[Portland] – Oregon small business leaders released a surprising new survey report on Friday, September 28, Taking the Pulse of Oregon Small Business, which challenges commonly held stereotypes on business attitudes on the economy, taxes and electoral politics. Leaders with the Main Street Alliance of Oregon, VOIS Alliance and Equity Alliance Oregon met over coffee with Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici to outline and discuss these findings at Salt and Straw Ice Cream and Bakery in Portland.
In a survey of 377 small business owners from a broad swath of Oregon, majorities of responding small business owners expressed unexpected opinions, including believing that:
More customers, and not lower taxes or fewer regulations, are what small businesses need to rebuild the economy and create jobs.
- Big corporations are not paying their fair share of taxes.
- Corporate tax loopholes should be closed to increase revenues before making further budget cuts.
- The Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision (freeing corporations to spend unlimited money in elections) is bad for small businesses.
- A constitutional amendment is needed declaring that corporations are not people and money is not speech.
“As we surveyed small business owners around Oregon, we realized that business owners on Main Street –
the independent, mom and pop shops that create a big portion of our jobs nationally – feel like they’re in a battle for their very existence against Wall Street corporations and ‘big box’ stores,” explained Mark Kellenbeck, a business owner from Medford and co-chair of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon. “The policy implications of this battle are clear. We need to level the playing field to give Main Street small businesses a fighting chance. We need to eliminate corporate tax loopholes and make large corporations pay their fair share. We need to rein in out-of-control corporate spending in elections. And we need to help Main Street businesses gain access to credit, affordable health care, and other foundations they need to thrive.”