Category Archives: News

Tigard Chamber Letter to Elected Officials on Save Small Business Coalition

 

 

 

March 30, 2020

Dear Congresswoman Bonamici and Senators Merkley and Wyden,

Thank you for your service and the important work you do, especially in difficult times as this. We are writing today to ask for your help to Save Small Business.

As a Chamber of Commerce, we view ourselves as first responders to the Business Community. During times a such as these, we are a reliable source of important information, have connections to important resources and have flexibility and agility to change as the needs of our community change. We are closest in touch with what information and help our businesses need. With the deluge of information everyone is experiencing, we serve as a sieve to disseminate and help effectively target necessary info for our businesses.

Our connections with our members brought to light how many businesses have had to reduce hours, layoff employees, and sadly, in some cases, close their doors for good. Many businesses do not qualify for disaster loan programs and some can’t afford to incur additional debt. As the voice of the business community, we need to take immediate action to assist business community to stay afloat during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Together, with over 80 chambers of commerce and business associations, we joined the Save Small Business Coalition. The Save Small Business Coalition is committed to the survival of a vibrant business community as businesses across the US are feeling severe economic hardships as government mandates force restrictions and closures on business.

We know as our elected leaders you are aligned with our desire to keep our small business afloat, maintaining their employees, making recovery plans and be at the ready to do business as soon as possible and is allowed.

• This coalition is not about one single industry, this is about all small businesses across the nation.
• Small Businesses need funds right now to stay afloat, period. Getting small businesses, the funds to maintain the continuity of their business in the most expeditious way is of paramount importance. Many are in critical condition or on life support as it is.
• There is nothing in any business’s insurance that covers this unprecedented event of the Civil Authority of closing of businesses. Trying to reform the policy contracts after-the-fact will likely end up in protracted legal battles and debate while businesses fail and the families they employ suffer irreparable harm.
• We want to empower a potential solution for small businesses that works with the insurance industry backed by the federal government.
• We believe that with a federally funded backstop to cover the business continuity expenses through defined grants to business owners impacted, insurance carriers and agents could potentially act as a distribution center for funds and likely help define the terms of the grants based on their experience as claims payors and policy writers.
• We are advocating that Government funding be provided to the insurance carriers for a streamlined process without adversely impacting the overall insurance safety net.
• We are not asking our carriers to break or ignore contracts that are held by businesses with their current coverage. We are asking for extraordinary emergency action by the Government to empower an urgent solution that currently doesn’t exist.
• In addition to engaging you as our elected leaders we are seeking the collaborative support of not only Chamber of Commerce members across the country but many of the largest insurance industry associations representing carriers, agents and brokers including but not limited to: the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, the American Property and Casualty Insurance Association.
• We believe that the faster we can collaborate and work together to find a federally funded solution for small business continuity that can be dispersed immediately to small businesses the better we will be able to save this vital heartbeat of the American economy.

On a regular basis, the Chamber is a constant advocate for business. The work we do together is more important than ever.

We hope you’ll work with us on a solution to help the many businesses and nonprofits negatively affected by this crisis as we push for a Federal solution. Will you join us?

Debi Mollahan, CEO Tigard Chamber

Megan De Salvo, Chair of the Board, Co-Owner, Edge One Media


 

 

 

 


Distribution:
Tigard Mayor Jason Snider
Tigard City Councilors: John Goodhouse, Tom Anderson, Heidi Lueb, Liz Newton
Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington
Washington County Commissioners: Roy Rogers, Dick Schouten, Pam Treece, Jerry Willey State Representatives: Margaret Doherty, Courtney Neron
State Senators: Ginny Burdick, Kim Thatcher, Mark Hass, Rob Wagner
Oregon Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi
Executive Branch: Governor Brown, Secretary of State Bev Clarno, Treasurer Tobias Read

PRESS RELEASE – TIGARD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE JOINS BUSINESS ASSOCIATIONS ACROSS THE NATION TO DEMAND CHANGE IN BUSINESS CONTINUITY INSURANCE TO SAVE SMALL BUSINESSES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 27, 2020
Contact: Nancy Hoffman Vanyek
nancy@sanfernandovalleychamber.com
(818)989-0300

TIGARD, OR – As many businesses have been justifiably anxious about how to keep their businesses afloat during this time of COVID-19, the Tigard Chamber of Commerce along with over 80 chambers of commerce and business associations across the nation created the Save Small Business Coalition (SSBC) to address exactly that concern. Businesses need cash now, period. The coalition, spanning 15 states, wants to empower a solution for both small businesses and the insurance industry, backed by the federal government.

