Smith participates in small business press conference

Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton and lead Republican on economic development issues in the Washington State House of Representatives, participated in a small business press conference today in Olympia hosted by the Washington Policy Center (WPC). Small business owners, the Association of Washington Business (AWB) and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) gathered to promote small business reforms in the Legislature.

“We have the opportunity in Washington state to accelerate our economic recovery and job creation by enacting smart reforms that have demonstrated results,” Smith said.

Recommendations presented at the press conference include further workers’ compensation reform, tax simplification for small businesses, regulatory and health care reforms.

For example, streamlining our burdensome regulatory process directly improves our business climate and competitiveness. The impact of regulatory compliance costs on small businesses is disproportionately high compared to our large employers,” Smith said. “I know we can implement reforms without eroding the quality of life we all enjoy here in Washington, and will continue working with my colleagues toward needed changes.”

The WPC recommendations came from the small business owners around the state during a small business conference last fall.

“The reforms mentioned today come from the very employers who are working hard through this difficult business climate. We have an opportunity this year to put these ideas forward, help our small-business owners recover, and put people back to work” Smith said. “Small businesses are responsible for many of the net new jobs during a down economy, in addition to the support they provide for so many families and the communities in which we live. Our small businesses are essential to a sustainable economic recovery here in Washington state, and there is no better way to help these employers and employees than acting on their recommendations.”

Smith is currently awaiting a public hearing on House Bill 2290, a small business tax simplification bill. The bill was part of the Department of Revenue’s small business report recommendations. Smith’s House Bill 1151, which would require that regulations drafted by an agency have specific statutory authority, is now part of a bigger regulatory reform bill being pushed by the House Republican Caucus – House Bill 2276, sponsored by Rep. David Taylor, R-Moxee.

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees account for 96 percent of the state’s registered businesses. Just over 1.1 million people work for small businesses in Washington.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov