Too often, small businesses are “spoken for” by corporate lobbyists who claim to represent us but are really pushing a Big Business agenda. We’re changing that by creating opportunities for Oregon’s small business owners to speak for ourselves – face to face with decision-makers, at public events and through the media.
* We work on the issues that matter most to small businesses and our entire communities, including health care, financial reform, jobs and the economy, energy and efficiency, among other pressing issues.
* And we’re making an impact. We have a history of accomplishments because of the involvement of our members, led by a statewide steering committee of small business leaders.
* We are affiliated with the national Main Street Alliance.
Please spend time on our website to learn more about our coalition; the issues we work on; our independent research; Main Street Alliance members in the media; the latest from our blog; how you can support our work; and most importantly, how you can get involved.
-The Main Street Alliance of Oregon
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Stephen Michael, Main Street Alliance of Oregon, Stephen@mainstreetalliance.org, 831-428-3176
Small Business Owners, Videos Urge Lawmakers to
Renew and Strengthen the Tax Credit for Working Poor Families
Videos can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkRvBIF2K7yCpVnrdG4rywg/videos
Oregon – As a pivotal legislative hearing on the Oregon Earned Income Tax Credit approaches, small business owners from throughout Oregon have released a series of videos urging lawmakers to renew and strengthen this tax credit that helps low-income working families with children make ends meet.
“If lawmakers want to help Oregon small business owners, they need to renew and strengthen the Oregon Earned Income Tax Credit,” said Stephen Michael, organizer for Main Street Alliance of Oregon, which produced the videos. “This efficient tax credit puts money in the pockets of customers, who spend it locally, giving a boost to small businesses, and our economy.”
The Oregon Earned Income Tax Credit — a tax credit that helps low-income working families, mostly families with children — will expire at the end of 2013, unless the legislature votes to extend it. The Oregon EITC complements the federal EITC, widely recognized as one of the most effective anti-poverty programs around for families with children.
The four EITC videos released by Main Street Alliance feature five Oregon small business owners making the case for the Oregon Earned Income Tax Credit. They are:
Jon Riegel, co-owner of Jack of all Beads, a beads store in McMinville;
Denise Sprengelmeyer, owner of Modern, a design boutique store in Eugene;
Michael Nagle, owner of Uppercut Barber Shop in The Dalles;
Joan Kleban, owner of Greater Goods in Eugene;
Michael Barthmus, owner of Doppio Coffee & Lounge in Hood River; and
Leta Barclift, owner of Pioneer Electric, an appliance store in The Dalles.
Some of the business owners in the videos explained how the Earned Income Tax Credit helped them at some point in their lives when they needed help. “I’ve watched [the EITC] transform my family and other families,” said Leta Bartclift. “It needs to be locked in with other programs that help people willing to work get ahead.”
All the small business owners see the EITC as good for the economy. “What’s pumped in gets spent, which gets pumped back out, which gets spent again. That’s the fuel for small business,” said Denise Sprengelmeyer, explaining how the EITC helps businesses like her.
The Main Street Alliance of Oregon works to provide small businesses a voice on the most pressing public policy issues in Oregon and nationally.
NOTE TO EDITORS AND REPORTERS:
The four videos can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkRvBIF2K7yCpVnrdG4rywg/videos
The Oregon Legislature’s Joint Committee on Tax Credits will hold a hearing on Oregon Earned Income Tax Credit bills (SB 317, 325A, 326, HB 2477, 2478A) on May 23, 2013. The hearing starts at 8:30 a.m. in Room A at the State Capitol.
The Main Street Alliance of Oregon, a coalition of more than 1200 small businesses, creates opportunities for small business owners to speak for themselves on issues that impact their businesses and local economies. http://oregon.mainstreetalliance.org
The Main Street Alliance of Oregon is a part of Oregonians for Working Families, a state-wide coalition that is asking lawmakers both to renew the credit and to increase its size to make it even more effective. http://www.ocpp.org/resources/eitc-coalition/
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Stephen Michael, firstname.lastname@example.org
Oregon Small Business Owners Comment on New Poll Revealing Strong Bipartisan Opposition to Corporate Tax Loopholes
First Poll on Overseas Tax Havens Reforms Finds Rejection of “Territorial” Tax System
**Business Leaders and Small Business Owners Available for Comment**
Portland, OR ––Small business owners support closing offshore corporate tax loopholes and oppose a “territorial” tax system that would permanently exempt offshore profits from U.S. taxation. These are among the findings of a new poll released today by the Main Street Alliance (MSA) and the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) – two national business policy groups.
