Today’s post highlights some of the key issues you should be aware of as you begin preparing your business for Seattle’s minimum wage ordinance.

First Phase: April 1, 2015

The increase to the $15.00 minimum wage will be phased in beginning April 1, 2015. Here’s how Seattle’s minimum wage laws apply to your business:

Larger Companies (more than 500 employees)

If your business employs more than 500 people in the US, then your business must pay each employee working in Seattle a minimum hourly wage of $11.00 by April 1, 2015.

Small Companies (500 or fewer employees)

If your business employs 500 or fewer employees in the US, then your business must pay each employee a minimum hourly wage of $11.00 by April 1, 2015. However,…

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Exciting news from our friends east of Lake Washington came out last week! The City of Bellevue is developing a plan to launch a website that will take advantage of Washington’s new crowdfunding bill. The City’s goal is to provide local companies a new way to raise money from smaller, local investors.

What is crowdfunding?

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, equity crowdfunding allows companies to advertise to and raise investment from the “crowd,” i.e. the general public. This is significant because traditionally companies could only access capital from “accredited investors” (or high net-worth individuals) due to the SEC restrictions and compliance costs associated with raising funds from non-accredited investors.

With crowdfunding, non-accredited and accredited investors alike can invest in companies they believe…

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A recent article published by the Seattle Business Magazine points out that the Puget Sound area is well positioned to take advantage of the nation’s economic recovery. During a discussion at the 42nd Annual Economic Forecast Conference held in downtown Seattle on Thursday, the panel noted that compared to the rest of the US, the King County economy is doing well and continuing to grow. In particular, King County has a relatively low rate of unemployment.

Forecasters pointed out that the Puget Sound area is set to outperform the national economy primarily because of our region’s tech, aerospace, clean energy, and retail sectors.

Click here to read the full article.

For a look at this week’s national headlines for business news, check out…

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The Kaiser Family Foundation released their annual study of employer-sponsored health insurance, and the news for small businesses isn’t good. Costs are continuing to go up while the number of companies offering insurance to their employees is not. Across the board, premiums for family coverage rose only 4% over the last year; however, for small businesses (less than 200 employees) that number is nearly double. For individual coverage, small business premiums increased 5%, higher than the average increase among all employers.

The study noted that small businesses are migrating to the cheapest plans—leaving employees strapped with high deductibles. Since 2006, the number of small businesses acquiring high-deductible, cheap plans for their employees has grown to nearly a quarter of all small-business…

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