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.

Representative Brian Baird (WA-03) announced today that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded $5,000,000 in grant funding to the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership for its proposed Renewable Northwest (ReNW) Energy Training Partnership program.

Rep. Brian Baird

Rep. Brian Baird

The grant is estimated to train and educate approximately 1,700 dislocated and unemployed Washington and Oregon workers to meet the needs of employers in renewable technology.

Rep. Baird had this to say:

Investing in renewable technologies not only stimulates new domestic industries but also promotes economic development and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. During tough economic times and record unemployment in Southwest Washington, projects like ReNW help bring quality, up-to-date energy training and education to our workers.

Read the full release at Natural Resource Report.

Corvallis business owner Gail Wells published a letter to the editor of the Corvallis Gazette-Times this weekend highlighting why she is supporting Measures 66 & 67.

From the letter:

I don’t relish paying taxes; nobody does. But I consider them a fair price for doing business in a state that values education. I’m in the communications business, so I depend on educated readers. I wouldn’t do well in a state that didn’t care about its schools.

I believe most business owners would agree that educated, trained, skilled citizens are essential to a strong economy and an attractive quality of life.

Read the rest of Gail’s letter here.

The Oregon Small Business Council and our friends at the Main Street Alliance are in the final days of our nationwide survey on health care, financial reform and climate change.

If you are a small business owner, we would greatly appreciate your input. The survey is online here and only takes a few moments to complete. You will be helping to drive our federal policy agenda for the first quarter of 2010.

Please contact us if you have any questions about the survey.

Click here to complete the survey.

The Oregon Small Business Council issued the following release today after signing on as an official coalition partner of the Vote Yes for Oregon campaign.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, January 6, 2010
The Oregon Small Business Council today endorsed a Yes vote on Oregon Ballot Measures 66 and 67, citing the importance of preserving essential services and the soft impact the measures have on small business.

“These measures are necessary footholds to maintain vital services in tough times,” said OSBC Board Chair Mark Kellenbeck of Cascade Management in Grants Pass. “Small businesses will be minimally impacted while more dollars spent will remain in Oregon.”
Measure 66 raises the personal income tax on households reporting more than $250,000 in annual income. Measure 67 fairly increases the corporate minimum tax to keep more dollars in Oregon while protecting small employers from any job-killing effects.
“As small businesses continue to create jobs around the state,” Kellenbeck continued, “these measures will ensure our employees and their families a sound education, public safety, health care and other essential services needed to secure our state’s economic recovery.
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The Oregon Small Business Council is a statewide nonprofit organization providing advocacy, networking and education for small business owners.