In the past few weeks, communities across the nation have seen their local businesses make the difficult decision to reduce hours, lay off employees, and sadly, in some cases, close their doors for good. Many businesses do not qualify for disaster loan programs and some cannot afford to incur additional debt. There is nothing in any business’s insurance that covers this unprecedented event of the Civil Authority of closing of businesses. Trying to reform the policy contracts after-the-fact will likely end up in protracted legal battles and debate while businesses fail and the families they employ suffer irreparable harm. The SSBC believes that with a federally funded backstop to cover the business continuity expenses through defined grants to business owners impacted, insurance carriers and agents could potentially act as a distribution center for funds and likely help define the terms of the grants based on their experience as claims payors and policy writers. The coalition advocates that Government funding be provided to the insurance carriers for a streamlined process without adversely impacting the overall insurance safety net.

A member of the California State Assembly, Adrin Nazarian, supports the coalition’s efforts in California, stating that “Small business is the backbone of our economy and it is vital to rebuilding that economy once we defeat the COVID-19 virus.  However it is imperative that the insurance industry recognize the ‘business continuity’ claims of small business if this essential part of our economy is to survive.”

In addition to engaging the government, SSBC is seeking the collaborative support of not only Chamber of Commerce members across the country but many of the largest insurance industry associations representing carriers, agents and brokers including but not limited to: the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies; The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers; The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America; and the American Property and Casualty Insurance Association. The faster all of these organizations can collaborate and work together to find a federally funded solution for small business continuity that can be dispersed immediately to small businesses, the quicker the vital heartbeat of the American economy can be saved.

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The Save Small Business Coalition is committed to the survival of a vibrant business community as businesses across the US are feeling severe economic hardships as government mandates force restrictions and closures on business.

Oregon

  • Albany Chamber
  • Bandon Chamber
  • Beaverton Chamber
  • Eugene Chamber
  • Hillsboro Chamber
  • North Clackamas Chamber
  • Roseburg Area Chamber
  • Sherwood Area Chamber
  • The Chamber of Medford/Jackson County
  • Tigard Chamber
  • Tualatin Chamber
  • Wilsonville Area Chamber

Arizona

  • Buckeye Valley Camber
  • Carefree Cave Creek
  • Lake Havasu Chamber

California

  • Bakersfield Chamber
  • Brea Chamber
  • Carlsbad Chamber
  • Century City Chamber
  • Corona Chamber
  • Culver City Chamber
  • Encino Chamber
  • Exeter Chamber
  • Fortuna Chamber
  • Fresno Chamber
  • Greater Coachella Valley Chamber
  • Greater Riverside Chambers
  • Greater Riverside Chambers
  • Greater San Fernando Valley
  • Green Public Affairs & Campaigns
  • Hollywood Chamber
  • LAGLCC
  • Lake Elsinore Chamber
  • Lancaster Chamber
  • Livermore Chamber
  • Lodi Chamber
  • Long Beach Chamber
  • Los Angeles Area Chamber
  • Los Angeles Area Chamber
  • Murrieta/Wildomar Chamber
  • North Valley Regional Chamber
  • Oceanside Chamber
  • Oxnard Chamber
  • Pleasanton Chamber
  • Rancho Mirage Chamber
  • San Luis Obispo Chamber
  • Santa Maria Chamber
  • Santa Monica Chamber
  • Santa Monica Chamber
  • Simi Valley Chamber
  • Sonoma Valley Chamber
  • Tahoe Chamber
  • The Silicon Valley Organization
  • Torrace Chamber
  • Tulare Chamber
  • Victory Valley Chamber
  • Vista Chamber
  • West Hollywood Chamber
  • West Valley Warner Center Chamber

Colorado

  • Basalt Chamber
  • Glenwood Springs Chamber
  • Gunnison Country Chamber
  • Lyons Chamber
  • Vail Valley Partnership

Indiana

  • Madison Chamber

Iowa

  • Marshalltown Chamber

Louisiana

  • Broussard Chamber

Mississippi

  • Petal Area Chamber

Nebraska

  • McCook Chamber

Nevada

  • Boulder City Chamber

New Hampshire

  • The Falls Chamber

Ohio

  • Mason Deerfield Chamber

Oklahoma

  • Johnston County

South Dakota

  • Pierre Area Chamber

Texas

  • Kaufman Chamber
  • Kyle Chamber
  • Longview Chamber
  • Lubbock Chamber
  • Montgomery Area Chamber
  •  

Wyoming

  • Campbell County Chamber

COVID-19 – Washington County Business Conference Call

We are sharing the below information from Washington County for a conference call this Friday 3/13 at 3 p.m. for businesses that would like more information on COVID-19 and recommended courses of action for business.
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Washington County Local Businesses:
Representatives from the Washington County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will conduct a conference call/webinar to discuss current activities relating to COVID-19. We wanted to provide our Washington County partners and local businesses with the latest information and guidance about this disease outbreak, our recommendations, and state/federal disease control guidelines.

