The Oregon Small Business Council of Oregon is now the Main Street Alliance of Oregon.  You can access our new website here:


The Main Street Alliance of Oregon.

It’s a new year, and we have a new name.  As of January 1st, the Oregon Small Business Council has changed it’s name to the Main Street Alliance of Oregon.  This name change does not mean that our mission will change – 2011 will be a year of growth and expanded focus, and we appreciate your continued support.  This month we will also be moving our web presence to:

Please continue to check back here for updates and for official confirmation of our website move.

Thanks and Happy New Year!

Oregon Small Business Council Co-Chair and Co-Owner of the Hawthorne Auto Clinic, Jim Houser, continued his track record of standing up for his business and the businesses the OSBC represents today when he joined Senator Merkley, and other national small business leaders, on a call with the national media.

On the call, Jim discussed why adding $700 billion to the deficit for a new round of tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans is bad for business:

“These tax cuts for the richest two percent are no help to small businesses like mine.  We need policies that actually help small businesses by restoring consumer purchasing power and spurring demand. Extending federal unemployment benefits would produce 6 to 8 times the economic impact in terms of job growth compared to the tax cuts. And that’s just one example.”

When the Congressional Budget Office studied different options for jump-starting economic growth and evaluated the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy among a set of 11 policy options, the tax cuts came in last of all 11 options.

While proponents of extending the high-income tax cuts frame their case around concern for small businesses, only three percent of taxpayers who report any business income (let alone income from a small business) earn enough to break into the top two tax brackets. In fact, even this figure overstates the impact on actual small businesses.

Click Here for Audio of The Entire Call.

Read the Story in the Oregonian.

Jim Houser, is co-owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic in Portland, OR, and a leader with the Oregon Small Business Council.

Jim has been a strong small business voice in support of health reform. He pays for coverage for his employees, and his premiums have doubled over the last ten years. Now, thanks to the new health law, Jim’s business will qualify for a tax credit that return over $10,000 to the business, effectively rolling back their health insurance costs to 2008 levels. As Jim puts it, “It’s like a time machine.”

This past September, Jim had the opportunity to join an informal backyard gathering with President Obama and over a dozen other participants from around the country who will benefit from the new health care protections that went into effect on September 23.

Jim recaps the event:

“The President spent well over an hour listening to people tell their stories of how the health care reform provisions have improved their lives, sometimes dramatically. I met people who no longer face denial of coverage because they have a pre-existing medical condition or have exceeded their lifetime health insurance limit. The significance of the new law for me is that we will now be able to continue our employees’ health care coverage. Our company is one of over 4 million small businesses now eligible for the new health care tax credits. The effect of this tax credit for our company will be to return our health care costs to 2008 levels – a major cost reduction.”

Jim’s participation in the event drew coverage in state and national news outlets:

The Oregonian

The Washington Post

The Oregon Small Business Council took center stage this week as Jim Houser of Hawthorne Auto Clinic emceed a nationwide press call with Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) and four small business owners from other states who have experienced difficult increases in health insurance costs.

Our friends at the Main Street Alliance have put the audio from the call up online for you to hear.

Download a recording of the call here.

On January 28, the Oregon Small Business Council and our friends at the Main Street Alliance released the findings of our Main Street Policy Pulse survey of small business owners.

The survey found strong support among small business owners for comprehensive financial reform and the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

Now we have developed this infographic to better display the results of the survey.

The Oregon Small Business Council held a news conference Thursday morning to unveil the results of a survey of small business owners about financial reform. The survey, conducted in Oregon by OSBC and elsewhere by the nationwide Main Street Alliance, expresses the opinions of small business owners that reforming Wall Street is necessary and that the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency will protect small businesses from unfair lending and financing practices.

The conference featured Deborah Field of Take Notice Card Company and Jim Houser of Hawthorne Auto Clinic, as well as a representative from Senator Jeff Merkley’s office.

Senator Merkley has emerged as a champion of financial reform and will continue fighting for comprehensive financial reform that works for Main Street, not Wall Street. His statement praised the report as reinforcing what he has heard from small business owners from across the nation.

The Oregon Small Business Council looks forward to partnering with Senator Merkley to pass a strong financial reform bill with a Consumer Financial Protection Agency this Congress.

View the report here.

View Oregon’s snapshot here.