Category Archives: Advocacy with Government

Request for Temporary & Targeted COVID-19 Liability Relief

tigard chamber logo blue

June 18, 2020

Dear Governor Brown, Senators Burdick and Thatcher, and Representatives Doherty and Neron,

The Tigard Chamber of Commerce represents over 300 businesses who are committed to growing business opportunities and providing over 16,000 living-wage jobs for families in our community.  We are writing today to express our concerns about potential for lawsuits should an employee or customer contract COVID-19.

Governor Brown’s executive orders have flattened the COVID-19 curve, but the changing regulatory environment also has created immense exposure and uncertainty for our business.

We are worried that even though businesses take steps to follow public health guidelines, they are still at risk of a lawsuit from a customer or employee saying that they didn’t do enough to protect them from exposure.  One of these lawsuits would cripple a local business. It’s already tough to keep their doors open in these challenging economic times. Please don’t leave them exposed to unnecessary legal risk.

Businesses need temporary and targeted COVID-19 liability relief to prevent further financial jeopardy as Oregon starts to reopen.  Temporary COVID-19 liability protections are not a license for a business to intentionally ignore safety precautions. However, targeted liability protection will ensure that employers who are following best practices and state-issued public health guidelines don’t suffer further economic harm.

Our families and business have been through a lot since the coronavirus took hold. We’re all trying our best and learning as we go – both about this virus and this new world.  We ask you to pass temporary and targeted liability protections to shield local businesses from legal risk when they are following state public health guidelines to protect employees and customers from the novel coronavirus.

Thank you for your leadership during these unprecedented times.

Sincerely,

Debi Mollahan

CEO, Tigard Chamber

 

Growing Together

I like a lot of you have been watching what has been unfolding locally and nationally with regard to the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.  We have a serious and systemic issue with equity across many of our institutions and systems.  This impacts people, communities and businesses.

The Tigard Chamber Board of Directors decided we as a business organization needed to add our voice to raise awareness to the issue and released the following statement on our social media channels

June 3rd, 2020

At a time like this, it is hard to find the right words.

Words to express our sadness, frustration and anger about the injustice people of color face daily in our communities. 

We stand for equity, prosperity and systemic change.

We stand against police brutality and racism in all forms. 

We support the City of Tigard’s refreshed vision

“To be an equitable community for everyone.”

The Tigard Chamber is listening, open to learning and is committed to being part of the solution. 

Who will join us?

I am very proud of our organization and the Board of Directors for having the courage to speak into the issue.  Four or five years ago this might not have happened.  We as an organization are evolving as I hope we all are with increasing awareness of unconscious biases we may have and how many of our systems don’t deliver equity.

Our work actually began about a year and half ago as we looked at what we needed to do as an organization to better reflect our community and be welcoming to all.  The first result was an updated vision statement

Business + Community = Prosperity, Vibrancy & Diversity

Since then we have worked behind the scenes to gain a better understanding of the culture around us in Tigard, listening and learning and beginning to partner with relevant organizations.

These are all just beginning steps, we have a long ways to go and we have to continue this work.  If you would like to join us on this journey please contact myself or Katherine Wiley at Debi@tigardchamber.org or Katherine@tigardchamber.org.

Debi Mollahan

CEO, Tigard Chamber

Reopening Oregon – Governor and OHA Criteria and Guidelines as of May 7, 2020

Reopening Oregon

Governor Kate Brown held a media conference this morning at 11 a.m. and in that released what is needed for the reopening of Oregon by phase, by county and by health region.

We have downloaded the resources provided from that briefing directly from the State of Oregon Oregon Health Authority Site.  These downloads include an overall presentation/framework, required health hurdles that we must clear, general guidelines for the public and employees and sector specific guidelines for multiple sectors included in a Phase 1 reopening.

Phase 1 reopening will be controlled at a county level based on specified criteria and in conjunction with the overlapping health region.  Counties may apply for permission to reopen as early as May 15 beginning tomorrow. 

At this time based on information from the Washington County Commissioner Chair, Washington County will most likely not meet the criteria to reopen until late May/early June.

Until the end of September or when a vaccine/treatment becomes available, large scale events are not allowed. This includes sporting events, concerts, fairs etc.

Find PDF links below for the guidance released today .  Is recommended you review them in order presented as they support each other.  There is a Youtube version of the reopening framework PDF which will also be provided below as an option.

