The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced increases in minimum wage for Washington. The current minimum wage of $13.69 will increase by 80 cents, making the state minimum wage $14.49 per hour, effective as of January 1, 2022. This is a 5.8% increase, and is more than 4 times the increase in 2021, when…

Read More

Recent enhancements to EIDL is good news for some businesses. The SBA announced that there are still funds available for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans. This week, the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration announced major enhancements to the COVID EIDL program to better support small businesses impacted by the pandemic. Key changes include…

Read More

This week, federal unemployment benefits are ending. This includes the CARES Act and other federal programs that were additional to state benefits. According to ESDWAGOV, the week ending Sept 4 is the last payable week of benefits from these programs: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – For the self-employed, freelancers, independent contractors and others who don’t qualify…

Read More

Washington’s single-use plastic bag ban goes into effect on Oct 1. Is your business ready? Encouraging your customers now to bring their reusable bags is one of the best ways for businesses to get ready. To help businesses, the Washington State Department of Ecology created a downloadable and printable toolkit. It is full of information about…

Read More

Can an employer legally require staff to receive the Covid vaccine? What can employers do if an employee refuses? As businesses consider the science behind the idea of truly reopening with widespread herd immunity, you might wonder if you can require vaccination of your employees. If everyone is vaccinated, then they can work together more…

Read More

More and more businesses are requiring vaccines following a state mandate earlier this week. On Aug 9, Inslee announced that state employees, private health care and long-term care workers must have the Covid vaccine. That announcement accelerated some businesses’ plans for requiring proof of vaccination for their staff. And it perhaps, encouraged others to jump on…

Read More

As we look forward to moving into a full reopening in June, we are hearing about hiring woes from small businesses. Finding qualified, reliable candidates for open positions is a challenge. World’s fastest interview: A recent event in my personal life illustrated this to me very clearly. My daughter was home visiting me from college…

Read More

Our colleagues at the Tacoma Pierce Chamber of Commerce shared their Operation Control Our Own Destiny event with the FME Chamber. We received the following information from an email and wanted to share it with you. We know that Pierce County needs to get vaccinated. This is an important step so we can actually move…

Read More

Gov. Inslee has announced that the entire state is moving toward a June 30 reopening. That means all counties in Washington will move to Phase 3 of the Healthy WA: Roadmap to Recovery. These dates are effective May 18 through June 30. This is welcome news to businesses in Pierce County who have been stuck…

Read More

With rules for pay for salaried employees changing last July, understanding salaried overtime rules is a challenge. Fortunately, L&I has some tools to help. Beginning July 1, 2020, salaried employees minimum pay must have met the threshold of 1.25 times the state minimum wage. The multiplier rate varies each year by the size of the…

Read More

Does your nonprofit qualify for the new nonprofit Community Recovery Grant? The recent Restaurant Revitalization Grants offered relief aimed at a sector of the hospitality industry. And now, The WA State Department of Commerce has partnered with Artfunds to ensure that other nonprofits are included. Recognizing nonprofits play a vital role in helping our community…

Read More

While we expected a new evaluation of movement between phases, the governor announced a pause on the roadmap to recovery. On April 16, Pierce County moved backwards into phase 2. This meant reduced capacity for retail stores, indoor dining, gyms, salons, and more. The capacity limit dropped from 50% capacity permitted in Phase 3 to…

Read More

The SBA is offering a Restaurant Revitalization Fund to provide emergency assistance to qualifying businesses. Qualifying food establishments who have experienced revenue loss due to the pandemic are eligible to apply for grant funds. Awards range from a minimum of $1000 to a maximum of $5 million per location ($10 million max per business.) The…

Read More

The 2021 Legislature adjourned on Sunday and we will likely see some upcoming tax increases. Capital Gains Tax The Legislature adopted Senate Bill 5096, a 7% capital gains tax for capital gains of $250,000 or more from the sale of stocks and other investments. While this sounds like it is a tax on only the…

Read More

A short-term extension of property tax may be a bit of relief for certain businesses. Businesses that can show a loss of a quarter of their revenues due to Covid can apply for the extension. Additionally, qualifying businesses will not need to pay penalties or interest. To request an extension and a payment plane, be…

Read More

Roll back relief grants are now available to qualifying businesses and non profits. On Friday, April 16, restrictions rolled back to Phase 2 of the Healthy Washington Reopening. That means reducing capacity for indoor activities back down to 25%. These restrictions significantly impact businesses such as restaurants and gyms. Pierce County has created a grant…

Read More