Small Business Owners say Reforms are Needed to Improve State’s Business Climate and Create Jobs

Survey of Washington Small Business Owners Released at Press Conference

By Washington Policy Center

OLYMPIA – At a press conference at the state Capitol Wednesday, Washington Policy Center offered policy recommendations showing how lawmakers can improve Washington’s small business climate, help working families and spur economic recovery in our state.

Held in partnership with the National Federation of Independent Businesses as part of NFIB’s Small Business Day, the press conference highlighted the small business community’s top recommendations to make Washington a better state in which to do business and provide jobs for working families.

The recommendations are a preview of the results of Washington Policy Center’s small business survey, conducted last fall as part of WPC’s series of Regional Small Business Forums. Over 600 small business owners attended the eight forums held around the state, identifying and ranking the issues of greatest concern to their small businesses and offering suggested reforms. Advance copies of the survey results and the new report are available upon request.

The press conference also highlighted current legislation that reflects WPC’s longstanding recommendations and mirrors survey results. Bills to improve workers’ compensation, expand job opportunities by allowing a temporary training wage, repeal the costly Paid Family Leave Act, and instill accountability in government regulations were among those praised for taking steps to improve the state’s business climate.

Senate Majority Coalition Leader Rodney Tom and Senate Commerce & Labor Committee Chair Sen. Janéa Holmquist Newbry spoke at the event, along with Rep. Matt Manweller, ranking minority member of the House Labor & Workforce Committee.

“Small businesses really are the growth engine. We’re trying to provide a regulatory environment that works for small businesses,” said Sen. Tom.

“One of our top priorities is job creation and particularly important is private-sector job creation,” said Sen. Holmquist Newbry.

“We have to find a balance between the role of government and the role of the free market, and we need to help the private sector,” said Rep. Manweller. “You cannot redistribute your way out of a recession.”

“These ideas reflect our values as Washingtonians who care about helping working families and small business owners succeed,” said WPC Center for Small Business director Erin Shannon.

Sen. John Braun and Reps. Cary Condotta, J.T. Wilcox, Jason Overstreet and David Taylor attended the press conference to support the small business community’s message that more must be done to help employers create the jobs that will speed our state’s economic recovery.

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