Spokane roundtable consensus: New requirements limit the middle class 

Jul 3, 2024
Written by WR Communications

WR hosted a Retailer Roundtable in Spokane on June 26 to help small retailers and partners stay informed and to hear about implementation challenges. We are thankful to North 40 Outfitters for hosting the event at their West Spokane location. 

Small retailers, the Greater Spokane Incorporated, and the Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce reviewed a summary of new employment laws passed in the 2023/24 legislative sessions. Participants’ most salient response to the continuous onslaught of employer requirements is concerns over their lack of financial and human resources necessary to comply, especially under inflationary wage pressure, which adversely impacts consumer pricing. 

For small retailers, the dream of running a business is a pathway to attaining middle-class status. For their mid-level managers, opportunities for training and schedule flexibility have been constrained by the rapid rise in salary-exempt thresholds. 

Policymakers and government agencies need to hear and understand the vital role retailers play in their communities and in the State’s economy. WR will be coordinating a retail tour in the Spokane area following the August primary for elected officials and candidates. 


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