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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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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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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On Thursday, August 19, business leaders from across Whatcom County attended the Whatcom Business Alliance’s Recovery Whatcom webinar to learn more about the science behind COVID-19, the potential policies and changes to the future of health care and what businesses could do to mitigate the spread of the disease and potentially open sooner. Panelists included:…

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Things were normal. Then they weren’t. Then everything was closed. Then a few things could open—and that is where things have stayed. In early June Whatcom County moved to Phase 2 of the Governor’s Safe Start Plan, and for the time being that is where Whatcom County will remain. Per Governor Jay Inslee’s latest order,…

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Nationally, the Small Business Optimism Index increased 3.5 points in May to 94.4. That increase reflects a strong improvement from April and shows that small businesses are optimistic that conditions will improve as states reopen following the economic restrictions implemented to contain the coronavirus pandemic. However, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) also reported a seven-point…

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At a meeting on Tuesday, June 16th, the City of Bellingham City Council unanimously voted to move forward with plans to accept the lease and sublease conditions for the Public Market site on Cornwall Avenue for a drop-in homeless shelter. The facility will be used over the next three years, with an option for a…

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The coronavirus pandemic has had a severe impact on the local, state, national, and global economy. With the statewide Stay-at-Home order in effect until at least May 4th, the Whatcom Business Alliance (WBA) conducted a survey of over 220 county businesses to better understand how they have been affected by the current health and economic…

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By its very nature, workforce development is a community prosperity initiative. After all, helping workers gain valuable skills attacks the roots of poverty. Training workers for living-wage jobs can help break the cycle of dead-end work. What’s more, boosting the skills of Whatcom County workers helps local companies fill important jobs so they can grow.…

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