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About RICS

John Engber Testifies at CRUEDA meeting on 3-14-17

 Retail Industry Coalition of Seattle 

The Washington Retail Association has expanded its outreach with a new emphasis on Seattle politics and the debates and decisions of the City Council. The laws and regulations approved at City Hall not only affect hundreds of retailers across the city.

Seattle ideas often migrate to other cities including our home base in Olympia, where the State Legislature debates financial impacts that cover the entire state. The ideas cover everything from wages, to scheduling, hiring and offering an expanding list of employee benefits.

Starting this year, the Washington Retail Association will be watching the new ideas affecting retailers that come from City Hall and will track developments with regular updates on this website. We also invite you to contact our Seattle lobbyist, John Engber (contact info) or Tammie Hetrick, WRA’s Senior Vice President of Retail Services, with any questions or concerns.

We know you’re busy with little time to follow the City Council, so, consider yourselves represented at City Hall. When we can, we will advocate on your behalf.

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RICS Posts

Zelda Zonk owner shares her passion with West Seattle

In the 1950s and 60s, Zelda Zonk was Marilyn Monroe’s alias for when she went incognito. Today, Zelda Zonk is a consignment store in The Admiral District owned by Jennie McLaughlin. “I like to look at it as a neighborhood gathering place,” McLaughlin said. “I’m super...

Former bookshop owner discusses decades of business

What started as a chance encounter almost 30 years ago blossomed into a career JB Dickey never expected. Dickey, former owner of Seattle Mystery Bookshop, which closed September 30, 2017, checked out the store not long after it opened in the summer of 1990. “I started...

R & E Cycles owner discusses industry, local changes

R & E Cycles has a simple manufacturing philosophy, as owner Dan Towle puts it. “Is what we’re doing adding value to our product?” In 1987, Towle’s wife let him know about a help wanted sign in the window of a bike shop. “What really drew me to working there was a...

Antiques at Pike Place to close after 25 years

If Lisa Little, owner of Antiques at Pike Place, were to win the lottery tomorrow, she knows exactly how she would spend the money; to buy her building and keep her store open. After 25 years, the store will close its doors for good on December 24, 2017. “It was...

Secure Scheduling will be in effect on July 1, 2017

Secure Scheduling goes into effect on July 1, 2017 Beginning July 1, 2017, Seattle has new Secure Scheduling requirements for hourly employees who work at large food service and retail establishments within Seattle city limits (SMC 14.22). The law applies to: Retail...

Seattle is a taxing place, writes the Research Council

Seattle is a taxing place, writes the Research Council   The Washington Research Council has a new blog post this week that gathers media coverage reflecting the Seattle business community’s reaction to new tax proposals following approved increases in the...

May 22, 2017 RICS Monthly Newsletter

      May 22, 2017   Members of the Retail Industry Coalition of Seattle, Welcome to the first RICS monthly newsletter! Thanks to all of you for joining the conversation on how policies in City Hall are affecting local retailers. Below is an update...

WRA hosts June 6 webinar on Seattle scheduling ordinance

WRA is hosting a June webinar with the law firm Lane Powell to cover how retailers must prepare for Seattle’s new scheduling ordinance that takes effect on July 1, 2017. The one-hour presentation will begin at 10:30 a.m., PST. Final rules for the ordinance have been...

Seattle scheduling study has problems

By Jan Teague, President/CEO   We recently told you about a study of retail impacts from Seattle labor practices on scheduling.  Don’t participate in the study.  I repeat, don’t participate in the study.  Here is why.  It’s being done by advocates in support of...

Seattle Secure Scheduling Ordinance Study Letter

David Jones, Auditor P.O. Box 94729 Seattle, WA 98124-4729 May 4, 2017   Dear Mr. Jones: Our organizations and members have recently been contacted by a research assistant at the University of Chicago on behalf of Professor Susan Lambert and Professor Anna...

Top Issues In Seattle

On Sept. 19, 2016, the Seattle City Council approved a restrictive scheduling ordinance applying to some retailers and restaurants by a 9 to 0 vote. The ordinance requires employers to post work schedules two weeks in advance and levies fines for violations. The Washington Retail Association opposed the ordinance and warned that it would harm employees by reducing available work hours and leaving workers with more restrictive schedules that would be harder to adjust for emergencies or other conflicts outside of work. The law will apply to large retailers with 500 or more employees and to full-service restaurants with both 500 or more employees and 40 or more locations nationwide. It does not cover smaller companies or other industries. MORE >>>

Seattle Businesses want good employees and to reward them with fair wages to meet their needs. But wild swings in the minimum wage and pockets of wages much higher than the statewide minimum create serious financial challenges for retailers with multiple store locations and endanger the livelihoods of stores, especially small businesses in rural locations.  Deserving workers are entitled to earn as much as the market will allow. But the businesses that write the paychecks have to first survive before the raises can be paid. MORE >>>

Paid Sick Leave



WRA opposes government-imposed leave mandates that rob businesses of their flexibility to address specific circumstances among employees. Such mandates threaten productivity and impose burdensome costs that hit small businesses especially hard and creates a great disadvantage for them. Last year, the Washington Research Council published a brief warning that imposing paid sick leave threatens many businesses by making them less competitive with others not facing the same regulation. MORE >>>

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