Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signed an executive order Friday in the hopes of removing burdens and barriers on the city’s small businesses.
As a technology hub, the Seattle area is best known for its heavy hitters like Amazon, Microsoft, and Expedia. But the city is also home to hundreds of startups that could benefit from the changes.
The order asks the City Budget Office to study the taxes and fees small businesses have to pay to determine whether some of those burdens can be reduced. The city will pay particular attention to the business and occupation tax.
According to the mayor’s office, 95 percent of Seattle establishments are small businesses with fewer than 50 people.
Durkan is also asking Seattle’s Office of Economic Development to study the feasibility of implementing a program that connects young people and adults seeking career changes with training and placement at small businesses, with a focus on technology and other sectors.
As part of the plan, Seattle will re-establish its defunct Citywide Business Advocacy Team to reduce bureaucratic hurdles and more directly connect small businesses with the municipal government.