We know that in today’s business climate, the time of a small business owner is in high demand. It can seem like there isn’t enough time in the day to run a business, let alone keep up with the ever changing requirements imposed by new laws and ordinances. We know it is easy to sometimes put off change until tomorrow, and tomorrow never seems to come. We also know it that you don’t have to go at it all alone.
Late 2016, the City of Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS) awarded GSBA and other Ethnic Chambers of Commerce Coalition ECCC partners a grant of $285,000 to provide outreach, education, and technical assistance to Seattle small businesses. The purpose is to help the businesses understand their responsibilities under Seattle's Minimum Wage, Wage Theft, Paid Sick and Safe Time, Fair Chance Employment, and Secure Scheduling ordinances. GSBA’s focus is on outreach to employers not typically served by traditional outreach methods including people of color, immigrants and refugees, women, veterans, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community.
In early 2018, Mayor Jenny Durkan and OLS announced recipients for the new award to continue the same work. This time, with the city's renewed two-year commitment to fund small business outreach, GSBA was able to take the next step and hire a half-time staff to fill this role. In March of 2018, we hired Taylor Briggs as the GSBA Business Outreach Coordinator.
If the name Taylor Briggs sounds familiar to you, it should! Taylor is a very recent GSBA intern with the GSBA Scholarship Fund, completing 300 hours of work for his internship, and a long-time volunteer with the chamber. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Taylor onboard as staff, and our small business members are already reaping the benefits of Taylor’s work.
His work for now primarily focuses on helping small business owners fully understand the new laws, analyzing the economic impact of complying with the new ordinances, one-on-one counseling with business owners, providing in-person workshops to diverse communities to help them understand the complexities of the new laws, and also connecting businesses to resources to find compliance.
“I hope to develop strong and trusting relationships with business owners so that they can feel comfortable approaching me for help,” says Briggs. The job is part educator, part analyst, part counselor, and part connector - all in one.
Some businesses might be nervous about contacting someone for help if they feel like they don’t understand or are embarrassed if they already know they are not in compliance.
“When someone reaches out to meet with me, they should know they are entering a judgement free zone. My goal is really just to help them run the best possible business they can, and I am committed to helping them get there,” says Briggs.
The Ethnic Chamber of Commerce Coalition (ECCC) has developed online training materials which outline the specific requirements of each labor ordinance and how they can be implemented in your business. The training takes about an hour and is a very helpful place to start if you are not sure you want to contact Taylor right away.
You’re probably asking yourself right now, “how can I get in touch with Taylor to set up a one-on-one counseling session to review all of the new city ordinances and how they are impacting my business?”
Easy! You can call Taylor Briggs at 206-363-9188 or send him an email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org to ask a question or set up a time that works for you.
Changing rules, laws, and ordinances can be scary and sometimes be overwhelming, especially for a small business owner, but you don’t have to tackle it alone. GSBA is here to help, so contact Taylor today and find out how he can help.