By Marcos Wanless | seattletimes.com
This month, it’s time to celebrate the contributions of our country’s thriving Hispanic communities, including their entrepreneurs.
October also marks the start of the Seattle City Council’s budget deliberations. This time, the city proposes a fee on online orders. Whether the council decides to label this policy a tax or a fee, we at the Seattle Latino Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce oppose it, and we should be clear that city leaders are once again asking those who live in Seattle to pay more at a time when many businesses and families cannot afford it.
In fact, it’s now commonplace that each year’s city budget discussions focus more on policies that hamper our community’s ability to achieve financial security and support the local economy through new and higher taxes on businesses, and now, delivery services.
Adding a tax on delivery services is the wrong way to solve the city’s budget challenges, especially given the growth in Hispanic-owned businesses, many of whom rely on deliveries to grow and sustain their customer base. This additional cost will raise the price of delivery in our city when we need to be doing the opposite.
As founder and president of the Seattle Latino Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, I’ve heard amazing stories of creativity, resilience and, perhaps most importantly, enthusiasm from our member businesses, people who worked to keep their doors open through the worst of COVID-19 and remain in business today. Many of these businesses are growing — a trend that tracks with national data.