The full report of poll results may be found here: http://bit.ly/msa-asbc-poll-report-taxes
Oregon small business owners affiliated with Main Street Alliance of Oregon commented on the poll today, expressing strong support for closing offshore corporate tax loopholes.
“The problem is not competing with big corporations,” said Deborah Field, Paperjam Press. “It’s that those corporations are using their profits to dodge their U.S. tax liability. That leaves us, small businesses and our communities, to pick up the tab. If those with all the resources aren’t willing to invest in America, and pay their fair share, then our tax structure should be refashioned to provide our government the financial means to create the jobs necessary to restore our ailing economy.”
“My views as a small business owner are definitely not represented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s push for a ‘territorial’ tax system,” said Mark Kellenbeck, BrainJoy, LLC. “Any system that would allow companies to avoid U.S. taxes on profits made or shipped offshore is not good for small businesses or our communities; all it would do is effectively give multi-national corporate tax dodgers a free-pass, shifting their burden to the rest of us.”
“As a small business owner, I do my part to make our community better,” said Jim Houser, Hawthorne Auto Clinic. “My taxes help pay for roads and bridges, schools and teachers, and all other public services that my business and my customers depend on. Big corporations should do the same and pay their fair share for all the services that helped them build their abundant profits.”
This new poll is the first to query small business owners on specific policies for addressing overseas corporate tax havens. Current tax law enables companies to defer indefinitely taxes on profits earned overseas. This practice is responsible for an estimated $1.7 trillion in profits being held overseas by U.S. companies, with no taxes paid to the United States. The ASBC-MSA poll tested three possible reforms: ending deferral, instituting a territorial system, and establishing combined reporting.
Key findings from the survey include:
- More than four out of five small business owners (85%) oppose a territorial tax system, which would permanently exempt offshore profits from U.S. taxation. Across party affiliation, 67% or more are strongly opposed to the proposal.
- 76% of small business owners support closing overseas tax loopholes by implementing a unitary combined reporting system, which would limit the ability of corporations to avoid taxes by shifting profits offshore. A majority (55%) are strongly supportive.
- 64% support ending deferral, a provision of current tax code that allows corporations to indefinitely defer payment of U.S. taxes on profits made or shifted offshore. Across parties at least 62% support this idea.
- By a margin of more than two to one, small business owners prefer to close corporate tax loopholes rather than make program cuts. Both Democrats and Republican small business owners preferred closing loopholes to cutting spending on education, infrastructure or defense.
- Respondents in the survey were politically diverse, with a strong plurality of Republicans or Independents who lean Republican: 47% identified as Republican or Independent-leaning Republican; 27% as Democratic or Independent-leaning Democratic; and 26% as Independent or other.
To view the full survey results, visit: http://bit.ly/msa-asbc-poll-report-taxes
Poll results reported here represent findings from a scientific national phone survey of 515 small business owners (with 2 to 99 employees), commissioned by the American Sustainable Business Council and the Main Street Alliance and conducted by Lake Research Partners. The nationwide live phone survey was conducted between March 14-25, 2013. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.4%.
