Small Business Owners Applaud Portland City Council for Unanimously Approving Paid Sick Days Ordinance

Portland, OR--On March 13, the Portland City Council unanimously approved a Paid Sick Days Ordinance in a 5-0 vote, joining San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Connecticut, and fueling national momentum with dozens of campaigns to advance similar proposals across the country.

Following the vote, Jim Houser - co-owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic in Portland, and the co-chair of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon - spoke at a coalition press conference about the passage of the new ordinance:

"As a small business owner, I am proud to see Commissioner Fritz's Earned Sick Time policy pass. It's not often in politics that we all find such common ground, where we can adopt a public policy that does so much good for society as a whole and at the same time has a positive impact for small business.

"This really is a 'win-win-win' policy. Guaranteeing that workers earn sick time will promote public health, strengthen the economic vitality of our city, and help small businesses thrive. At Hawthorne Auto Clinic, we have been providing paid sick leave to our employees for decades and we have the employee loyalty to prove it. The combined expenses related to recruiting and training new staff far outweigh the cost of benefits like Earned Sick Days.

"Not only that, healthy employees are, plain and simple, better at their jobs. Even in times of hardship, the 0.4% of gross payroll that these benefits cost our company is greatly outweighed by the advantages to our business and society as a whole. Over the years, we've found that most of our employees don't even use all of their sick days; on average they use 2.7 days a year. And, when an employee does get sick, having these days available allows them to get healthier more quickly, which means they can come back to work sooner.

"The bottom line is people get sick, and they need to be able to get healthy. This is just the right thing to do."

For over a year, small business members of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon have been actively involved in providing input on policy development and promoting the benefits of paid sick leave for businesses.

The Main Street Alliance of Oregon began by surveying more than 200 Portland small business owners on the issue, finding widespread support for the concept of paid sick leave.

Small business leaders then became directly involved in helping to craft the ordinance, through participation in a workgroup and ongoing stakeholder meetings convened by City Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

In January, the Main Street Alliance of Oregon joined with the VOIS Business Alliance to release a report showing that the benefits of earned sick time for small businesses outweigh the costs.

As the ordinance worked its way through the city council, members of the Main Street Alliance of Oregon continued to bring small business voices to the conversation through public hearings, meetings with council members, and directly with the media.

Below is a compilation of press coverage highlighting Main Street Alliance of Oregon small business leaders joining the public conversation to advance paid sick days in Portland.

OREGONIAN | Letters: Seeking public consensus on paid sick leave
2/27/2013
http://blog.oregonlive.com/myoregon/2013/02/letters_seeking_public_consens.html
As a local small business owner who supports a Portland sick leave ordinance, I was disturbed by Dan Yates' recent opinion piece. The presumption that there hasn't been sufficient process on this issue, or that it has been rushed, is as spurious as the presumption that this law would be bad for business. Yates is wrong on both counts.

PORTLAND BIZ JOURNAL | Businesses benefit from paid sick leave
2/22/2013
http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/print-edition/2013/02/22/businesses-benefit-from-paid-sick-leave.html
ON Jan. 17, City Commissioner Amanda Fritz announced a proposal for earned sick time in Portland. As local, independent business owners, we have a personal stake in this debate. Our conclusion on earned sick time for Portland is simple: we're all for it.

OREGONIAN | Small businesses find their own voices - and views - on immigration, sick leave and more
2/8/2013
http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2013/02/small_biz_decide.html#incart_river_default
Increasingly, small businesses are separating from the pack and speaking for themselves on social, political and economic issues. While the movement is relatively low-key for now, it represents a pushback by small-business owners who believe large corporations and their lobbyists have for too long assumed they were speaking for all businesses.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE | Proponents talk up sick-leave plan at council hearing
1/31/2013
http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/127580-proponents-talk-up-sick-leave-plan-at-council-hearing
Bill Dickey, co-owner of a 30-employee printing company, Morel Ink, likened the mandate to workers' compensation insurance, which employers must pay to fund protections for workers injured on the job. "I want to avoid the flu or common cold rolling through the company, whenever possible," Dickey said.

