The GSBA Blog

GSBA Continues to Advocate for Businesses During Pandemic

by Louise Chernin (She/her), GSBA President & CEO
| Apr 27, 2020

Although many of us are weary of life under COVID-19, Governor Inslee has announced some movement to allow the opening up of some sectors of the economy, starting with low risk construction. Other industries that the Governor is looking to open up will be elective surgeries and outdoor recreation. But, the main question everyone wants answers to “when will we return to normal?”

Given these unknowns, the Governor is not able to provide direct answers. As we keep repeating, it will be a “turn of the dial and not a switch.” Even as industries open, the openings will be gradual - and we need to be prepared for setbacks. GSBA will continue to monitor the lifting of industry restrictions, and keep you posted. As business owners, you do need to start thinking of how you will reopen in stages, in terms of staggering staff hours; making accommodations for high risk employees; and ensuring your workplace will able to be compliant around workplace safety such as social distancing and hygiene maintenance; and customer/visitor expectations and monitoring. 
Although mostly consumed by COVID-19, there are other workplace issues that GSBA is actively engaged. I am referring to the recent payroll tax legislation introduced by Councilmembers Sawant and Morales. Given that the State of Washington is soon to see an unemployment rate of one million, I was aghast that our City Council was considering a tax against payroll.

In response, GSBA has written councilmembers and the Mayor, testified before the City Council’s Budget Committee; had an opinion piece published in the Puget Sound Business Journal co-authored by me and Taylor Hoang, Executive Director of the Ethnic Business Coalition, and are actively engaged with the No Payroll Tax, Recovery First committee. GSBA understands that there is a need for more revenue in Seattle and Washington State, but do not believe taxing payroll is the way to go. Perhaps, the time is now to look at a more progressive tax at the state level.
It is a busy time for GSBA as we work on behalf of you, our 1,400 members, each who are facing the gravest challenges of your professional lives. Our Membership Team is available to provide you with technical support on applying for SBA loans and grants. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if there is information or support we can provide you.

Stay safe,

Louise Chernin (She/her)
GSBA President & CEO