Local Business Leaders Meet at Forum - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local Business Leaders Meet at Forum

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PASCO, Wash.- Local business leaders met Thursday to talk about small businesses in the region.

Business leaders from around the Columbia Basin met at the Pasco Red Lion, talking about everything from health care to new tax policies.

Hundreds of people turned out, hoping to catch new ideas about small businesses in Washington.

Three panelists spoke at the session, representing local and statewide opinions on small business leadership, some say that small business is the key to this state's economic future.

"97% of all firms in Washington state have fewer than 50 employees, firms with fewer than 50 employees employ 1 million workers in the state and firms with fewer than 50 employees employ 49% of the state's non-government workforce," said Carl Gipson with the Washington policy center.

Business owners were given the chance to voice their opinions, with many speaking out against the state's new tax laws.

The forum was put on by the Washington Policy Center and the Center for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.