AGENDA:
• Current Status
• Summary of state/county/local response
• Current disease control guidelines
• Guidelines for employers/service providers
• Other/Q&A

The presenters for Friday’s call will be:
• Mjere Simantel, EOC IC/Health and Human Services Assistant Director
• John Wheeler, EOC Deputy IC/County Emergency Management Manager
• Adrienne Donner, EOC Ops Section Chief/HHS PHEP/EMS Supervisor
• HHS-Disease Control and Prevention representative (TBD)

The call will be on Friday, March 13 at 3 PM. The call-in information is below.

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

+1 971-337-3439   United States, Portland (Toll)
Conference ID: 502 409 668#

If you cannot participate in the conference call, please follow these links to stay updated on current information and recommendations:
https://www.co.washington.or.us/HHS/CommunicableDiseases/covid-19.cfm 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html
http://www.oregon4biz.com/Coronavirus-Information/
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We hope you find this information useful as we all navigate this new and unusual time and situation.

Ethan Frelly, Lead Buyers Agent, Beltran Properties Named 2019 Tigard Chamber Volunteer of the Year

Ethan Frelly, Lead Buyers Agent for Beltran Properties, has been named the 2019 Tigard Shining Stars Chamber Volunteer of the Year.  This award honors a Chamber member who has volunteered many hours of time, talent and energy to the success and growth of the Tigard Chamber.  Bert Tousey and his example of Chamber volunteerism is commitment at its best.  This person is an example of an active member who has sustained their efforts on behalf of the Chamber over a long period of time.  By their efforts, they have made this organization more effective in serving the Tigard community.

Ethan Frelly has been a Tigard Chamber member for almost 7 years and rapidly engaged with the Tigard Chamber, starting first with our Tigard Farmers Market. With a vision for connecting with younger business people, he advocated for and launched a Tigard Young Professionals program which ran for several years. In conjunction with this, Ethan stepped into an Ambassador role as part of the Ambassador team, serving on this critical committee for almost 7 years, eventually becoming Co-Chair and then Chair of the Ambassador Committee. In his chair positions with Ambassadors, Ethan also became a Tigard Chamber Board member and subsequent to stepping down as Ambassador Chair, has remained on the Board and is currently Chair elect.

Beyond these roles, Ethan has made himself available in other volunteer capacities such as our Building Task Force, Candidate Endorsement Committee and GAPP Committee. In addition to these current taskforce and committee roles plus his board role, Ethan has agreed to represent the Tigard Chamber and its business community over the next two years as a member of the SW Corridor Advisory Committee providing business feedback on a proposed light rail line connecting Southwest Portland to Tigard and through Tigard to Tualatin.

Another example of his commitment to the Tigard Chamber and the broader community, Ethan self-selected, paid for and participated in the inaugural year of our Leadership Tigard program, a community leadership program designed to help inspire and enable community members to gain a broad understanding of Tigard and create more informed invested leaders who can step in and advocate for our community on a variety of levels.

As you can see, Ethan’s volunteerism has been broad and deep within the Tigard Chamber. Additionally, he has been the Emcee for the Downtown Tigard Tree Lighting and has joined the Tigard Downtown Alliance board extending his volunteerism to chamber member organizations/businesses. He is available, willing to help and has great insights and is a tremendous supporter of the Tigard Chamber and its business community.   He says his Jesuit college education at Loyola University Chicago really had the biggest effect on his love to give back. 

Other awards

2015 Tigard Chamber Shooting Star Award

Please join us in congratulating Ethan on this well-deserved award.  This award will be formally presented with other Tigard volunteer and business awards at Tigard’s 2019 Shining Stars Community Awards Celebration held on Friday, May 3rd, 2019 from 5:30-9 p.m. at Embassy Suites – Washington Square, event location host. With a theme of “Travel”, this elegant themed dinner event includes dinner, silent auction, dessert dash, awards, and more. Tickets are $60/person.  So dress your best and come join us to celebrate Tigard! For further details about Shining Stars, please contact the Tigard Chamber of Commerce at 503-639-1656 or at jessica@tigardchamber.org  or go to our webpage at www.tigardchamber.org

Revenue is a Focus in State Capitol for the 2019 Session

Our OSCC lobbyists are at work analyzing the 1,500 bills that have been introduced to date in the state legislature.

