July 6, 2020
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Top Stories Federal Issues Other News AWB Events & Resources Tweet of the Week They Said It
Top Stories

New 'Washington in the Making' website offers key tools for local insights, recovery and growth

The recovery begins here! The AWB Institute has unveiled a new "Washington in the Making" website to help local communities and our state understand where we are and thoughtfully plan toward where we want to go. The heart of the website is an interactive, detail-driven dashboard called Washington's Vitals. It provides the most current data that can be used at the state and community level to track recovery, form policy, and move forward.

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'Save lives and protect jobs': AWB and other business groups issue a united call to wear face masks

The leaders of 11 business groups representing restaurants, retail, construction, manufacturing and other industries issued a united call last week for members of the public to wear masks. It's vital to keep Washington from moving backward in the state's Safe Start phased reopening plan, the employers said.

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Special session less likely, top leaders say

Recent comments from Gov. Jay Inslee and House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan indicate a special legislative session may not happen this summer after all, despite an $8.8 billion state budget shortfall brought on by the coronavirus.

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Unemployment taxes could nearly triple in 2022 due to COVID

Employers could see big increases in unemployment insurance taxes starting next year, as the state faces the costs of covering hundreds of thousands of layoffs during the pandemic. In related news, Washington may need a federal loan to cover unemployment payouts by the end of the year.

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This Wednesday's webinar will cover child care and early childhood learning

First Lady Trudi Inslee, Children and Family Services Secretary Ross Hunter and Child Care Aware of Washington CEO Deeann Burtch Puffert will be part of a child care and early childhood learning discussion this Wednesday, July 8, during the COVID-19 Employer Resources Webinar Series. Register online now for this free webinar!

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Get the resources to safely reopen at the AWB Rebound and Recovery website

Employers across the state continue to find ideas, insights and equipment to reopen safely with AWB's Rebound and Recovery website. The site's PPE Connect directory and Business Tool Kit are helping employers equip their employees to safely operate. A new resources page has a variety of useful, constantly updated links.

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Call for entries: Washington Excellence Awards and Manufacturing Excellence Awards

The Washington Excellence Awards program is your chance to showcase your Washington business. With three new categories for 2020, there are even more opportunities for your company to get recognition, and self-nominations are encouraged. The deadline to enter is July 31 and it only takes five minutes. Submit your entry or nominate a business now! This week, we are featuring three of our 13 award categories: the Excellence in Washington Family Owned Business, Washington Resiliency Award and Entrepreneur of the Year.

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Federal Issues

Paycheck Protection Program extended to Aug. 8

The federal Paycheck Protection Program was extended by the U.S. Senate Tuesday hours before it was set to expire. There is still $130 billion left in the program for small businesses.

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McMorris Rodgers introduces measure to strengthen nation's hydropower

U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., has introduced the Hydropower Clean Energy Future Act to expand production and promote innovation in a clean and reliable power source.

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USMCA now in effect, North American partnership "a great strength for all three of our countries."

As the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement went into effect on July 1, business leaders from the three countries said they are committed to working together to make North America "the premier global destination for investment."

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Other News

AWB announces automatic endorsements of legislative candidates

AWB has automatically endorsed 35 state representatives and nine senators, based on their consistent voting records in support of Washington's business climate and competitiveness. The endorsement process continues with interviews and further announcements later this year as the election season continues.

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Changes to overtime rules took effect July 1

Washington state employers have new rules on overtime exempt employees that took effect at the beginning of the month. The main update to the rules is known as the "job duties test."

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Walmart has surpassed veterans hiring goal, with 265,000 vets hired since 2013

Walmart has met an ambitious goal set in 2013 to hire a quarter of a million veterans. That goal has now been surpassed. Walmart announced last week that they have hired 265,000 vets, with 44,000 being promoted to greater responsibility within a Walmart or Sam's Club.

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National PTA, U.S. Chamber join forces to close digital divide

The National Parent Teacher Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation are working together on the Every Student Connected initiative, which aims to raise awareness of the country's digital divide. More than 12 million students are unable to participate in effective distance learning as schools remain closed and classes have moved online.

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AWB receives recognition for excellence in communication for second year in a row

We are proud to announce that AWB received a 2020 Totem Award for excellence in communication from the Puget Sound Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). A virtual event announced the winners on June 23. This is the second year in a row AWB has received recognition from the Seattle-based PRSA group.

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AWB Events & Resources

AWB announces new webinar series focused on business management resources

AWB is pleased to announce a new webinar series coming this August for new and small business owners and managers. If you're just starting out or you need a refresher on what's new, the AWB Business Tool Kit webinar series provides a foundation for business management. Register for the whole five-webinar series and save $25 through August 12. Secure your spot now!

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New speakers confirmed for AWB's Aug. 11 Federal Affairs Summit

Secure your spot to engage with our federal representatives on Tuesday, Aug. 11. We are pleased to offer Federal Affairs Summit this year all online and we are excited to have Congressmen Denny Heck, Derek Kilmer and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene as recently confirmed speakers. Join the conversation from the safe distance of your home or office. Register now.

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Tweet of the Week

No Special Session?

They Said It

Mask Up

"This is a time for Washingtonians to come together for the sake of our families, our communities and our livelihoods. We know that wearing face masks in public helps reduce the spread of this virus, which not only protects the health of our family and friends but also protects jobs." ~ AWB President Kris Johnson, announcing that AWB and a broad coalition of employer advocates are uniting behind a campaign urging the public to wear face masks to save lives and protect jobs.

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Reopen Safely
A Crucial Necessity

Child care is essential to reopening the economy

By U.S. Reps. Nita M. Lowey and Richard E. Neal

Even before the pandemic, millions of parents could not find quality, affordable child care that matched their work hours or their ZIP codes.

Long waitlists for a child care slot were routine. Now, across the United States, the pandemic has created significantly greater challenges for American families to secure safe, accessible care for their children with facility closures, reduced capacity, and new financial strains on programs, providers, staff and parents.

In an April survey of more than 5,000 providers by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, nearly half reported that they were completely closed. The Center for American Progress (CAP) estimates that without adequate federal support, the coronavirus pandemic could permanently eliminate 4.5 million child care spots -- nearly 50% of US child care capacity, which was already far below our country's needs.

Read the full op-ed at CNN
Covering the Issue

Mask up, Washington: It's a matter of life and death

By The Seattle Times Editorial Board

Not everyone can safely wear a mask, but those who can should.

Cloth face coverings slow the spread of coronavirus by trapping droplets of moisture that are exhaled when talking, singing, coughing, sneezing or simply breathing. Masks best slow the spread of disease when more people -- even those who feel healthy -- use them regularly. Donning a bandana every once in a while does little good.

Forgoing a mask without a medical reason is not a political statement or expression of independence. It's an act of selfishness or ignorance. Those who are deliberately spreading misinformation about masks' effectiveness are cynically putting lives at risk.

Unless it is medically inadvisable, and until a vaccine is readily available, stay close to home, minimize interactions with people outside your household, wash your hands and wear a mask.

Read the full editorial in The Seattle Times