kind of abuse that occurred in Kelo. These officials are wrong.

Help Grow the Economy by Repealing the Estate Tax

October 17, 2009 in Publications

The tens of thousands of owners of Washington family businesses know all too well the sacrifices required to build a successful enterprise that can reinvest in new jobs and expanded work opportunities for people in the community.

Citizens' Guide to Initiative 1033

September 6, 2009 in Publications

In November the people of Washington will vote on Initiative 1033. The measure is sponsored by Tim Eyman and would create a new revenue limit for the state, counties and cities with the goal of annually reducing property taxes. Eyman calls Initiative 1033 the “Lower Property Tax Act of 2009.” Initiative 1033 is the latest in a series of initiatives considered by voters which seek to control the growth of state government, though it is the first to include local governments under its requirements, and it is the first to focus primarily on providing ongoing tax rebates to property owners.

The President's "Public Option" and Small Businesses

July 17, 2009 in Publications

This op-ed was published in the Puget Sound Business Journal on July 17th, 2009.

Digital Goods Taxation in Washington State

July 6, 2009 in Publications

During the 2009 Session the Legislature passed Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2075, which clarifies the definition of a “digital personal good” and sets some basic rules for taxation of intangible electronic products. An intangible electronic product means a digital good or service such as a digital book, digital audio and video files, ringtones, etc.

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.