The Main Street Alliance is a national network of state-based small business coalitions. MSA and its state affiliates create opportunities for small business owners to speak for themselves on issues that impact their businesses and local economies. www.mainstreetalliance.org
The American Sustainable Business Council and its member organizations represent more than 165,000 businesses nationwide, and more than 300,000 entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and investors. ASBC informs and engages policy makers and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant and sustainable economy. www.asbcouncil.org
Last year Main Street Alliance of Oregon met with advocates in Southern Oregon, including members of Oregon and Action in Jackson County as part of a statewide Oregon Banks Local campaign to encourage city and county governments to divest from Wall Street and deposit in “Main Street” banks. Oregon Action advocates have followed up with the City of Ashland, which has developed and adopted a Responsible Banking Policy to encourage local investment and development, and help to bolster local small businesses and economies. Earlier this week, the City of Ashland passed such a resolution. Most notable, the new resolution specifically calls for identifying strategies and best practices that would enhance the chance for local participation in banking decision-making. It also works to identify and capitalize on new opportunities to increase commitments to local lending and other community investments like small business loan programs. All in all, great news for Ashland, and small businesses all over Oregon – this is definitely a step in the right direction.
Small business owners applaud collaborative approach to crafting Portland Earned Sick Time legislation
Portland, OR—Small business owners with the Main Street Alliance of Oregon and VOIS Business Alliance released a new report, Understanding Earned Sick Time in Portland: A Guide for Businesses, highlighting the benefits of earned sick time for small businesses.
The two small business groups, representing hundreds of business members across Portland, say that the benefits to small businesses of earned sick days outweigh the costs by promoting health in the workplace, increasing productivity, improving employee retention, reducing turnover costs, decreasing system-wide health care costs, and strengthening consumer confidence.
Small business owners applauded the collaborative approach to developing Portland’s Earned Sick Time proposal with input from the small business community, noting that small business owners were at the table along with public health advocates, labor, and community groups to help draft the proposal currently in front of the City Council.
“Commissioner Fritz’s Earned Sick Time proposal is a win-win-win,” said Jim Houser, co-owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic and co-chair of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon. “Guaranteeing workers earn sick time will promote public health, strengthen the economic vitality of our city, and help small businesses thrive. As a small business owner, I was proud to join Commissioner Fritz and other stakeholders to lay the groundwork for this ordinance based on common ground principles.”
“The more business owners learn about the significant benefits of earned sick time, the more cost concerns are minimized,” said Tony Fuentes, interim executive director of the VOIS Business Alliance, Oregon’s sustainable business alliance, noting that San Francisco’s paid sick days law was greeted with trepidation by many in the business community when it first passed in 2007, but that a 2010 survey of business owners found two-thirds in support of the law after implementation.
Key findings from the report include:
- Earned Sick Time improves health in the workplace, increased productivity, and improves public health. The loss of productivity to the U.S. economy due to illness in the workforce has been estimated at $160 billion annually. When workers have the opportunity to earn paid sick time, they are more likely to stay home when ill, get healthy and return to productive work sooner, and avoid the risks of spreading illness in the workplace, including to customers.
- Earned Sick Time improves employee retention, and reduces turnover costs. Expenses related to employee turnover are consistently reported in the thousands of dollars per position.
- Earned Sick Time reduces system-wide health care costs. By encouraging prevention rather than expensive ER use, guaranteeing workers can earn paid sick time could prevent an estimated 1.3 million emergency room visits nationally, saving $1.1 billion in health care costs annually.
- Costs of Earned Sick Time are minimal. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the cost of providing paid sick time at 0.9% of total compensation for private industry workers in the Pacific West region, a small cost compared to the productivity, employee retention, and health savings gains associated with paid sick time.
The Main Street Alliance of Oregon (MSA-Oregon) is seeking multiple year round interns to help grow our coalition of small business owners throughout the state of Oregon, and educate owners on issues ranging from health care to credit and lending.
MSA-Oregon is a grassroots lobbying organization that works to provide small businesses a voice on the most pressing public policy issues in Oregon and nationally. Our advocacy promotes vibrant businesses and healthy communities, and fosters leadership development of socially responsible business leaders.
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS (including, but not limited to):
• New member recruitment
• Survey collection
• Petition signature collection
• Business owner story collection
• LTE and op-ed drafting and pitching
• Building of business owner spokesperson teams
• Building of business owner action teams
• Setting up and prepping business owners for meetings with local and national decision-makers
Please send an email with “MSA-Oregon Intern” in the subject line, including your resume and a cover letter explaining your relevant experience and interest in the position to MSA-Oregon Coalition Director, Lee Mercer – email@example.com.