SBA increases COVID-19 EIDL maximum to $2M

(Shared with permission from Larson Gross) The Small Business Administration (SBA) has increased the limit for COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) from $500,000 to $2 million. In a recent announcement, the SBA has implemented some major changes to the existing EIDL to make it easier for the small business communities still reeling from the…

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Bellingham voters should reject these initiatives in November

In this upcoming election, Bellingham voters will be asked to consider four initiatives submitted by a coalition of Bellingham community activist groups — with no regard to the long-lasting negative effect on local businesses. WBA’s Board of Directors is recommending a no-vote for all four initiatives because of the enormous adverse impact for City of…

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Governor Jay Inslee announces new regional reopening plan

Governor Jay Inslee recently announced “Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery,” a new regionally focused reopening plan that will begin on January 11th. The Inslee Administration believes the new plan will allow the state to ease some business restrictions without overwhelming hospital systems. “No one was untouched by the effects of the pandemic in 2020;…

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WBA on KGMI

Listen as WBA Executive Director Barbara Chase and KGMI’s Mike Davis discuss the recent petition efforts by WBA to County Executive Satpal Sidhu and the challenges all businesses are facing as we move into the next year. KGMI podcast: Whatcom Business Alliance

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State Minimum Wage Set to Increase to $13.69 on January 1

On January 1, 2021, minimum wage will increase to $13.69 in Washington State, putting additional financial pressure on Whatcom County businesses. Furthermore, there are changes to overtime pay rules, raising labor costs even more on top of the wage increase.    The planned minimum wage increase has been expected for some time. Still, with the ongoing…

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Governor Inslee announces sweeping new coronavirus restrictions, WBA to monitor

In response to increasing coronavirus cases, Governor Jay Inslee announced sweeping, potentially devastating new restrictions on business. Those restrictions include the closure of indoor dining, bars, movie theaters, bowling alleys, museums, restricting retail to 25% capacity (including grocery stores), and banning indoor gatherings of any kind with individuals outside of your own household. Unlike the…

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State minimum wage set to increase to $13.69 on January 1

Whatcom County businesses should brace for another state minimum wage increase on January 1, 2021. On that date, the new state minimum wage will be $13.69 per hour. State overtime rules are also changing, which could result in employers seeing additional increases to the labor costs beyond just the wage increase. While the planned minimum…

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WBA calls on Inslee administration to avoid UI tax increases

Despite the Inslee administration’s claims, it has become clear that Washington businesses should expect an increase in their unemployment insurance (UI) taxes that will add up to $800M in 2021, with additional increases likely in store in 2022 and 2023. Economists at the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) attribute the UI shortfall to the…

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WBA reacts to the failure of additional coronavirus relief legislation

On Thursday, September 10 Senate Democrats blocked what some called a “skinny” coronavirus relief bill. The two parties could not agree on the scale of the aid, with Republicans supporting relief for schools, small business, and jobless benefits. The $650B package was deemed too small by Senate Democrats, who opposed the bill on a near…

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Inslee administration restricts agri-tourism, threatens family farms

Washington continues to witness positive trends as hopeful data emerges on the spread of the coronavirus pandemic throughout the state. However, despite the good news, Governor Jay Inslee’s administration has placed additional regulatory burdens on Agri-tourism and family farms. Under the Administration’s new restrictions, customers cannot touch or view animals. Hayrides, games, and touching farm…

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