Here’s a list of major revenue-related proposals that are drawing attention in Salem.

Gross receipts tax (GRT): Despite voters’ overwhelming rejection of Measure 97 in 2016, this concept remains a favorite of some influential legislators. Portland voters approved a citywide gross receipts tax on large businesses in November. The existence of a GRT in Portland will give proponents a toehold to push for a similar approach statewide. However, a GRT remains a particularly difficult tax for low-margin businesses, regardless of size.

Business activities tax: The Oregon Business Plan has floated a business activities tax (BAT) as an alternative to a GRT. The BAT, used in Washington, does not create the same concerns about pyramiding (being applied multiple times in the supply chain) as the GRT. However, it still would raise business costs and, depending on details of a specific proposal, could affect some businesses more than others.

Corporate tax rates: If neither of those ideas gathers support of 60 percent of both chambers, the Legislature could default to keeping the current tax structure and increasing the corporate tax rate. Meanwhile, the Governor’s budget proposes an increase in the corporate minimum tax.

Small-business taxes: Small businesses have been in the crosshairs of revenue hunters in the Legislature for the past two sessions. In 2017, the House voted to roll back portions of the small-business tax deal that were part of the 2013 “grand bargain,” but the bill failed in the Senate. In the 2018 short session, the Legislature disconnected from a portion of the new federal tax law that benefited small business. Senators Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) and Herman Baertschiger (R-Grants Pass) have sued, contending that legislation violates the state Constitution. Meanwhile, Governor Brown, who is named in the lawsuit, has proposed more rollbacks of small-business tax benefits – trimming a tax break that passed in the 2018 session with her support.

Other business taxes and fees: The long list of legislative concept drafts presented in the House Revenue Committee last week during Legislative Days includes an assortment of technical tax adjustments that would increase taxes paid by businesses. Also, some tax credits could be eliminated through the tax credit review process.

Kicker reform: The idea of ending or diverting the “kicker,” which returns money to individual taxpayers when revenues exceed state economists’ projections by more than 2 percent, has been kicked around for years. In 2012, Oregonians voted to designate the corporate kicker for education funding. Now, similar proposals to use the personal kicker for targeted uses such as PERS or education, have support. Kicker reform is one revenue option included in the latest version of the Oregon Business Plan, which was unveiled earlier this month.

Property taxes: The discussion about reforming Oregon’s property tax system has amplified in recent months. The goal would be to eliminate inequities that lead to landowners with similar properties paying differing rates. Even by revenue reform standards, this would be a complicated process, and, therefore, is less likely than some of the other revenue proposals. However, targeted bills aimed at businesses’ property taxes could gain traction. For example, one bill would limit the property tax exemption for nonprofit hospitals to the amount spent on charitable care, reduced by the sum of all amounts of compensation reported in excess of $1 million for any individual directors or employees.

Alcohol and tobacco taxes: Increasing tobacco taxes is a common revenue proposal, one that is included in the Governor’s budget. Although the Governor has backed off of talk of a higher beer and wine taxes, her budget does propose increasing alcohol costs another way – by increasing the markup on liquor at state stores by 5 percent.

Medicaid taxes: The Governor’s budget proposes a mix of taxes and fees to make up for a projected shortfall in Medicaid funding. The money would come from: increased hospital taxes, expanded taxation of health insurance plans, higher cigarette taxes and an assessment on businesses with a large share of employees who qualify for Medicaid.

Transportation taxes: The 2017 Legislature passed a transportation package, and taxes to pay for improvements are beginning to kick in. These include increases in gas taxes, higher registration and title fees, a 0.1 percent payroll tax, a bicycle excise tax, and in 2020 a new way of treating vehicle fees based on miles per gallon.

Carbon taxes: Representatives of the Governor’s office presented a carbon-price proposal to the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction during Legislative Days last week. The model being discussed is a cap-and-trade system. Dozens of decisions remain that will determine the cost of this program to businesses, but under any scenario there will be significant costs. The question, is which businesses and consumers will pay, and how much. If a cap-and-trade bill passes, higher fuel and energy costs are all but certain.

As you can see, raising revenue will be one of the dominant themes of the 2019 Session.

We will keep members apprised as the discussions roll out.