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Businesses closing faster than new ones being created

storeclosingIn a recent report from the Brookings Institution we find that American entrepreneurs started 27% fewer businesses in 2011 than they did five years earlier, according to data from the Census Bureau. As a share of all companies, startups have been declining since the late 1970s. Even worse, they find that in recent years, more firms are exiting than are entering. The authors conclude that the decline in entrepreneurship “points to a U.S. economy that has steadily become less dynamic over time.” While the decline in entrepreneurship is broad-based—hitting every major industrial sector, every state, and nearly every large city—Oregon has been one of the hardest hit.

“Entry” evokes images of dynamic high tech startups like Snapchat or Airbnb or Portland’s own Simple. In reality, entry also includes plain ol’ businesses like coffee shops, convenience stores, bicycle repair shops, and consulting firms. While the high tech firms get most of the attention in the media for their dollar signs and innovations, the plain ol’ businesses make up a huge portion of the start up world. One line of reasoning says that it’s okay if entry slows, so long as the mix of entrants shifts toward the innovative and dynamic. Read more »

OSBA in Washington D.C.

TJ Reilly
President, Oregon Small Business Association

On Wednesday May 7th, 2014 I traveled to Washington DC to represent the Oregon Small Business Association as part of the Smarter Fuels Coalition. See: http://smarterfuelfuture.org/

Our coalition, along with former Senator Wayne Allard (R-CO) met with the EPA on Wednesday morning and expressed our concerns over the current E10 Ethanol mandates as well the proposed E15 mandates. We spent over an hour explaining all of the unintended consequences of having ethanol in our fuel. In addition to decreased gas mileage, our group gave examples of premature engine failure and numerous other problems. We even had an environmentalist in our group explain all the environmental problems associated with the current mandates. Read more »

Blazer owner active on NBA fallout

Blazer owner Paul Allen was one of the first NBA team owners to speak publicly on the recent LA Clippers owner, Donald Silverman, charges of racism over a taped conversation.

Shortly after the news break, Paul Allen stated publicly, “If true, the alleged comments by Donald Sterling are abhorrent, and not acceptable for the owner of an NBA franchise.”

The next day, the NBA finished their investigation which included hiring an FBI expert to test the validity of the audio recording. Within hours Paul Allen responded “I completely support NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s decisive action on the Sterling issue. Great leadership and the league is in good hands.” Read more »

Business frets over bill’s hidden tax increase

Business frets over bill’s hidden tax increase

There are concerns that technical language in SB 1534-B may have the effect of re-raising rates on out-of-state income earned by small businesses. Republican lawmakers have been the first to voice their opposition to have the language removed from the bill.  The bill, SB 1534, represents a roll-back of last year’s “Grand Bargain” which brought significant tax relief to Oregon Small Business. Read more »

OSBA Newsletter: Who’s hiring in Oregon?

The latest OSBA newsletter has arrived.   It includes Who’s hiring in Oregon” &  the ” Worst Business PR disasters of 2013″. The newsletter is available to all OSBA supporters.  You can be a supporter by making a donation to Oregon Small Business Association. P.O. Box 23815, Portland, OR, 97281



Moda Center is big success, don’t spoil it with petition drive

By TJ Reilly,
Oregon Small Business Association

The renaming of the Rose Garden Arena to the Moda Center is a win-win for everyone. For the Rose Garden It is a long awaited reward which can lead to new businesses filling the vacant stores and even possibilities of bringing in new franchises such as Arena Football or Major League Hockey. There is even chance that this deal could bolster help for the Memorial Coliseum. For Moda Health, it is a chance for a local Portland based company to break into bigger markets with a splash.

With such success it is unfortunate to see a small minority of Portlanders take to the streets with a petition to pressure Rose Garden management against the name change and to reject helping a local business as they bring new funds to improve the arena. Nearly 3,000 people have signed this petition so far which is not a lot but still represents a step backwards for progress and for small business in Portland. Read more »

Businessweek notes Portland talent recuiting success

By Oregon Small Business Association

Businessweek wrote about Portland’s innovative idea to attract new talent. The CEOs of 11 of Portland’s startup tech companies have launched a novel and promising venture: joining forces to recruit new talent into the city instead of poaching software engineers from each other. To kick off the campaign, the group filmed a video called TechTown Portland, a high-speed tour of their offices and employee amenities. The film, viewed on Vimeo, is shown at corporate recruiting events. Each company contributed $2000 and the Portland Development Commission gave $18,000 and facilitated the shoot. The coalition plans to create an online shared job board and may also host recruiting events. The TechTown companies had 110 openings for technical positions as of early June. Read more »

AT&T ahead in wireless speed test

By Oregon Small Business Association,

According to Rootmetrics AT&T’s average download speeds are 30% faster than Verizon. At&T may be winnign the speed war, but Verizon has winning the volume contest as they have 93 million subscribers, compared to AT&T’s 71 million. Below is a chart comparing the average download speeds between the three big carriers, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.

Washington-based Donuts Inc. emerges as most prolific bidder in Website domain wars

By Oregon Small Business Association

Washington-based Donuts Inc. paid almost $56.8 million to apply for 307 top-level Website domain names, the most of any company, more than Google (99) or Amazon (76). The domain name registrar startup paid $185,000 per application.

The company that manages the Internet’s address system, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), published a list of applied-for domains on June 13. It will decide on which names to approve. In mid-2013, ICANN plans to auction 1,400 new suffixes for Website domain names, expanding way beyond .net, .com, and .org. The last expansion occurred in 2004.

Owning a domain name can be highly profitable. Bloomberg reports that Clover Holdings paid $13 million for the rights to sex.com.

Backed by more than $100 million in venture capital, Donuts applied for names including .blog, .inc, .love, .baby, and .toys. Most are in English, but some are in other languages, including Spanish, French, German, and four in Chinese. Donuts won’t sell domain names directly to consumers but will act as a wholesaler, brokering names to registrars like GoDaddy.

Donuts, based in Bellevue, was started in November 2010 by four men with vast experience in Internet domain management. The company is led by co-founder Paul Stahura, a veteran tech entrepreneur who founded domain registrar eNom and sold it to Demand Media in 2006.

Some worry that Donuts will license websites to cybersquatters. Donuts has already arranged to sell 107 of its top-level domain names to Demand Media, which has been involved in more than two dozen cases involving cybersquatting.

For more, see http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-21/donuts-tries-a-domain-grab

Online giants eye Oregon: eBay, Cisco, Facebook, SalesForce, Google

By Oregon Small Business Associationportland
eBay is enlarging its footprint in downtown Portland, where it established a mobile development operation when it bought Critical Path Software in 2010. It has added dozens of employees since then and lists additional jobs on its website. eBay will occupy a third floor of its building near Portland State University, increasing its office space by 50 percent to make room for more software developers. Read more »