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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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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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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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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Brist Mfg., a Bellingham producer of quality custom merchandise for diverse brands, earned a place on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America in 2020. With a three-year revenue growth rate of 195%, Brist Mfg. was the top-ranked Whatcom County company on the Inc. 5000, 45th among 100 Washington state…

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Peoples Bank is pleased to announce the appointment of Lisa Hefter to the Peoples Bank and Peoples Bancorp Board of Directors. An executive with nearly 30 years of experience in community banking, Hefter has been involved in all facets of bank management and has contributed to the company’s tenfold growth during her tenure. Today, Peoples…

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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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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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Whatcom Business Alliance Hosts Webinar on Cybersecurity  As a part of its ongoing “Recovery Whatcom” webinar series, the Whatcom Business Alliance (WBA)  hosted “Cybersecurity and the New Risks to Your Business” on Wednesday, September 16. Chase Bank’s Merrick Tam, Vice President, Treasury Management hosted the session, which provided advice and guidance for Whatcom County businesses looking…

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