Things you can count on each and every year:
1. The World Series (well, not in 1994, at least).
2. The Academy Awards.
3. Spokane business leaders converging on Olympia to brag about our great region and to advocate for its businesses.
From Jan. 23-25, Greater Spokane Incorporated (that’s us!), and the Greater Spokane Valley and West Plains chambers of commerce will lead a delegation of 80-plus business and community leaders to our Capitol and keep our region in the minds of our elected officials.
This should be an interesting year in Olympia. We have a new governor and some new elected officials that need to know about Spokane. Education funding will be one of the top issues our leaders will have to tackle, and transportation funding looks to be atop the agenda as well. How the state deals with health care reform and the overall business climate will also be debated.
But what about our region? How will the elected officials from this side of the state work on behalf of us? Last fall, we heard from a number of community leaders – as we do every year. The result of those meetings was our 2013 State Agenda, a document outlining the various projects in our region we’ll be advocating for next week.
Here’s a sampling, along with some thoughts and details:
No elimination of tax incentives for manufacturers
Giving tax incentives to manufacturers is a key ingredient for keeping them in our state. Eliminating those incentives could create an unwanted incentive – the incentive for them to seek relocation in another state.
Reforms to the state’s regulatory policies and other small business issues
Streamlining the permitting and regulatory process and eliminating regulations that are a burden to small businesses is one thing we’ll talk to legislators about. We’ll also push for further reforms in Workers Compensation and lower unemployment insurance costs. Small businesses need to be given the opportunity to thrive.