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May 22, 2017 RICS Monthly Newsletter

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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 on potential City policies that could affect your business. As always, we would like to hear your thoughts – or questions – about these policies. Please email us to let us know how these or other issues may affect your business.


If you want to share your thoughts on these policies with the Council, let us know. We will find the best opportunities for you!

Together, we will make a difference!

Issues Percolating in Seattle

 Paid Family & Sick Leave. While we have not seen a draft ordinance yet, Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez has released a White Paper on the issue. Unlike most City labor laws, the policy described in the White Paper does not contain a small-employer exemption. Here are more details:

  • Parental Leave – Up to 26 weeks
  • Personal Medical Leave – Up to 12 weeks
  • Family Medical Leave – Up to 26 weeks
  • Funding – 70% employer and 30% employee

Here is a link to the White Paper: https://www.seattle.gov/council/meet-the-council/lorena-gonzález/universal-paid-family-and-medical-leave

Beverage Tax. The Beverage Tax proposed by the Mayor is 1.75 cents per ounce. The tax now includes:

  • sugary and diet soda
  • syrups for coffee drinks
  • cocktail mixers
  • energy drinks
  • bottled coffee drinks
  • sweetened juices and teas

The proposed tax excludes drinks that are milk-based or 100% fruit juice. Here is a link to a story about the proposed tax:


Last year, Philadelphia passed a similar tax. Here are links to articles about the tax’s impacts (teaser: one grocery chain reported an overall drop in all sales of 15%):



Check us out online at www.Seattleretail.org


John Engber
Retail Industry Coalition of Seattle

Nina Jurczynski
Field Director
Retail Industry Coalition of Seattle

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