Reopening Oregon Framework Presentation 5.7.20

Video version of the Re-Opening Oregon Framework

Prerequisites for Phased Reopening of Oregon

Three Health Signs We Must See to Reopen Oregon

Phase One Reopening General Guidance for:
Public
Employers

Sector Guidance:
Outdoor Recreation

Personal Services

OHA Phase 1 Reopening Guidance for Restaurants, Bars, Breweries, Brewpubs, Wineries, Tasting Rooms…

OHA Phase 1 Reopening Guidance for Retail

Tigard Chamber of Commerce Joins More Than 100 Business Organizations to Launch America’s Recovery Fund Coalition

Americas Recovery Fund Coalition PR

May 5, 2020 – The Tigard Chamber of Commerce today announced it has joined America’s Recovery Fund Coalition, an alliance of more than 100 trade associations and business organizations, including the Save Small Business Coalition (SSBC), advocating for a grant-based federal assistance program to power the resilience of American enterprise. Together, the Coalition’s members span 30 business sectors and employ 45 percent of the nation’s workforce – more than 58 million workers.

“We have joined the America’s Recovery Fund Coalition and support the implementation of the recovery fund as it will be vital for the continued re-opening and recovery of our business and our communities across the nation”, said Megan De Salvo, Board Chair of the Tigard Chamber of Commerce. “Small Businesses and their owners are at the heart of all Communities. They are where people turn to for help with the causes they care about, now they deserve to be the cause we collectively care for.”

In a letter sent to President Trump, congressional leaders, and the Secretary of the Treasury, the Coalition noted:

“Today we are announcing the creation of America’s Recovery Fund Coalition, a group of over 100 organizations advocating for a grant-based federal assistance program to power the resilience of American enterprise. America’s Recovery Fund Coalition includes members representing more than 30 business sectors that together employ 58 million Americans and comprising more than 45 percent of the private workforce.”

The Coalition went on to state:

“Existing programs like the Paycheck Protection Program were a well-intentioned effort to help defray the impact of the COVID-19 economic crisis, but we must build upon the current options and address the overwhelming need for additional capital support to businesses. A broad-based, efficient recovery fund that does not pick winners and losers is the best path forward. Without such a fund, our retailers, theatres, restaurants, and many other industries will be decimated – and our communities will be poorer both economically and culturally as a result.

“America’s Recovery Fund Coalition believes Congress must urgently create a federal direct assistance fund to provide rapid liquidity to businesses impaired by the COVID-19 national emergency. We believe the fund should be designed to help businesses maintain ongoing capital obligations during the prolonged crisis and the next months of economic healing, enabling employees to continue receiving pay, maintain benefits, and helping employers rehire former employees while workplaces get back on their feet and safely reopen to the public.”

To read the full letter, click here.

To see the full list of America’s Recovery Fund Coalition members, click here.

To learn more about America’s Recovery Fund Coalition visit www.AmericasRecoveryFund.org.

A Letter to our Federal Delegation – Support Implementation of America’s Recovery Fund Now!

AFRC

May 5th, 2020

Subj:   Please Support Implementation of America’s Recovery Fund Now!

Dear Congresswoman Bonamici and Senators Merkley and Wyden,

Thank you for the work you are doing in this unprecedented time of a global pandemic. There has never been a more urgent time for your focused leadership, and I can’t imagine the depth and breadth of the requests you are getting from all over. We’ll be brief and get straight to the point. 

In recent weeks, millions of small businesses across the country have been forced to close their doors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sudden loss in revenue has been devastating – putting paychecks, employees, and hard-working families at risk. Businesses forced to close for the responsible social distancing mandates and to support public health safety as we work together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic will never recover without business continuity funding in their hands ASAP. The long-term impacts to their employees, families, business owners and the trickle effect through our economy will create irreparable harm if we don’t band together as a country and get them the economic help they need rapidly. We believe that there is a potentially viable solution in the wings, and we are asking for unified and expedited support of and need your help now.

That’s why we created America’s Recovery Fund Coalition, comprised of more than 100 organizations representing over 58 million American workers and 45% of the American workforce. We are calling on Congress to create America’s Recovery Fund – a relief fund for businesses to operate during this unprecedented crisis, retain and rehire employees, pay rent, meet debt obligations, and pay taxes. America’s Recovery Fund will be a vital lifeline to business, communities, workers, and state and local governments which rely on our success to fund local economies.

The Tigard Chamber of Commerce signed onto the Save Small Business Coalition, which has now formally joined America’s Recovery Fund Coalition, who is working with members of Congress right now.

Can we count on you to act on America’s Recovery Fund now? We need your help– our businesses’ survival depends on it.  You can learn more here, https://americasrecoveryfund.org/

Stay well,

Debi Mollahan

CEO, Tigard Chamber

Cc: Representative Suzanne Bonamici

Senator Jeff Merkley

Senator Ron Wyden