Category Archives: Advocacy with Government

Vote YES for a Thriving Downtown Tigard Community

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The Tigard Chamber endorses Measure 34-305 and supports a YES vote.

Measure #34-305 City Center Urban Renewal Plan Amendment

The Question:
Shall the City amend the City Center Urban Renewal Plan, including increasing the amount of maximum indebtedness?

  • If the measure passes, it would increase the total amount of money that could be collected (maximum indebtedness) by $20.8 million and the length of time (duration) of the Urban Renewal Plan by nine years. 
  • If the measure does not pass, the total amount of money that can be collected would not be increased, and the duration of the Urban Renewal Plan would not be extended. 

The Tigard Chamber of Commerce endorses/supports Measure 34-305 as we see the benefit to both our business community as well as the community at large.  More investment into our city center in the form of trails, affordable housing, parking, public space, mixed use and streets all combine to increase our downtown vibrancy, attract business investment and make it a place where community gathers and businesses thrive.  Business and community are interdependent and this measure benefits both sides of the equation. 

We recommend a yes vote on this measure as it does not increase taxes, merely extends for period of time for the Urban Renewal Area and funds much needed infrastructure and will benefit both business and community alike!

You can learn more about this measure in this informative recorded presentation/panel we did with the City of Tigard that explains what urban renewal is, how it is funded, and what types of projects this amendment to the plan would fund. 

Thank you for reading and please vote!

Tigard-Tualatin School Board Candidate Endorsements Announced

April 20th, 2021 – For Immediate Release

Contact Information:

Debi Mollahan

 

Ethan Frelly

 

CEO

Board Chair

 

503-639-1656

(503) 502-3330

 

Debi@TigardChamber.org

Ethan@beltranproperties.com

 

(Tigard, Oregon) – The Candidate Endorsement Committee (CEC) of the Tigard Chamber of Commerce, has determined its list of endorsements for the upcoming Tigard-Tualatin School District (TTSD) School Board race coming up in the May 18th, 2021 election. The Committee consisting of local business owners, community leaders, and members of the Chamber Board of Directors came together to go through a non-partisan process to consider candidates for endorsement who align with the Chambers’ core values/mission, legislative agenda and who support workforce development/education that strengthens the business community and our employment base.

“This is an unprecedented time for those running for public office” said Debi Mollahan, CEO of the Tigard Chamber. “These decisions, while never easy, need to be made in order to move forward in the best direction for Tigard-Tualatin School District and our business community. We looked for candidates who understood the role of the school board in terms of both the staff and student community as well as the intersection with the business community as educators of our future employees”.

The Candidate Endorsement Committee for the Tigard Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce their unanimous endorsement of the following candidates for the 2021 General Election being held May 18th, 2021.

TTSD School Board Seat 3

Octavio
 

Octavio Gonzalez has been engaged with TTSD for at various levels including school committees and most recently as a member of the TTSD Budget Committee.  He has a passion for making sure the student voice/the customer informs what programs are needed within TTSD and that they are inclusive and meet the needs of all students.

 With his background in both banking and HOA Account Management, Octavio has first hand experience with how work experience and the trades can provide high quality employment for students who would not benefit from or select a 4 year college path.  The business community needs a wide variety of skills in their workforce and the trades is a growing, lucrative field. Not all students are college bound and need education and experiences to help them chart a meaningful path towards a career.

Octavio has a passion for ensuring programs within TTSD meet all students needs as well as creative ideas for how business and the district can collaborate to enhance student skills to increase employability including plugging into the work already being done between the district and Tigard and Tualatin Chambers under the #WorkReady umbrella.   We find Octavio not only to be a great fit to meet the districts’ goals, but also to amplify the role and benefit of business within the district.

TTSD School Board Seat 5 

marvin lynn

Marvin Lynn has been an educator for over 30 years, starting as an elementary school and then middle school teacher, moving into post-secondary education roles as both a professor and an administrator.  Because of this experience he has a deep understanding of curriculum, teaching, and educational policy and has successfully managed budgets. In addition he has served in a variety of other board and leadership positions.  His experience in both equity and diversity are also extensive.   All of these are important skills for the key responsibilities of a TTSD board member and to meet district goals. 

Marvin believes that all students regardless of background, skill set or interests need to have their educational needs met through the school district whether college bound or moving in a direction of career ready when exiting the district.  He sees that business can play a role in the opportunity for advanced learning and experience for students through business internships, career days/fairs and exposure to more technical training and career experiences.  We find Marvin extremely well qualified for this board seat.

“We greatly appreciate all of the candidates that took the time to go through our confidential in-depth questionnaire and took time out of their busy schedules for our in-person interviews” said Ethan Frelly,  Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. The Committee and Chamber agree that voters need to do their due diligence and cast their votes in May.

 

About the Tigard Chamber of Commerce

Mission – Building & Connecting Businesses, Growing Leaders and Shaping Our Community

Vision – Business + Community = Prosperity, Vibrancy & Diversity

 

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

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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.

Urgent Ask – Make Small Business Whole Again from COVID-19- Pass Needed Funding & Protections

Legislative funding ask
Legislative funding ask

The Senate and House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senators Wyden and Merkley and Representative Suzanne Bonamici:

At a time when many small businesses are still struggling to regroup from measures taken during the COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions, several provisions of the CARES Act are coming to an end with no additional funding in sight.

The Tigard Chamber of Commerce is a member of the Save Small Business Coalition and we are supporting their fight to keep small businesses alive. We ask that Congress: 

Provide Business Liability Protection:

  • Protect business owners who follow applicable federal, state, or local government guidelines from COVID-19 related exposure liability.
  • Protect businesses from liability claims arising from COVID-19 medical care for healthcare workers and facilities.

Include Workforce Development:

  • Provide $1.3 billion to assist job seekers in accessing employment, education, training, and support services through a combination of new and existing programs.

 Assist with State and Local Aid:

  • Assist state and local governments experiencing one-time COVID-related expenses and revenue shortfalls based on a fixed share of actual costs and revenue shortfalls within an overall funding cap.

Extend and Enhance the Paycheck Protection Program:

  • Broaden the definition of forgivable expenses to include costs associated with protecting employees and customers and expand the period during which expenses qualify for loan forgiveness.
  • Simplify good-faith certification for the forgiveness of loans under $150,000.
  • Expand eligible borrowers to include all non-profits, including 501(c)(6) organizations with no more than 300 employees, as long as PPP funds are not used for lobbying.
  • Authorize a second round of loans for small businesses experiencing revenue reductions of 35% or higher.

The Tigard Chamber and our business community is counting on you to make small businesses whole again.

Sincerely,

Debi Mollahan

CEO, Tigard Chamber