Small Businesses Applaud Paid Sick Days Vote in Seattle

Last week, the Seattle City Council, in a historic voted, passed a new city-wide standard ensuring that workers will have access to paid sick days. The vote tally was a resounding 8-1, a testament to the broad support the proposal garnered from key stakeholders in the community – including local small business owners.

Small business leaders from the Main Street Alliance of Washington played an active role in the campaign. MSA of Washington leaders provided early and ongoing input on the details of the ordinance to make it work both for small business owners and their workers. MSA leaders also played important roles by reaching out to their peers, joining delegation visits with city council members, testifying at hearings, and giving interviews for the press.

While the traditional business lobby came out in knee-jerk opposition to paid sick days, small business leaders in MSA of Washington engaged in a collaborative process to set a new standard that promotes healthy workers, healthy workplaces, and a healthy community.

Makini Howell, owner of Plum Bistro, was deeply involved throughout the process. She was there to see it through to the end, too, speaking at the rally before the Council vote last week. Here’s an excerpt from a statement Makini gave after the vote:

Makini Howell, owner of Plum Bistro in Seattle

“Today is a good day. As a small business owner, I know providing paid sick days is good for the health of our customers, good for economic security for our employees, and good for our business and the economy.

But the story of this ordinance is not just about passing good public policy; it’s about the important collaborative process that got us here. The Seattle Paid Sick Days Ordinance reflects a fruitful collaboration between public health advocates, community organizations, labor unions, small businesses, and city council members. I am proud to have been a part of that collaboration.

Today’s vote for the Paid Sick Days Ordinance was also a ‘yes vote’ to support small businesses working in collaboration with labor and community to make our city a better place to live, work, shop, and run a business.”

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