Delay in WA Cares payroll tax?

Inslee is looking at the possibility of a delay in WA Cares payroll tax set to be implemented in January. Many have complained about the program that unquestionably has issues and the governor is looking at pushing the pause button. He says that he does not have the power to make this decision himself, but…

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Supply Chain and the Port

Understanding how the supply chain and the Port go together is a complex topic during the pandemic. Sean Eagan, of the Port of Tacoma shared this infographic with us to show the big picture.

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Minimum Wage and Salaries

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…

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Enhancements to EIDL

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…

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Federal Unemployment Benefits Ending

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…

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Single-Use Plastic Bag Ban

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…

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Can Employer Require Vaccines?

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…

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Businesses Requiring Vaccines

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…

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Hiring Woes

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…

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Operation Control Our Own Destiny

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…

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Entire state is moving toward a June 30 reopening

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…

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Understanding Salaried Overtime Rules

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…

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Nonprofit Community Recovery Grants

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…

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Pause on Roadmap to Recovery

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…

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Restaurant Revitalization Fund

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…

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Upcoming Tax Increases

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…

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