January 7, 2019
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Register now for AWB's Legislative Day and Hill Climb, which will feature new format and locations

Registration is now open for AWB’s 2019 Legislative Day and Hill Climb, which features a new format and locations.

This year’s event takes place entirely at the Capitol and AWB. It begins with registration at 11 a.m. at the Legislative Building in Olympia, followed by lunch and discussions with legislators on a variety of timely topics.

The Hill Climb portion of the day begins shortly after that, where employers attend meetings with individual lawmakers. An AWB board meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the AWB offices in Olympia, followed by a Legislative Leadership Panel at 5 p.m. Then it's back up to the Hill for a reception at 6 p.m. on the Capitol campus.

Registration is open. For more information, contact AWB’s Kelli Schueler at 360.943.1600 or kellis@awb.org.

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Legislative Day and Hill Climb Preview
Supporting Rural Areas

Let's work together to prioritize rural economic revitalization

By AWB President Kris Johnson

The mission of the Association of Washington Business is to bring people together throughout the state to promote economic prosperity -- from the urban centers to the most rural corners.

We know that parts of Washington have boomed since the end of the recession, but other areas -- particularly the rural communities that exist in each of our state's 39 counties -- have not realized the same economic opportunities.

Our state's overall success depends on not just talking about the many barriers holding back economic growth in rural regions but finding and implementing solutions discussed at the AWB Rural Jobs Summit in the Legislature and at the local level to move every community forward.

Whether urban, rural or somewhere in between, we're all in this together.

Read the full column in the Tri-Cities Area Journal of Business
Taxing Employers

Legislature's return to work presents a challenge for business

By Bill Virgin

Laments from the business community about taxes, regulations and the high cost and frustration of doing business around here are typically met with two responses: "It can't be that bad, look at our booming economy," and "If you don't like it, leave" (the latter usually accompanied by a snide remark about Texas or the South).

To those points: The current success of the tech sector, however loosely that's defined, certainly fueled economic growth in the region. But other sectors are struggling for reasons of their own (retailing) or related to the boom (industrial businesses dealing with high costs). Tech's boom has papered over a lot of ills, and if the sector ever has another moment like the dot-com bust, that facade will be gone...

Eventually businesses reach a point at which the cost/benefit analysis tips from staying to going.

It hasn't happened in great numbers and it won't happen at the same time for all businesses. But those tipping points are out there. In 2019, we'll find out see how enthusiastically the Legislature pushes the region closer to them.

Read the full column in The News Tribune
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