Nominations for Inner City Capitol Connections are open now!

Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) is a tuition-free executive leadership training program designed by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) to help business owners in under-resourced communities build capacity for sustainable growth in revenue, profitability, and employment. ICCC is uniquely designed to provide three critical elements for sustainable growth:
·        Capacity-building education
·        One-on-one coaching
·        Connections to capital and capital providers
Last year the Tigard Chamber nominated 50 businesses and saw 22 of them enter this program.
For more information and program criteria, please check their website here: https://icic.org/urban-business-initiatives/inner-city-capital-connections/If you’d like to be considered for this program, please connect with us about a nomination at: katherine@tigardchamber.org

Oregon Targeted to receive $4.2B in Federal Stimulus – Impact to State Legislation

stimulus check 5948809 1280

In some good news, with the recent passing of the latest Federal stimulus package Oregon is slated to receive $4.2B.  $2.6B is targeted directly at the state, the remaining $1.6B will be share among cities and counties.

This is good news there are a lot of state legislative bills currently focused on revenue raising/tax increases and this funding will take the pressure off the need to do that. We would hope to see very few bills targeted at raising revenue.  Another thing likely to take the pressure off raising revenue/tax bills is that the latest economic forecast for this biennium shows the kicker tax being triggered.

On a positive note, SB 842 is written to make sure that federal stimulus payments are not taxable.

At the Federal level, America’s Recovery Act doesn’t tax unemployment benefits and there is a drive to connect to that and make sure federal unemployment is not taxed at the state level.  

State Legislative Bills we are tracking include:

Good bills still alive:

  • HB 2343Allows local government to suspend Enterprise Zone requirements
  • SB 330Tax credit for forgiven rents for landlords
  • SB 727May allow Oregon businesses to claim federal ‘State & Local Tax’ (SALT) deduction in excess of $10,000 federal limit
  • SB 780COVID liability protections for health care facilities and providers
  • SB 842Tax exemption for federal stimulus payment to Oregon taxpayers

Good bills dead:

  • HB 2638General COVID liability protections for employers
  • SB 531Right to compensation for businesses closed by Governor’s orders

Challenging bills still alive:

  • HB 2253, HB 2457Levies state tax on PPP loans
  • HB 2474Expansion of Oregon family leave law, applies to all small businesses
  • HB 2489 –  Re-classification of independent contractors as employees
  • HB 2814‘Indirect Source’ requirement for building projects
  • HB 3171Adds insurance in the Unlawful Trade Practices Act
  • HB 3305Prohibits diesel fuel
  • SB 137, HB 2839Disconnects businesses from Federal CARES Act tax benefits
  • SB 139Eliminates Oregon’s ‘Small Business Tax Cut’ law
  • SB 483Retaliation presumption for employment actions taken within 60 days of whistleblower complaint
  • SB 716Requires employer to accommodate employee day care schedule
  • SB 801, SB 802Workers’ comp COVID presumption

 Challenging bills dead:

  • HB 2205Private Attorney General Act (PAGA), authorize private lawsuits for alleged violations of law and rules enforced by agencies
  • HB 2974Prohibits conditioning employment on refraining from drug use
  • SB 477Lower burden of proof for unlawful discrimination claims
  • SB 650“Fair Share” tax on employers that do not provide health insurance benefits

These bills represent the “playing field” for the business community for the next three weeks.

The next major deadline for bills is April 13th.  As such, these next three weeks are sure to be chaotic as committees further refine the list of policies that will be moving forward this session.

If you have interest or concern about these or other bills, please email Debi Mollahan, CEO, Tigard Chamber at Debi@tigardchamber.org

Federal

The American Rescue Plan, the recently federal stimulus signed into law among other things contains two big programs targeted at specific sectors– The Shuttered Venue Operator Grant (SVOG) and the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

SBA will administer both programs.  Applications are expected to open for the shuttered venue program on April 8th and hopefully soon for the Restaurant Revitalization fund as well.

Advocacy Update 3-8-21

Business Oregon has opened a Commercial Rent Relief Grant Program as of today.  This program is targeted at tenants/landlords that have rent in arrears.  Landlord applies, but tenant must also provide information.  Check last Friday’s email for details.

State Legislature

Bills continue to move to committee in the Oregon Legislature.  Bills of focus for business this week are:

SB 330 – Senator Besty Johnson is the sponsor.  This would give landlords tax credits for forgiven rents.  Can improve tenant/landlord relationships.  Forgiven rent can be amortized over 5 years.  This would be a good thing for business

HB 2674 – Impacts use of fossil fuels, diesel and natural gas. Is an attempt to levy a tax on these items used by many of our core businesses in Oregon.

HB 2814 – Indirect Source Review from DEQ.  Is an attempt to regulate construction for facilities that have a relationship to greenhouses gases.  Think of a parking structure.  DEQ has already rejected this concept.

HB 3296 – Beer and Wine Tax increases.  Increases beer tax by 2700%, barrel tax would go from $2.66/barrel to $72/barrel as an example.  Concern that our already hammered hospitality and restaurant, bar businesses can not handle a tax while in recovery from COVID.

State revenue forecast shows an addition $750M in revenue for this biennium above the budget.  Has triggered the kicker.  Kicker is now projected at $571M.

Federal Legislature

At a Federal level, the US Chamber focus has been on the Stimulus package going through Congress.   is urging Congress to extend the ability to issue new PPP loans from March 31st to December 31st.  600 Chambers signed on to this letter.

Part of the federal stimulus package under consideration includes a separate grant program for restaurants and caterers.  Congress is delegating a lot of the program details to the SBA on how that grant program will work and eligibility requirements.