Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire today ordered state agencies to develop programs and institute reforms that will boost small businesses faltering in the ongoing economic downturn.
The initiatives range from help with exports, to improving access to credit, to alleviating the burdens imposed by the state's complex tax structure and regulatory requirements.
The economy is changing, and government must change to reflect the changes, she said.
Some changes have already been made, Gregoire said, and others will be implemented as soon as they can be identified with legislative consent.
"This is all stuff I think we can do ourselves," she said, noting the state has already expanded business and occupation tax credits.
She sad 400 jobs were created thanks to $1 million in B&O tax credits targeted at rural counties.
Gregoire said 95 percent of Washington businesses have fewer than 50 employees.
"Clearly, small business represents the backbone of the economy in our state," she said.