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
Senator Merkley’s Town Halls:
August 10, 2015 @ 2:30 PM, Clackamas County Town Hall, Wilsonville Public Library, 8200 SW Wilsonville Road, Wilsonville, OR 97070
August 12, 2015 @ 12:30 PM, Union County Town Hall, Pleasant Grove Grange Hall, 67218 Hunter Road, Summerville, OR 97876
August 12, 2015 @ 4:00 PM, Wallowa County Town Hall, Joseph Charter School Cafeteria, 400 E Williams Ave, Joseph, OR 97846
August 13, 2015 @ 9:30 AM, Grant County Town Hall, Long Creek Community Center , 210 West 2nd Street, Long Creek, OR 97856
Congressman DeFazio’s Town Halls:
August 4, 2015 @ 10:00 AM, Bandon Town Hall, Bandon Public Library, 1204 11th St SW, Bandon, OR
August 4, 2015 @ 12:00 PM, Port Orford Town Hal, Port Orford City Hall, 555 20th St, Port Orford, OR
August 4, 2015 @ 5:00 PM, Gold Beach Town Hall, Gold Beach City Hall, 29592 Ellensburg Ave, Gold Beach, OR
August 5, 2015 @ 9:00 AM, Brookings Town Hall, Chetco Activity Center, 550 Chetch Lane, Brookings, OR
August 5, 2015 @ 1:00 PM, Canyonville Town Hall, Azalea Room, Seven Featers Hotel, 146 Chief Milwaleta Lane, Canyonville, OR
August 5, 2015 @ 5:00 PM, Roseburg Town Hall, Roseburg City Hall, 900 SE Douglass Ave, Roseburg, OR
August 24, 2015 @ 10:00 AM, Sweet Home Town Hall, Senior Community Center, 870 18th Ave, Sweet Home, OR
August 24, 2015 @ 12:00 PM, Albany Town Hall, Albany City Hall, 333 Broadalbin St, SW, Albany, OR
August 24, 2015 @ 5:30 PM, Corvallis Town Hall, Benton City Library, 645 NW Monroe Ave, Benton, OR
August 25. 2015 @ 10:00 AM, Eugene Seniors Town Hall , Campbell Senior Center, 155 High St, Eugene, OR
August 25, 2015 @ 4:30 PM, Springfield Town Hall, Willamalane Center for Sports and Recreation, 250 S 32nd St, Springfield, OR
August 25, 2015 @ 6:00 PM, Eugene Town Hall, Northwest Community Credit Union, 545 E 8th Ave, Eugene, OR
Access to Capital: The Main Street Alliance of Oregon, Hatch and Representative Tobias Reid worked to create the Community Public Offering, a new tool for Oregon-based businesses to raise up to $250,000 from fellow Oregonians. Made legal through the Oregon Intrastate Offering Exemption rules on January 15, 2015, it offers the chance to raise capital from ALL Oregon residents, regardless of wealth.
Retirement Security: After several events with coalition partners from Save Today, Secure Tomorrow and support from our State Treasurer, HB 2960 was signed by Governor Brown on June 26th. HB 2960 creates the Oregon Retirement Savings Fund Board and directs the board to create a retirement savings plan accessible to all Oregonians.
Economy-Boosting Jobs: Paid Sick Days, SB 454, had a rousing public hearing in April that was attended by more than 300 people. Legislators listened to impassioned testimony until nearly 10pm at night! With broad support from community groups, small business owners and working families from across the state, this bill was also signed by Governor Brown on June 26th.
HB 3025, also signed on June 26th by the Governor, establishes unlawful practice of inquiring into or considering applicant’s conviction history on application form or prior to interview or, if no interview is conducted, prior to conditional offer of employment. This bill was supported by our allies at AFL-CIO and The Urban League of Portland.
Although, we worked towards raising the minimum wage this session, our legislatures failed to pass any of the more than a dozen bills that were introduced. However, MSA helped to build strong support in the business community and will be working towards raising the wage to $13.50/hr in 2016.
A Healthier Oregon: After years of fighting against Big Oil, the Oregon Clean Fuels Program, SB 324, was passed and signed into law by Governor Brown on March 12. Our Co-Chair and Co-Owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic in Portland, Jim Houser, had this to say: “Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program will provide the regulatory certainty Oregon businesses need to invest, helping our economy and expanding family-wage jobs across the state.”
Our communities, families and children are safer now that toxics are out of toys! SB 478 passed and was signed into law this session as well. A big win to help ensure a healthier Oregon!
Thanks for all of your support fighting for Oregon Main Street Businesses and our working families!
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