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Portland halts Street Tax plan.

portlandThe Oregonian Small Business Association has been involved with many others against the $50 million dollar Portland Street Tax proposal. 

The Portland Street Tax has taken many forms over the past few months ranging from  a business-burden heavy plan to an income tax plan.   Recently the City of Portland has called off the plan and is now seeking statewide legislation in order to create a more universal solution.


NW port slowdown causing economic damage

portDelays at West Coast ports, including Northwest ports, have reached a critical point and threaten regional economies, according to recent news reports. The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which represents 29 West Coast port employers, has been locked in contract negotiations with the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) since July of last year. That’s when the six-year contract between PMA and ILWU expired.

Since then, both sides have blamed the other for major port delays that have left ships stalled at docks in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle, among others. The ILWU says port operators aren’t providing sufficient resources or that their equipment isn’t safe, which is causing delays. Port operators counter, and recent judicial rulings seem to affirm, that the ILWU is engaging in deliberate delay tactics to gain leverage during ongoing contract negotiations. Read more »

OSBA Street Tax poll in Portland Tribune

portlandOSBA was featured in the Portland Tribune for their poll on the Portland Street Tax.   The poll helped showcase that voters want the right to vote on any new street taxes that will hurt small businesses and working families.

Here is what the Portland Tribune (12/2/14) said…

A new poll says most Portlanders are against the proposed street fee, think it should be referred to the voters, and will vote against Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick if they try to prevent city residents from voting on it.  Those are the highlights of a poll commissioned by the Oregon Small Business Association, lobbyist Kent Craford, and others about the street fee proposed by Hales and Novick. It was conducted by Riley Research between Nov. 24 and 28, and released on Dec. 2 — the day before the City Council is scheduled to consider adding a six-year sunset clause to the proposal. The final vote is tentatively scheduled for Dec. 10. Read more »

Cheers to our breaking beer record

beer2The Oregon Brewers Guild announced that Oregonians bought more than 500,000 barrels of beer produced in Oregon in 2013, setting a new record in Oregon craft beer history and leading the U.S. in percentage of dollars spent on craft beer.

Oregon’s breweries crafted a little more than 1,400,000 barrels of beer during 2013, an 8 percent increase from the previous year. Oregon employment figures continue to strengthen, with the state’s brewing companies adding more than 200 jobs in 2013 and directly employing more than 6,600 people.

A look at who is hiring in Oregon right now

hiringSeveral large corporations are entering the Portland market or expanding their local operations over the next several months, giving a boost to Portland’s economy. Though the exact number of jobs to be added is still being determined in some cases, Portland could see upwards of a thousand or more new jobs added to its economy from Aruba Networks, ShopKeep, eBay, Under Armour, CarMax, Fred Meyer and Cabela’s.

• In a sign Portland’s tech sector is gaining strength, ShopKeep recently moved into its downtown 6th Street location. Based in New York City, ShopKeep produces an iPad-based point-of-sale system for merchants. It previously operated out of a temporary office near the Lloyd District with 15 employees. Its new permanent location can accommodate as many as 100 employees, reports the Portland Business Journal. ShopKeep plans to grow its West Coast business and selected Portland as a primary outpost for related expansion. Read more »

Timber legend will be missed

aaronjonesBy Seneca Sawmill, Eugene
Aaron Jones, founder of Seneca Sawmill Company and a long-time Eugene resident, died on Monday, September 22, 2014. He was 92 years old.

Jones was a prominent industry leader for more than 50 years, guiding the family-owned sawmills in the West through bruising battles with special-interest groups and industry giants bent on driving smaller, family, independent mill owners out of business. He was also one of the earliest mill owners to embrace advances in sawing technology that employed high-strain bandmills and thin-kerf sawing for the purpose of increasing the amount of lumber recovered out of logs. His limitless curiosity and his passion for research and experimentation have resulted in his Seneca Mills in Lane County being considered by many to be the most technologically advanced mills in the world. Read more »

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 »