Seattle is giving money to the help businesses harmed by the King County vaccine verification mandate

By MARK HARMSWORTH  | 
Nov 3, 2021
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In the first 10 days of the King County mandated vaccine verification program, businesses have seen a signification drop in economic activity, some reporting losing up to half their business, threatening job losses and reduced working hours.

Now officials in Seattle are planning to pay out $2 million in business assistance to make up for losses created by King County mandates.  In other words, a local government is trying to ease the pain imposed by the policies of another government. The planned grants are for up to $1,000 dollars paid to various types of business. For some businesses, however, this will not be enough to prevent them from cutting jobs or even closing.

Consider restaurants. Many operate on razor thin profit margins. The margin on food is as thin as 3% or 4%. A restaurant will not be able to operate unless it cuts staff. This will slow economic recovery and put more pressure on the unemployment trust fund as jobless staff members claim unemployment benefits.

It is ridiculous that Seattle is trying making taxpayers pay to cover the impact of its own counties’ regulations. Washington state was one of the first states to close down its economy and is on track to be one of the last to fully reopen. This is one of the longest government-ordered shutdowns in the nation for business.

The criteria used for social distancing and other safety requirements should be applied consistently across business sectors. A light regulatory hand from the state and county government is needed and, in many circumstances, simple guidelines, not restrictive regulations will be the only requirement needed to ensure a safe and healthy restart of the economy.

Businesses should not be required to enforce controversial state or county mandates. Local governments should not have to bail out local businesses that are harmed by policies imposed by another unit of government.

Washington business owners are quite capable of understanding what is needed to keep both employees and customers safe in the COVID future. A business should be allowed to operate under commonsense health and safety standards without government interference.

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