Council delays vote as businesses lose an estimated $200,00/day under city’s new law

SEATTLE (June 6, 2024) – Seattle restaurants, retailers and other businesses that rely on third-party delivery apps have lost more than $27 million in revenue since the city’s Delivery Pay Ordinance took effect in January. 

The running total, as captured on a new lost revenue tracker, tells the story of millions of dollars that local businesses are missing out on thanks to the City Council’s continued inaction – including many small, independent stores and restaurants. The lost revenue is calculated by taking publicly available data published by third party delivery platforms. Despite this abundance of data showing massive losses for Seattle’s small businesses, the City Council chose not to act and punted on a commonsense compromise bill last week–a bill that would have guaranteed delivery workers earn at least Seattle’s nation-leading minimum wage of nearly $20 an hour before mileage and tips. 

“The cumulative effect of the Seattle Delivery Pay Ordinance is flat-out unsustainable. It’s another hit to businesses already struggling with the increased costs of food, insurance and fuel costs. And It’s not working for the delivery people who use app-based work to supplement their income, pay for school or offset other personal expenses — some of whom have had to abandon this work entirely because of the new law,” said Tammie Hetrick, president and CEO of the Washington Food Industry Association (WFIA). WFIA represents small, independent grocers in cities like Seattle and across the state. 

“The city should be doing all it can to take action and fix this unsustainable law,” added Hetrick. “A reasonable compromise is on the table. It is past time to address this; we need the council to act now.” 

Marcos Wanless, president and founder of the Seattle Latino Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, said the revenue tracker underscores the damage the new law has caused for Seattle’s businesses. 

“Restaurants are job creators, taxpayers and tourist attractions. We need a healthy restaurant scene to sustain our city, and it’s clear the city’s new delivery ordinance is having a negative impact on businesses, especially small and family-owned businesses,” said Wanless. “It’s time for the council to take action and fix the Delivery Pay Ordinance. It’s important to the health of our city, its businesses, workers and customers for the council to act on this, now.”

“The compromise measure now before the council has the potential to bring much-needed relief to retailers and app workers. Council has included a wide variety of perspectives to gain a clearer picture of the law’s impact. Now it’s time to take action,” said Reneé Sunde, president and CEO of the Washington Retail Association. “The data is clear about the law’s impact on retailers, workers and consumers. We urge the council to take this up immediately. It’s time to resolve this issue and move forward.”


About the WA Alliance for Innovation and Independent Work
WA Alliance for Innovation and Independent Work is a coalition of consumers, independent workers, small businesses, app-based services, and community leaders from across the state that seeks to strengthen and support advancements in the new workplace. Today, flexible jobs, benefits, and innovative services are essential to enhancing Washington’s emerging economic opportunities and empowering the small businesses and workers who are leading and innovating.