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; find events happening near you; 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
Today, small business owners across the country are calling on their House Representatives to Vote NO on Fast Track. In Oregon, Main Street business owners recently met with Congresswoman Bonamici’s office in Beaverton and delivered a clear message: “Say NO to Fast Tracking the TPP!”
Many gathered in front of City Hall, yet Congresswoman Bonamici did not go downstairs to meet with the group. Business owners and community members rallied for about 30 minutes and headed up to her office. Representative from the rally politely entered City Hall, and went to deliver their message to her staff because the Congresswoman would not meet with them face-to-face.
Patty Katz, an Organizer with The Main Street Alliance of Oregon, delivered a copy of an Op-Ed from Mark Kellenbeck, Co-Chair of The Main Street Alliance of Oregon and Co-owner of BrainJoy, LLC in Medford. The Congresswoman was asked what happen to change her mind about standing up for small business and Oregonians as a whole.
The group asked, “What is in it for Oregonians? Why does Congresswoman Bonamici support the TPP?”
Congresswoman Bonamici’s staff were cordial to the group, and over 25 delivered different letters and other documents all with the same requests: “Say NO to Fast Tracking the TPP!”
The Main Street Alliance of Oregon is proud to introduce Onofre Contreras Jr. as Partnerships and Initiatives Manager.
We look forward to Onofre joining in our mission to represent small businesses to advance reforms in health care, corporate taxation, education, jobs and the Oregon economy among other pressing small business issues issues.
Onofre has spent the past eight years building enduring relationships with Oregon government leaders, community based organizations and the business community while working on health care reform efforts and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Onofre joins us with a varied background that includes significant government management and operations experiences. He has served as an assistant county administrator as well as other local government roles in a 20-year career. In capacities as a city administrator and planning/public works director he has facilitated many contentious public issues as a bridge-builder to bring about consensus on matters of concern to elected officials, grassroots community members and business leaders.
In his work with the Oregon Primary Care Association representing community health clinics and the Oregon Health Action Campaign advocating for health reform, Onofre established relationships with government, business and community stakeholders to fund community health centers and support passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Most recently with Cover Oregon he helped navigate the work of the 23-member community advisory committee composed of insurance agents, small business, community advocates and consumers of Oregon health insurance services.
Having previously worked in partnership with The Main Street Alliance Oregon on various projects, Onofre is drawn to the mission, values and goals of the organization and he looks forward to joining the staff and small business members of The Main Street Alliance to help build a better Oregon.
Small business owners: We’re proud to be American businesses and proud to pay our fair share of taxes
**Small Business Owners Available for Comment**
Portland, OR–– With Tax Season in full swing, business owners and working families across the country are standing together, proud to live, work, and support the United States and their local communities. Small business owners here in Oregon know that their tax dollars go to support the communities that help to make their businesses thrive. Investments in our schools, public infrastructure, safety, and much more depend on everyone paying their fair share of taxes.
Despite relying on American customers and taxpayers for their profitability, many large businesses have recently decided to undertake a so-called “corporate tax inversion,” made possible by a loophole in the tax code that allows American companies to reincorporate in a foreign country when just 20% of its stock is owned outside of the United States.
In response, today over 500 business owners, The Main Street Alliance (MSA), and the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) have pledged to remain in the US, and not abandon their country.
“As a small business owner, I’m grateful for my country and community, they’ve helped my business thrive for over 32 years,” said Jim Houser, owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic in Portland. “I’m proud to pay my fair share of taxes to help keep my community healthy and strong. My tax dollars 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.”
Business owners across the country—and political spectrum—overwhelmingly support closing corporate tax loopholes, like ones that allow for inversions, rather than making more cuts. Small business owners in Oregon are calling for the Legislature—and Congress—to close tax loopholes that allow businesses to extract wealth from our communities.
“The problem is not competing with big corporations,” said Deborah Field, co-owner of Paperjam Press. “It’s that those corporations are using loopholes to dodge their U.S. tax responsibility. That leaves us, small businesses and working families, to pick up the tab. If those businesses continue to leech off of our communities, and are unwilling to re-invest in America by paying their fair share, then Congress needs to act. Our tax structure should be refashioned to provide our government the financial means to create the economy-boosting jobs necessary to restore our ailing economy and help small businesses rebuild the middle class.”
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
Tuesday, March 31 – The Main Street Alliance of Oregon released a new report today, highlighting support
of Paid Sick Days for Oregon from the small business community. Understanding Paid Sick Time in Oregon; A Guide for Businesses examines the small business considerations of a paid sick time policy in Oregon. It combines data and analysis from a review of existing research on the costs and benefits of a paid sick time policy with insights from local small business owners.
Read the report here: Paid Sick Time in Oregon, March 2015
March 4, 2015 – Beaverton & Portland business owners gathered on Wednesday to celebrate small business, come together, and think BIG about how we can work together to craft common sense policies that work for Oregon small businesses and the communities we serve.
Main Street Alliance of Oregon leaders and members came together to enjoy some delicious El Salvadorian cuisine at Gloria’s Secret Cafe in Beaverton. They were joined by State Representative Tobias Read to talk about small business in Beaverton and the 2015 Legislative Session. Representative Read has been a champion on many issues for the small business community. Most notably, we’re grateful for his work on the Community Public Offering–creating a new innovative way for Oregon small businesses to raise capital from their own communities–and the Retirement Security plan.
Thanks to all who were able to join us! If you missed us this time, keep an eye out for the next Main Street Mixer coming to a Main Street near you!