Business

health care reform
4:51 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Small businesses in Washington lose out on subsidized health plans

Veronica Rios, left, has her blood pressure taken by medical assistant Elizabeth Garza, center,as Rios' husband, Miguel Tamayo, and their daughter Paula look on at right, at the Country Doctor Community Clinic in Seattle, Friday, Feb. 4, 2011.
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

Small businesses in Washington state will not be able to participate in the new health care law, because not enough insurance companies were willing to sell them coverage. 

The biggest part of Pres. Barack Obama’s new health care law is aimed at people with no health insurance. Starting this fall, they’ll be able to buy individual health policies from an online system where they can compare prices. It's also where you can get subsidies for insurance. In Washington state, it's called Washington HealthPlan Finder.

If you work for a business with fewer than 50 employees, the law says your employer has the option of getting insurance for low and middle-income workers—with subsidies. That won’t happen in Washington, at least not on time.

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Boeing in Washington
3:50 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Inslee begins effort to secure Boeing's next jet

FILE - In this June 14, 2012 photo, a worker on the Boeing 737 assembly line works under a wing in Renton, Wash.
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

  Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wants to streamline government permitting and review aerospace incentives in order to help convince Boeing Co. to build its 777X jetliner in the state.

Inslee said Thursday that other strategies that lawmakers need to implement include improving the state's transportation corridors and investing in education and workforce training programs. He added those efforts can help preserve thousands of jobs.

"Today what we are doing is starting for the competition not just for the 777x but for the replacement of the 737. We’re getting ready for that today. We’re thinking long-term," the governor said.

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minimum wage gap
10:00 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Why won't this McDonald's move 20 feet into lower-wage Idaho?

Tim Skubitz, in white, at his McDonalds in Newport, Wash., looks across the highway into Oldtown, Idaho.
Jessica Robinson

The border between the states of Washington and Idaho is like a Petri dish for what the minimum wage does to the economy. That’s where two extremes meet.

Idaho has the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. While Washington’s is nearly $2 more, the highest in the nation. You might expect that wage gap to send Washington border businesses fleeing over to Idaho. But that's not what's happening.

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workplace safety
5:26 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Number of on-the-job deaths falls, Wash. ranks third lowest

Andre Mondou Flickr

Washington state seems to be a safer place for workers than most other places in the country. A new report says the state has the third lowest workplace fatality rate in the nation. 

New Hampshire had the lowest workplace death rate, followed by Rhode Island, then Washington. The three states with the highest on-the-job death rates were North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana.

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May Day 2013
5:05 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

In wake of May Day mayhem, businesses assess damage

Don Stevens, owner of Bill's Off Broadway, stands next to his broken window.
Ashley Gross KPLU

Business owners are assessing the damage after some anti-capitalist protesters broke windows in Seattle last night. Only a handful sustained property damage, but many more businesses were affected financially.

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e-books
10:07 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Amazon makes Kindle app to make e-books accessible to the blind

Blind protesters marching outside Amazon's headquarters in December
Ashley Gross KPLU

Amazon has released an app that makes it easier for the blind to read Kindle electronic books on iPhones. Advocates for blind people say it’s a significant step for a company that’s lagged other technology companies in making accessible products.

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Business
8:06 am
Wed May 1, 2013

T-Mobile USA completes MetroPCS acquisition

T-Mobile USA, the country's fourth-largest cellphone carrier, says it has completed its acquisition of MetroPCS.

T-Mobile, a subsidiary of Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG, will gain its own U.S. stock listing by merging with Dallas-based MetroPCS Communications Inc.

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King County Metro cuts
3:37 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

King Co. Metro urges lawmakers to pass transpo funding package

Atomic Taco

Even if you don’t ride the bus, you may feel the brunt of possible service cuts by King County Metro as roads get more crowded with cars. That’s one of the messages leaders of King County Metro told the Seattle City Council.

They’re urging the state Legislature to pass a transportation revenue package in the special session that starts in several weeks. 

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marijuana opportunities
7:56 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Marijuana Gold Rush begins as investors hunt for opportunities

ArcView CEO Troy Dayton showing a recent Fortune magazine cover story on his group and the world of marijuana investing
Ashley Gross KPLU

The first state-licensed marijuana stores are still almost a year away, but business-minded people are already chasing profits. Today, entrepreneurs are pitching their pot-related ideas to dozens of wealthy investors in Seattle. 

San Francisco-based ArcView Investor Network arranged the private forum akin to the TV show “Shark Tank.” Entrepreneurs will have a few minutes to pitch their idea—which includes everything from better grow lights to handheld vaporizers, to mobile apps for marijuana retailers—and explain why their idea is a worthy investment.

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Business
4:52 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Starbucks sales and profit climb, company adds 590 new stores

pure9 Flickr

If you have a daily Starbucks fix, you’re not alone. The company took in $3.6 billion in revenue in the most recent quarter. 

Starbucks added 590 stores around the world— including Ho Chi Minh City—in the first three months of this year. And they weren’t just coffee shops; more than 300 were tea shops that Starbucks acquired through its purchase of Teavana.

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Amazon earnings
3:47 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Amazon profit falls, but analyst says not to worry

An Amazon Kindle Fire HD is seen on introduction in Santa Monica, Calif., Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012.
Reed Saxon Associated Press

Amazon’s first-quarter profit dropped 37 percent, but at least one analyst says that’s nothing to worry about; it's all part of Amazon's master plan to keep edging out competitors by investing deeply.

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Business
5:04 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

After son's death, father criticizes lack of fishing industry oversight

This bell was rung 66 times during the memorial ceremony on Tuesday.
Washington Department of Labor and Industries

The 66 Washingtonians who died on the job in 2012 were honored at a memorial on Tuesday. A memorial bell was rung 66 times, once for each victim who died of a job-related illness or injury.

But the father of a 22-year-old commercial fisherman who died says not enough has been done; he voiced frustration over what he called a lack of government oversight of the fishing industry.

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career tips
5:00 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Want to be a gorilla caretaker? Go for it! Job lessons from Workstew

SantiMB

Kate Gace Walton was tired of public relations. Helping create goofy marketing campaigns like unspooling the world's longest hot dog at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics just wasn't fulfilling anymore.

But what would be fulfilling? She stewed about it. Then she wrote an essay, Random Acts of Business, about her search for a job with meaning.

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Business
4:51 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Foreclosures surge in the Seattle area and Washington state

A Seattle-area foreclosed home sitting vacant
Timothy Ellis

This audio is pending

Even as home prices have been rising in the Seattle metro area, more people are losing their homes to foreclosure.

The number of people in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area who lost their homes to foreclosure in March jumped 67 percent from a year ago. Statewide, the number was even higher – 88 percent. That's according to new numbers from RealtyTrac, the foreclosure-data company.

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Business
8:12 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Venture capital activity drops in Washington state in 1st quarter

Washington state’s venture capital activity dropped a lot in the first quarter. But it may be too early to worry about the health of the startup community.

Washington usually ranks among the top five markets for venture capital funding – this time the state fell to number 10.

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