McMorris Rodgers honored as champion of small business
Washington Retail Association this week extended Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers the honor of recognition as a Hero of Main Street. I had the pleasure of presenting her the award on behalf of the National Retail Federation during a fundraiser at The Rainier Club in Seattle.
The award acknowledges McMorris Rodgers’ record of support for small business and the retail industry including reform of taxes and health care. WRA appreciates the Congresswoman’s long history of support for retail and is supporting her in her re-election bid in November.
McMorris Rodgers, who represents District 5 in Eastern Washington, is Chair of the House Republican Conference. She served as a House member in the Washington State Legislature before being elected to Congress in 2004.
One of her priorities includes the American Dream Project. Its mission is to recruit candidates committed to creating more plentiful job opportunities for people, regardless of their background, without adding to governmental debt. The project’s goals align closely with those of Washington Retail Association.
It was an honor to present the Congresswoman with this prestigious award and we appreciate her support of small business and work for the health of the retail industry
L&I announces proposed insurance rate reduction
Labor & Industries today announced a proposed five percent decrease in the average 2019 premium that employers would pay for workers’ compensation insurance. If approved in December, it would be the largest drop in annual rates since 2007.
L&I Director Joel Sacks explained that decreases in work-related injuries and initiatives to reduce costs by returning injured works to jobs sooner were responsible for making a rate reduction possible.
On average, the lower rate means employers would pay about $58 less a year per employee for workers’ compensation coverage. Employees would pay about $6 less a year for their share of the cost.
L&I will conduct three public hearings about the proposal in October in Tumwater, Tukwila and Spokane Valley. Click here for more information.
Use our relationship to fill your jobs
Using standard job search sites to fill your open positions can be difficult, expensive and often doesn’t provide the results you need. Even the free online advertising boards are a mixed bag. What can you do?
WorkSourceWA.com – the smart way to look for talent
You’ll find more than 150,000 resumes – from entry level to upper management. Post your positions at no cost and use state-of-the-art technology to search for candidates.
Then visit WARetailCareers.com
Washington Retail Association and WorkSourceWA.com partnered to create this spotlight page to encourage career seekers to explore the retail field. We know that retail is the training ground for America’s workforce, and we put tools online to help job seekers:
- Understand it
- Find your open jobs and
- Apply with a click of a button
The WorkSource “clicks and bricks” model offers even more help with hiring
WorkSource offers what other online sites can’t. In addition to clicks on a website, we offer bricks and mortar WorkSource centers statewide. At no additional cost, business services teams stand ready to:
- Help you find candidates
- Hold hiring events and job fairs for you
- Screen your applicants and connect you to qualified candidates
Check out WorkSourceWA.com and starting posting your jobs today, before all the good candidates go to your competitors.
WRA meets with tire dealers
WRA’s Chief Operating Officer Tammie Hetrick met recently with affiliate members, the Northwest Tire Dealers Association, to talk about new programs the association has to offer.
Hetrick said WRA’s free SAFEME app geared toward automotive shops is available for download. It provides safety training for new and existing employees. She also mentioned a human resource policy manual that WRA is assembling with the law firm Lane Powell that will be a handy reference for employers to keep pace with changing human resource requirements being passed on by state and local governments. WRA members will qualify for a discounted rate for the manual. Ed Tuck III, president of the tire dealers’ association, suggested the idea of assembling an updatable policy manual.
“Members from Washington who attended have signed up for our Retro program and employers from Oregon and Idaho expressed interest in learning more about how our safety and other programs may benefit their stores also,” Hetrick said. The Retro program allows companies to earn partial workers’ compensation insurance premium refunds for maintaining safe workplaces.
Hetrick also explained details of various new human resource requirements including paid sick and family leave policies. While meeting with the association, Hetrick urged the tire dealers to continue sharing ideas on how WRA can provide additional benefits to members.
WRA attends first tax advisory meeting
By Mark Johnson, Senior Vice President of Public Policy
I attended the first Department of Revenue Business Advisory Council Meeting on Monday. I have been appointed to this new group that will advise the DOR director and her staff on issues concerning tax collection and administration. There are sixteen members of the council that will meet quarterly.
We heard a briefing on several issues including the Marketplace Fairness decision from the U.S. Supreme Court – Wayfair vs South Dakota – allowing states to require out-of state retailers to collect and remit sales taxes. Washington State, after consulting with the other national Sales Tax Agreement States, decided to join several other in adopting an October 1, 2018 start date. I expressed my concerns for members that would be significantly challenged instituting this new requirement in a timely fashion, especially in light of the impending holiday season.
The agency also shared that it will be offering agency-request legislation to clarify and codify tax policy around marketplace equity and the sales tax exemption for imported goods. At this time it is likely to be one large omnibus bill. Revenue hopes to have a draft available in approximately three weeks.
DOR is also expected to have initial marketplace equity sales tax collection estimates available in the very near future.
The department also announced that it planned to start a public education campaign regarding excise tax due for out-of-state purchases; for example, from Oregon where no sales tax is collected. If a consumer buys a product in Oregon they are responsible for paying the excise tax when they return to Washington.
The next meeting will be in December. The meetings are open to the public.
Free business fair coming September 29
Washington Retail Association urges anyone interested in starting or growing a small business to attend a free, all-day business fair at Renton Technical College on September 29.
Mark Johnson, WRA’s Senior VP of Public Policy, will be available to fairgoers at the association’s display table at the fair.
Lars Wulff, co-CEO of the Olympia-based Mud Bay pet store, will deliver a keynote address at 8:30 in the morning to begin the day’s activities. The fair features numerous workshops where attendees can acquire information and skills to help launch their dreams of owning a small business or working to grow business.
Click here for more information.
Safety tip of the week
Protect against Carbon Monoxide poisoning
As summer winds down and it becomes cooler outside, doors and windows are closed more often and the heaters are turning on more frequently. It is also a good time to become more conscious of equipment that is being used indoors, especially gas powered devices in enclosed areas such as forklifts and gas heaters.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is odorless, colorless and otherwise undetectable to the human senses. People will not know they are being exposed. You should inspect any equipment that uses combustible fuels for proper operation and use:
- Check heater exhaust flues to make sure that they are not damaged and that they are venting completely outside.
- Propane forklifts need tune-ups also. A sticking choke will cause the machine to emit more CO exhaust and use more fuel than it should.
- Generators should always be used outside.
- Install CO detector/alarm(s) for added protection.
Beginning symptoms are headaches, dizziness and drowsiness. Longer exposure leads to nausea, vomiting and tightness across the chest. If you are experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning get to fresh air right away and seek immediate medical attention.
More information can be found at:
EPA articles on Carbon Monoxide
WRA employs Rick Means as a Safety Specialist who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, x18, or firstname.lastname@example.org
WRA diversity statement
It’s essential to have a holistic strategic plan for diversity and inclusion. We encourage everyone to consider having a plan that connects with diverse people; creates a diverse workforce; fosters an inclusive work environment where different perspectives are valued; partners to share time, talent, and resources with our staff and with communities; and communicates these values with others.
In principle and in practice, we value access to leadership opportunity regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, appearance, geographic location, or professional level. The association strives to accomplish this by serving as a model where we are working to help our staff, our volunteer leaders, our members, and our community embrace these principles.