KOIN | Proponents talk up sick-leave plan at council hearing
1/31/2013
http://www.koinlocal6.com/news/local/story/Proponents-talk-up-sick-leave-plan-at-council/SJWaH1jdDkmAEiI55krsGA.cspx
Bill Dickey, co-owner of a 30-employee printing company, Morel Ink, likened the mandate to workers' compensation insurance, which employers must pay to fund protections for workers injured on the job. "I want to avoid the flu or common cold rolling through the company, whenever possible," Dickey said.

OREGONIAN | With one hearing down, Portland City Council pushes forward on earned sick leave rule
1/31/2013
http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/01/with_one_hearing_down_portland.html
Business owners spoke on both sides of the issue, but opposition came largely from owners who think a sick leave policy would be too onerous for many start ups.

DAILY ASTORIAN | Sick Leave Proposal Brings Mixed Reaction Portland's Business Owners
1/31/2013
http://www.dailyastorian.com/news/northwest/sick-leave-proposal-brings-mixed-reaction-portland-s-business-owners/article_b2299bde-ef3a-5094-b322-8e3e1efcc323.html
Houser said, "There are basic workplace standards that we've come to accept now that at one time were considered 'oh my goodness it's gonna bring the world down.'"

OPB | Portland's Business Owners Split On Proposed Sick Leave Plan
1/30/2013
http://www.opb.org/news/article/portlands-proposed-sick-leave-ordinance-brings-mixed-reaction-from-business-owners/
Houser believes mandating sick leave is long overdue. He likens it to minimum wage and workers' compensation.

OREGONIAN | Your comments: Paid sick leave for Portland businesses (poll results)
1/29/2013
http://blog.oregonlive.com/myoregon/2013/01/your_comments_paid_sick_leave.html
Quotes small business owners supporting paid sick days. Reader poll supportive of paid sick days.

NW LABOR PRESS | Sick leave ordinance goes before Portland City Council
1/29/2013
http://nwlaborpress.org/2013/01/sick-leave-ordinance-to-portland-city-council/
Blog mentions small business support.

OREGONIAN | Mandated sick leave for Portland businesses gains support: downtown and Northwest Portland news
1/28/2013
http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/01/mandated_sick_leave_for_portla_1.html
As debate continues, two groups throw support behind paid sick leave: The Main Street Alliance of Oregon and VOIS Business Alliance, small business advocacy groups, are calling a proposal to set a citywide sick time standard a "win-win policy for small businesses and workers across the city," Ryan Kost reports.

OREGONIAN | As debate continues, two groups throw support behind paid sick leave: Portland City Hall roundup
1/25/2013
http://blog.oregonlive.com/portlandcityhall/2013/01/as_debate_continues_two_groups.html
Two small business advocacy groups are calling a proposal to set a citywide sick time standard a "win-win policy for small businesses and workers across the City.

PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL | Portland's sick-leave proposal divides businesses
1/25/2013
http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/print-edition/2013/01/25/portlands-sick-leave-proposal-divides.html
Brian Snyder, co-owner of Pine St. Biscuits, is all for the plan.
"We think it will save our business money in the long run," Snyder said.

THINK PROGRESS | Philadelphia, Portland City Councils Consider Offering Workers Paid Sick Leave
1/25/2013
http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/01/25/1498821/philadelphia-portland-paid-sick-leave/?mobile=nc
A report from the Main Street Alliance of Oregon, which supports paid sick leave, said business expenses would grow at most by 1.9 percent under the law.

THE LUND REPORT | Fritz proposes paid sick days ordinance, invites community conversation
1/24/2013
http://www.thelundreport.org/resource/fritz_proposes_paid_sick_days_ordinance_invites_community_conversation
Mercer said the Main Street Alliance conducted a poll of businesses in Portland and around the state, asking how many of them would like to provide paid sick days for their employees. Eighty percent of Portland businesses said they would, and 46 percent of businesses around the state said they would like to.

PORTLAND BUSINESS JOURNAL | Public meeting zeroes in on sick leave details
1/23/2013
http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2013/01/23/public-meeting-zeroes-in-on-sick-leave.html
The proposal has created a rift in the local business community, with some business owners opposing it on practical grounds, fearing a costly new regulation, while others support it in the interest of raising standards citywide.

OPB | Should Portland Mandate Sick Leave?
1/23/2013
http://www.opb.org/thinkoutloud/shows/should-portland-mandate-sick-leave/
Radio show includes small businesses supporting paid sick days

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