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.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Gov. Kate Brown announced on Friday a two-week “freeze” for the entire state of Oregon that’ll begin on Nov. 18. The purpose of the new restrictions is to limit group activities that are contributing to the rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout the state.
Restaurants and bars will be limited to take-out only, and recreational facilities and venues that host indoor or outdoor events will be closed.
The freeze will last through Dec. 2. Here is the list of new restrictions the governor’s office released:
Limiting social get-togethers (indoors and outdoors) to no more than six people, total, from no more than two households.
Limiting faith based organizations to a maximum of 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors.
Limiting restaurants and bars to take-out only.
Closing gyms and fitness organizations.
Closing indoor recreational facilities, museums, indoor entertainment activities, and indoor pools and sports courts.
Closing outdoor recreational facilities, zoos, gardens, aquariums, outdoor entertainment activities, and outdoor pools.
Limiting grocery stores and pharmacies to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pick-up.
Limiting retail stores and retail malls (indoor and outdoor) to a maximum of 75% capacity and encouraging curbside pick-up.
Closing venues (that host or facilitate indoor or outdoor events).
Requiring all businesses to mandate work-from-home to the greatest extent possible and closing offices to the public.
Prohibiting indoor visiting in long-term care facilities.
(Tigard, Oregon) – The Candidate Endorsement Committee (CEC) of the Tigard Chamber of Commerce, has determined its list of endorsements for the upcoming Tigard City Council and Metro Council race in the 2020 General 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 public policy that strengthens the business community and free enterprise system.
“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 businesses. We looked for candidates who support collaborative, open communication and problem solving between business and government. We recognize how challenging running for public office can be and appreciate the drive exhibited by all the candidates.” said Tim McBratney Candidate Endorsement Committee Chair.
The Candidate Endorsement Committee for the Tigard Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce their unanimous endorsement of the following candidates for the 2020 General Election held November 3rd, 2020.
Tigard City Council: Heidi Lueb
Heidi Lueb has been an appointed member of the Tigard City Council since 2019 and is seeking her second term. Heidi is a strong supporter of business as evidenced by her voting record in support of funding for Tigard CARES initial program phases and the upcoming phase 4 funding allocation as well as funding for the Economic Development Manager.
Heidi would like to see more business come to Tigard and thrive here and has supported the addition of industrial and employment land as Tigard expands through annexation and making zoning changes. She views that current business and new business will play a critical role in the future development of the Tigard Triangle and is an advocate for public /private partnerships to help make that happen. She has made herself visible with both the general community as well as the chamber business community, engaging with our local businesses. With a work background as a financial Controller, Heidi brings a business mind to problem solving within her role as City Councilor. We find her well qualified to represent the interest of business as a Tigard City Councilor.
Tigard City Council: Kevin Wright
Kevin Wright impressed us with his grasp of complex issues facing both the City of Tigard and business. Kevin’s business background and experience in business development and strategy, learned at both start ups and Fortune 500 companies and across a mix of industries gives him good insight and understanding of the challenges business can face generally and insights into how city government can be a part of the solution.
Leveraging his own business background and based on his answers to our questions, we see Kevin will bring some out of the box thinking to Tigard City Council on ways that the City can support our businesses in their recovery from a COVID inflicted downturn and grow beyond that.
Kevin’s relatability to a broad section of our community, his ability to communicate cross- generationally and his ability to listen, gather data and make informed decisions should serve both the community and business well in a role of Tigard City Councilor.
Metro Councilor District 3 – Tom Anderson
Tom Anderson has over a decade of public service in a variety of forms that make him well suited to represent the needs of this district at Metro. Tom served on the Tigard Planning Commission from 2007-2013, the last two years as president. He has been a Tigard City Councilor since 2016. In that time, he has participated in many projects that have helped shape Tigard into what it is today.
With his Planning and Council experience, Tom understand budget issues, land use planning as it relates both to business and community, how parks are funded and what resources are being used to plan the SW Corridor project. He has additional experience with being on regional committees regarding water and light rail. With Tigard’s recent expansion into River Terrace, Tom has added to his portfolio and understanding of how the Urban Growth Boundary works, how lands are added or subtracted from the UGB inventory and what it takes in terms of process and cost for jurisdictions to add land to their communities. All of these experiences and expertise make Tom the best candidate for the complex role of Metro Councilor in District 3 representing seven different cities across two counties.
Aside from his public service, Tom owns his own real estate business, so he understands the challenges of running a business, the intersection of government with business and how government can help or hurt business. He will provide a reasoned business voice at the table in the Metro Councilor District 3 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 this November.
