Recently, Senator Ron Wyden published this OpEd in USA Today: Trump's capital gains tax idea is handout to the rich, broken promise to workers
Sen. Wyden demonstrates how little Trump’s proposed capital gains tax will benefit the majority of people living in our country. Instead of growing the Main Street economy, Trump’s plan will only further line the pockets of CEOs and the wealthiest one percent and siphon from essential programs like affordable healthcare, Medicaid, food assistance, and Social Security.Read more
We Strongly Condemn Racist and Hateful Legislation Against Refugees; Call for Leadership by Governors
The Main Street Alliance strongly condemns the passage of H.R. 4038, the so-called “American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act.” This bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday, November 19, prevents Syrian refugees from entering the United States without meeting additional stringent screening requirements.Read more
Being a small business owner for 25 years has taught Deborah to value her employees and paying them a livable wage is the best thing she can do to support that effort. Deborah noted a 60% increase in sales resulting from increased productivity in her shop after implementing a $15.00/hr starting wage for her employees. Main Street Alliance members know that Raising The Wage helps small business and puts more money back into our communities.
Many gathered in front of City Hall, yet Congresswoman Bonamici did not go downstairs to meet with the group. Business owners and community members rallied for about 30 minutes and headed up to her office. Representative from the rally politely entered City Hall, and went to deliver their message to her staff because the Congresswoman would not meet with them face-to-face.
Patty Katz, an Organizer with The Main Street Alliance of Oregon, delivered a copy of an Op-Ed from Mark Kellenbeck, Co-Chair of The Main Street Alliance of Oregon and Co-owner of BrainJoy, LLC in Medford. The Congresswoman was asked what happen to change her mind about standing up for small business and Oregonians as a whole.
The group asked, “What is in it for Oregonians? Why does Congresswoman Bonamici support the TPP?”
Congresswoman Bonamici’s staff were cordial to the group, and over 25 delivered different letters and other documents all with the same requests: “Say NO to Fast Tracking the TPP!”
Read the report here: Paid Sick Time in Oregon, March 2015
Over 1,500 Oregonians came together on Wednesday, February 11th on the Capitol steps to demonstrate the growing support for Health Care for All Oregon, the single payer/medicare for all movement alive and well (and healthy) in Oregon. Health Care for All Oregon is a coalition of over 100 organizations, including The Main Street Alliance of Oregon, supporting the HCAO mission: "To create a comprehensive, equitable, affordable, publicly funded, high quality, universal health care system serving everyone in Oregon and the United States."
The crowd gathered on the steps of the Oregon Capitol building in Salem. The Rally program included music from Oregon performers such as Norm Sylvester singing The Health Care Blues, the Raging Grannies, Salem’s Dr. Atomic, Anne Weiss, and David Rovics, and "Mad As Hell Doctors.” The Rally also featured inspiring speakers, including elected officials, Senator Michael Dembrow, Representative Williamson & Smith-Warner, as well as many other community members.
Jason Freilinger, Owner Freilinger Electronics
Lee Mercer, HCAO President & MSAO Exec Team Member
Main Street Alliance of Oregon Statewide Leadership Circle member & owner of Freilinger Electronics, Jason Freilinger, spoke about the small business support for HCAO and for the universal health care movement. He echoed the feelings of thousands of small business owners from across Oregon, calling for the State to take action to help Oregon small business owners get out of the health insurance business, and back to focused on running their own businesses—that’s better for everyone.
The Main Street Alliance of Oregon and small business owners around the state continue to push for further health care reforms. There are important opportunities this Legislative Session that will move our state closer to understand exactly how we can create a universal health care system. Main Street Alliance of Oregon Executive Team member, and President of HCAO, Lee Mercer closed the rally with inspiring words, echoing the theme of the day, “everybody in, nobody out.”
Main Street Alliance leaders from around the country joined together to think BIG about the kind of world we want to live in
The Main Street Alliance National Board members: David Borris, Owner, Hel’s Kitchen Catering
Northbrook, Illinois; Melanie Collins, Owner, Melanie’s Home Childcare, Falmouth, Maine; ReShonda Young, Operations Manager, Alpha Express, Inc, Waterloo, Iowa; Kelly Conklin, Owner, Foley-Waite Associates, Bloomfield, New Jersey; & Jim Houser, Co-Owner, Hawthorne Auto Clinic, Portland, Oregon, along with National Staff met up at the Rancho Gallina Eco Retreat in *sunny* Santa Fe, New Mexico last weekend to think strategically about the future of The Main Street Alliance.
Our lovely hosts, Mitch Ackerman and Leslie Moody, have overseen the Rancho Gallina’s historic preservation and 21st century environmental upgrades. The facility is now 100% solar-powered, with both high- and low-tech water and energy conservation, from geothermal heating/cooling to composting and xeriscaping to preserve our desert landscape.
Working together as a team, the Main Street Alliance National Board began to develop the framework for how to create a small business economy, full of community involvement and support. We’re continuing to explore how to create more economy investing businesses, while limiting the extractors out there.
