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Microsoft suffers layoffs

By Oregon Small Business Association

One of the NW’s largest employers, Microsoft, is laying off employees in its marketing division. About 25,000 of the company’s 90,000 full-time employees work in sales and marketing, and CEO Steve Ballmer apparently doesn’t think that the software giant’s sales justify the nearly $14 billion it spent on sales and marketing in fiscal 2011. The latest reports indicate that around 200 people were let go. Read more »

Changes in technology pose threat to advertisers

By Oregon Small Business Association

A smart phone App called MailStop and a new Dish Network DVR dubbed “The Hopper” give consumers the power to eliminate junk mail and commercials.

Junk Mail-Blocking Apps


The United States Postal Service, plagued by financial woes, now must deal with a new smart phone App called MailStop that notifies advertisers to remove contacts from their mailing list. MailStop launched in January. As of mid-April, it had been downloaded over 10,000 times and processed about 105,750 requests.

In 2007, Catalog Choice created a searchable online database of 10,000 brands with opt-out links. Over the past five years, it processed 22.5 million stop-mail requests. Meanwhile, cash-strapped cities seeking to save landfill and recycling costs are launching their own junk mail sites, powered by Catalog Choice software.

Read more »

Changing consumer trends for younger generation

By Oregon Small Business Association

American teenagers are leaving the auto market and instead spending more on fashion, food, wine and beauty products.

Less on cars

Research shows that the number of teens owning a used car has dropped from seven million to four million in only five years. Fewer teens today get their driver’s licenses and more 20-somethings aren’t sold on owning a car. Instead they stay home and use social networks to connect with friends, and move to big cities where mass transit makes car ownership optional. Read more »

NW island still for sale — sign of the times?

By Oregon Small Business Association
Millionaires buy beach homes; billionaires buy islands. But in recessions, billionaires end up selling those islands. Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder, is selling 292-acre Allan Island, just off the coast from Anacortes, Wash., for only $13.5 million.

The island has been on the market for two years, and there is no sign of a buyer yet. The price has already come down: when Allen listed the property in 2005, he wanted $25m for it. Read more »

Oregon chain store shake-up

By Oregon Small Business Association

Best Buy has recently announced it will be closing 50 big box stores across the nation while at the same time opening 100 smaller mobile device stores. None of the larger Best Buy store closures will impact Oregon.
 Sears Holding Corporation, parent company of Sears and Kmart, will be closing up to 120 of its stores and liquidating some inventory. Sears will be closing in Roseburg, and two Kmart stores in Washington (Lacey & Walla Walla). Read more »

Oregon has significant business drop

By Oregon Small Business Association

Oregon is an unfriendly state when it comes to business, according to 650 CEO’s surveyed by ChiefExecutive.net. The survey ranked Oregon No. 42, down 15 spots since 2008, the biggest drop in the survey of all U.S. states.
Respondents indicated Oregon has wasted its competitive advantage with its beauty, natural resources and great work force by replacing it with a State Government that penalizes achievement and success.

One CEO said, “Oregon has taken the approach during the recession that since business and personal tax revenues are down, it is not their job to . . . create easier competitive environment, but instead to increase taxes and regulatory fees to keep government in place.” Another respondent stated in order to operate in a pro-business environment they are moving their headquarters from Oregon to Texas. CEOs ranked Texas the No. 1 place to do business, followed by Florida, North Carolina, Tennessee and Indiana

Update on Oregon bankruptcies

By Oregon Small Business Association

Portland’s HemCon Medical Technologies Inc., makes bandages for wounded warriors. With only 65 employees, HemCon had revenues of $73 million four years ago. But for more than six years, it has been the target of a patent-infringement lawsuit by Marine Polymer Technologies Inc., a bandage-maker from Massachusetts. The lawsuit has been complicated, and twice rulings have been given in HemCon’s favor, especially since HemCon has reformulated its products to clarify that they do not infringe on any of Marine Polymer’s patents. But Marine Polymer just won on its final appeal, and HemCon is once again liable for huge damages. Whether it will be able to keep operating is unclear. Read more »

Fight to save Klamath River Dams, local jobs

Join the Oregon Small Business Association as we Fight to Save the Klamath River Dams and the Jobs they Support

The Oregon Small Business Association strongly opposes the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) because it calls for the removal of the Klamath Basin Dams. These dams are vital to the economy of the Klamath Basin.

KBRA proponents admit that one of the major outcomes of the agreement is the removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River. These dams provide inexpensive power to job creators in the basin. They also provide the water and power required by family farms and ranches. Read more »

Problems mount for CRC bridge

By Oregon Small Business Association,

Recent developments regarding the funding, design, and purpose of the Columbia River Crossing’s (CRC) plans for a new bridge linking Portland and Vancouver have renewed concerns of opponents who believe the project is ill conceived, too costly, or who question the integrity of the whole process. Recently, the U.S. Coast Guard deemed the Columbia River Crossing bridge’s planned 95 foot clearance too low and will not consider approval until a thorough assessment of the bridge’s impact on river use has been conducted—a move that could delay construction and raise the project’s cost. Read more »

Cash mobs offer sales booms

By Oregon Small Business Association

Small, locally-owned businesses across the country are getting a boost from a new phenomenon called cash mobs which have found their way to Oregon. The economic counterpart to flash mobs, cash mobs are mass runs on a local business for the purpose of buying products and generating income.

Started in 2011, cash mobs have been organized in 32 states across dozens of cities. Through Twitter or Facebook, participants nominate businesses over a period of several days. The field is democratically narrowed to one final candidate. Once a business has been selected, individuals are given the location, an estimated time of arrival, and are encouraged to spend at least $20. Read more »