December 2009


The Small Business Administration (SBA) will restart lending under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) thanks to $125 million included in the U.S. Department of Defense appropriations bill signed into law on Saturday.

According to the SBA’s news release, the funding will support higher guarantees and lower rates for small business lending through February 28, 2010.

“This Administration and Congress recognize that these key programs were
successful in helping jump-start the economic recovery for America’s small
businesses,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “The increased guarantee and reduced fees on SBA loans helped put more than $16.5 billion in the hands of small business owners and brought more than 1,200 lenders back to SBA loan programs. The extension of these programs through February is important to continuing our path toward recovery and will mean thousands more small business owners have access to the credit they need.”

The Oregon Small Business Council praises this additional support of small businesses and will be supporting an expansion of SBA lending as part of broader financial reform in 2010.

You may have already heard: the United States Senate took a monumental step toward passing its health care reform bill early Monday morning by approving a cloture motion on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s so-called manager’s amendment, which contains the compromises made to reach 60 votes. Now the bill will continue debate before voting on final passage, probably Thursday, December 24.

What you can do

Call Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden to thank them for their votes to move forward and their continued hard work on health care reform that works for small businesses. After final passage, we’ll focus our efforts on the conference negotiations, where the final details will be worked out between the House and Senate versions before it becomes law. Keep in touch as we move forward in the next couple weeks.

And after that?

The Oregon Small Business Council is moving from its infancy into adulthood, and we need your help. As we look ahead to January, please consider helping us grow by doing one or more of the following:

  • Fill out our short issues survey so we know what issues are important to you as a small business owner.

  • Host a small business networking event–happy hour, coffee hour, etc.–to help network with other business owners in your area and work toward the goal of building successful and sustainable local economies.

  • Recruit five small business owners from your block, neighborhood or city. Local economies are only as strong as the network to sustain them, and we need your help to build a strong advocacy force for small businesses that can stand up to out-of-state corporations and other well-funded special interests. Your friends can sign up here.

  • Volunteer for a leadership position. As we move forward, our structure is changing. We are now seeking officers for a board of directors and volunteers to work on policy issue committees.

For more information on any of these opportunities, please contact Andrew at 971-634-0010 or andrew@oregonaction.org.

We truly appreciate your ongoing involvement and hope to keep working with you to build a one-stop shop for small business advocacy, education and networking in 2010 and beyond. Please enjoy time with your family and friends this holiday season and think about how you’d like to build Oregon’s small business economy in the new year.

The Oregon Small Business Council has received grant funding to hire two part-time, temporary paid interns to assist in building our base and reaching out to small business owners. Details about the grant and internship are below.

2009 Main Street Allaince Winter Basebuilding Internship Program

Summary: The Fall Basebuilding Internship program will provide an opportunity for MSA partners to bring on canvassing interns to conduct outreach and build a base for expanding the small business organizing agenda to other national issues after health care, including financial regulatory reform and climate/energy issues.

Timeframe: December 14, 2009 – January 29, 2010 (6 week commitment)

Requirements: The interns hired for small business canvassing will need to be experienced organizers and have the ability to meet measurable outcomes weekly.  In addition they should have the ability to work independently, engage small business owners & complete weekly reports and work plans. This internship will pay $1,500 per intern.  We expect to hire two for this project.

Deliverables:

  • Survey collection: Collect 150-200 issue-based surveys from small business owners. (50 hours)
  • Petition signers: Collect signatures from 100 small business owners on each of two new issue petitions, one on energy/climate change and the other on financial reform. (50 hours)
  • Story collection: Collect 20 issue-targeted statements (100-150 words) and/or video clips from small business owners on priority issues. (20 hours)
  • LTEs and op-eds: Submit 20 LTEs (100-150 words) and 3 op-eds (500-600 words) with supportive business owners. (25 hours)
  • Spokesperson team: Conduct one-on-ones with 20 business owners and build a list of 5-7 small business owners for each issue who are on message and willing to serve as spokespeople to decision-makers, the media and the public. (20 hours)
  • Action steps: Generate rapid response calls or other action steps mobilizing small business owners to contact decision-makers. (20 hours)
  • Meetings with decision-makers: Recruit and prep small business spokespeople for delegation visits with Congressional offices and/or secondary targets as needed. (15 hours

Planning & Reporting:

  • The Main Street Alliance will provide a planning form for the host organization to use to outline an outreach plan for the interns. This plan will include new canvass-based outreach and may also include follow-up contacts using existing lists.
  • The interns will submit weekly workplans and weekly reports at the end of each week using forms provided by MSA.
  • The interns and their supervisor will complete an interim progress report at the midpoint of the internship and a final evaluation upon completion of the project.

To apply, send resume and cover letter to Oregon Action Executive Director Jo Ann Bowman at joann@oregonaction.org no later than 5:00 p.m. Thursday, December 10.