About the Tigard Chamber of Commerce
Mission – Building & Connecting Businesses, Growing Leaders and Shaping Our Community
Vision – Business + Community = Prosperity, Vibrancy & Diversity
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated closures have devastated businesses across Oregon. And now, OR-OSHA is moving forward with a new COVID-19 Standard that is intended to protect employees during the pandemic. Unfortunately, as drafted these rules will actually harm Oregon businesses and create a significant cost burden! OR-OSHA has committed to finalizing the rules by September 21st and needs to hear from impacted employers like, Tigard Chamber of Commerce TODAY before these rules are finalized.
A full summary of the draft rules can be found HERE. Key issues include:
New sanitization requirements that mandate the cleaning of all high-touch surfaces and shared equipment each time before use by another employee or customer. It’s totally unreasonable to demand that a workplace sanitize every door handle and restroom stall between each individual use!
A 3-foot social distancing requirement for all employer-provided transportation.
A new 80+ hour paid leave mandate requiring ALL EMPLOYERS to provide paid leave (and benefits) whenever an employee is exposed to the COVID-19 virus, regardless of whether the exposure occurred at work or at a party or in their private residence. Note that this will be enforceable by BOLI, OR-OSHA and through a Private Right of Action against the employer!
Enough is enough! In June 2020, the Oregon legislature actually declined to move forward with this flawed concept, removing it from the omnibus COVID-19 policy package during the First Special Session. Now OR-OSHA is advancing this new mandate DESPITE clear legislative intent. The agency needs to hear from impacted stakeholders today before they finalize the temporary COVID-19 Standard.
You can make your voice heard, through the easy to use tool Voter Voice at this link. There is draft letter already crafted which you can use and simply fill in your contact info so it goes to your legislative representatives as well as OR-OSHA.
Take a few minutes and help your business and other businesses! Feel free to also share this email broadly.
See the Tigard Chamber’s letter to OR-OSHA and legislative reps here.
Dear Administrator Michael Wood, Senators Burdick & Thatcher and Representatives Doherty and Neron,
Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback on OR-OSHA’s Draft COVID-19 Standard.
The Tigard Chamber of Commerce represents close to 300 member businesses providing over 15,000 jobs who are committed to growing business opportunities and providing living-wage jobs for families in our community. We are writing today to express our concerns about OR-OSHA’s Draft COVID-19 Standard.
Oregon employers have been saddled with an incredible burden. Many businesses faced closures in 2020 or saw operations significantly curtailed in order to slow the spread of the virus. Employers also have been tasked with complying with Governor’s Orders and ever-evolving guidelines for businesses from the Oregon Health Authority. We’ve worked hard to comply because we wanted to protect our customers and employees, but each of these regulations comes at a cost, and some businesses weren’t able to weather the economic storm created by this.
Now, OR-OSHA is moving forward with costly new workplace standards and a new paid leave mandate that will apply to all public and private employers. We are all trying to do our best, but some of the proposals put forward by OR-OSHA are concerning. Please make the following changes to your temporary COVID-19 Standard before you finalize to make it workable.
First, OR-OSHA must remove the requirement that employers sanitize all high-touch surfaces and shared equipment between every use. That mandate alone will require all employers to hire or repurpose employees to just follow other employees around and clean surfaces after one touch. It also will require significant investment in sanitation supplies above and beyond what we have currently purchased. OR-OSHA must be reasonable; this is clearly not.
Second, I’m concerned that OR-OSHA is creating standards that conflict with existing public health guidelines. Local businesses already have spent a lot of money to create a safe work space for their employees and customers. OR-OSHA’s mask requirements should align with the Governor’s requirements and exceptions for facial coverings. Please also simplify language related to social distancing; there should be one clear standard. It’ll be tough for small businesses to navigate these rules; they are regulatory relief right now, not additional administrative hurdles.
Third, OR-OSHA must eliminate the new paid leave mandate that is called “Medical Removal.” The agency doesn’t have the authority to expand an existing Fed-OSHA program that is used in the rare instances of workplace chemical exposure in order to create a new 2-week paid leave benefit for all employees during COVID-19. And employees who were exposed to COVID-19 outside of work will receive this benefit (paid for by employers), regardless of whether they complied with the Governor’s Orders! This is unfair to employers who are trying to do the right thing and will harm local businesses who are already struggling. It also ignores significant federal and state benefits that have been authorized to support employees who need to quarantine. Businesses are closing their doors every day; please don’t make Oregon an impossible place for local businesses to operate.
Finally, we ask the agency to give businesses a minimum of 90-days before enforcement kicks in. Employers will face OR-OSHA penalties immediately and could face BOLI penalties and costly lawsuits if OR-OSHA pursues the ill-advised paid leave mandate. Please give employers time to figure out how to interpret and comply with these rules before starting enforcement.
We are all doing our best. Please do not add a costly burden to employers at a time when small businesses can least afford it.