We all loved being able to escape the winter in Santa Fe, and will certainly be back to the Rancho Gallina in the future!
Business owners from the communities voiced there concerns about the looming retirement security crisis. Today, nearly half of all Oregonians do not have a retirement plan at work. As a result, many are at risk of living in poverty when they retire – unable to cover basic living and medical expenses. This not only means that more Americans will need to rely on social services, but also that those with little or no retirement savings won’t have the resources to keep shopping in their local small businesses.
The Main Street Alliance of Oregon is a part of the Save Today, Secure Tomorrow coalition, together we’ve found that:
- More than 70 million American workers do not have an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
- 79% of working Oregonians support a state-run retirement savings plan to help the thousands of workers who don’t have access to a retirement savings program at work.
- The Bureau of Labor Statics estimates that at least 10 percent of Americans age 75 or older will be working or seeking employment by 2018.
- Less than half of African American, Latino and low-income workers have access to a retirement plan at their job.
- Over half of women age 75 or older live alone; almost half of those are living at or near the federal poverty line.
In September 2014, the Task Force unanimously recommended a structure for a state-sponsored retirement plan. After reviewing extensive research of best practices from academic and financial industry experts, the Task Force recommended that Oregon’s savings program include the following key elements:
- Easy for employers to implement - savings contributions will be automatically deducted from existing payroll and employers will not be required to make a contribution
- Includes auto-enrollment – 87 percent of individuals working for companies with auto-enrollment actively participate in the programs
- Portable for individuals – the plan will follow Oregonians from job to job throughout their career.
- Limits the state’s exposure to risk – as directed by the legislature, the plan will not incur any liability for the state.
By giving every working Oregonian an easy way to save for retirement, we can help every Oregonian provide security for themselves, their families, and our community. It’s time to put Oregonians back in charge of their financial future.
It is critical that we find solutions to this problem—when more Americans are financially stable in their retirement, they keep spending money in local businesses, keeping money circulating through our communities. Additionally, when more families are secure in their own retirement, there’s less need for social safety nets, ensuring that those who really need the support have it to count on.
Senator Jeff Merkley & Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish join Main Street Alliance & Little Boxes Businesses to promote shopping on Main Street this holiday season
Portland, OR - Senator Jeff Merkley (OR) and Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish walked Main Streets in St Johns and NW Portland earlier today talking to small business owners participating in this year’s Little Boxes PDX campaign. Little Boxes PDX was dreamt up just before Thanksgiving in 2011 by jewelry designer and small business owner, Betsy Cross, of betsy & iya. Working with her husband and business partner, Will Cervarich, the vision became a reality that first year with 90 shops participating and thousands of participating shoppers across Portland. Since then, Little Boxes PDX has grown every year.
This year, more than 200 small business owners from all around Portland joined the campaign, offering discounts, donating prizes and helping to support each other throughout the holidays. The spirit of community drives Little Boxes each year, and shoppers who patron their local Main Street businesses experience the things that make small, locally-owned businesses so great—personal customer attention and unique goods and services.Devon, co-owner of hammer + vine; Senator Jeff Merkley; Commissioner Nick Fish
Leaders with The Main Street Alliance of Oregon were pleased to work with Commissioner Fish and Senator Merkley to promote shopping on Main Street this holiday season. Commissioner Fish visited businesses in St Johns. We then met up with Senator Merkley in Goose Hallow at Hammer + Vine, and on to the Alphabet District to Clogs N More, Manor Fine Wares and ended up at Child’s Play Toys.
It’s so important to get the word out about supporting Main Streets across America, that way our customer’s hard earned money can stay where it belongs—in the local community. We’re certainly not alone in promoting shopping at small businesses during the holidays, though.Pat, owner Child's Play Toys; Senator Jeff Merkley; Betsy Cross, co-owner of betsy & iya and co-founder of Little Boxes PDX
Along with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, comes Small Business Saturday, a marketing campaign created by American Express. On the surface, it sounds like a good thing. After all, small businesses are the engines of job growth, and shopping small keeps money circulating in the local economy. Every Saturday should be Small Business Saturday.
But, for small business owners, American Express’ marketing campaign is a slap in the face, allowing the Wall Street titan to hitch its PR wagon to the iconic Main Street brand while generating enormous profits on swipe fees from billions in sales, paid for by small businesses and our customers. American Express charges merchants the highest swipe fees – around 3.5% of each transaction – of any credit card company. In addition to charging hefty swipe fees, AmEx typically takes twice as long to settle transactions with merchants as Visa and MasterCard, which can hurt the cash flow of a small business. The dirty secret of credit card rewards programs is that they are paid for by the small business who swipes your card.
After all is said and done, though, there are some great ways to support your local small businesses this holiday. Consumers who want to Shop Main Street this holiday season can:
- Shop in a locally owned business, that way your hard-earned money stays in your community and supports businesses who support their employees and their communities.
- Pay in cash or use a debit card.
This holiday season, remember, shop in small Main Street businesses—support the businesses who support you!