Years of Courage and Persistence Pay Off in Huge Step Forward for Immigration Reform
Millions of immigrant families are celebrating the historic breakthrough on immigration that will provide the opportunity for many to remain in the U.S. and continue to contribute to America.
President Obama’s executive order means that for now nearly half of the undocumented immigrants living in America will no longer be afraid they will be deported. The other half’s fears should also lessen because new reforms should begin to reign in over-zealous enforcement agencies.
“This is a major victory for the immigrant rights movement in American and for the millions of immigrants who stood up and were unafraid. It’s a long overdue step toward justice,” said Stephen Michael, Campaigns Manager of The Main Street Alliance.Makini Howell, owner and Executive Chef of Plum Bistro, Seattle, WA
Across the country The Main Street Alliance has been working tirelessly with the small business community to fight for fair and just reform to fix our nation’s broken immigration system, keep our families together and our small businesses thriving.
Makini Howell, owner of Plum Bistro in Seattle, WA appeared on the Nightly Business Report last night, joining together with those who called on President Obama to take bold action in September, Main Street Alliance business owners from all across the country support the President, showing that administrative action to protect immigrants makes business sense.
“As a small business owner, I see the positive impact immigrants have on our economy,” said Jose Gonzalez, President of Tu Casa Real Estate in Salem, OR. “Many of my customers are immigrants, and it makes me so happy to know that this year, millions more families across the country will be able to celebrate Thanksgiving and the holiday season without fear that the broken immigration system will tear families and communities apart.”Jim Gilbert, owner of Northwoods Nursery & One Green World in Molalla & Portland, OR and Jose Gonzalez, President of TU Casa Real Estate in Salem, OR
Because the deferred action program announced by President Obama does not cover all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and the action is not permanent, Michael vowed to keep fighting for comprehensive immigration reform.
“Our fight is not over until everyone has a path to citizenship and no one lives in fear that their family will be separated. After all, when our families and communities are strong, our small businesses thrive,” Stephen Michael said.
Small business owners and families celebrated President Obama’s executive order, but added words of caution for anyone who attempts to reverse this action, including congressional Republicans.
“Countless families have been torn apart because of our patchwork of failed and mismanaged immigration policies. We will never allow that to happen again and will stand up to those who put politics ahead of families,” said said Jim Gilbert, Owner of Northwoods Nursery and One Green World in Molalla and Portland, OR. “To those who would try to take this victory away, who would tell immigrant families they are not welcome, you are on the wrong side of history. Our communities, families, and small businesses need this to help strengthen our economy.”
“Today, America is living up to its promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” said Peter Tofalvi, owner of Abacus Energy Solutions in Beaverton, OR. “Today, millions of families will now be able to pursue the American Dream.”
Women and working family issues addressed in new State of Main Street report
Portland, OR - This morning, Main Street Alliance of Oregon leaders, Deborah Field, co-owner of Paperjam Press, and Sara Howe and Christy Cushing, co-owners of Howe Innovative Design, met with Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici to release the new survey report, State of Main Street. This report challenges conventional perceptions of small business owners’ thoughts on key policy issues. It details responding business owners’ views on key issues facing Oregon and the nation.Sara Howe, Christy Cushing, Deborah Field, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, Stephen Michael, and Sean Place. Photo credit: Kristin Rasmussen, Dist. Rep for Suzanne Bonamici (left to right)
Oregon small business owners are supportive of giving Oregon working families a fair shot—real opportunities to succeed and prosper with policies like basic standards for paid sick days as well as safe, secure, and effective retirement savings vehicles for small business owners and their employees. Women small business owners and business owners of color are particularly supportive of these policies. There is a clear call from the small business community that it’s time to rethink the “business as usual” agendas promoted by Big Business and special interest groups. We need to move towards understanding the whole picture of how our businesses interact with the communities we serve.
“Small businesses are a critical part of Oregon’s economy, especially in rural areas. Policies that support small businesses help create economic security and stability for working Oregonians. These policies include access to capital for those who want to start a new business, quality education, stable housing, and affordable health care,” Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici said. “When families earn a living wage, can take paid leave, and do not struggle to pay for child care, they are more likely to succeed and thrive. The Main Street Alliance report recognizes that these policies are good for small businesses because they lead to healthier families, a stronger local work force, increased consumer spending, and ultimately a stronger local economy.”
“As we continue to recover from this recession, I am committed to helping small businesses remain competitive in today’s market,” said Congressman Earl Blumenauer. “This report, issued by The Main Street Alliance of Oregon, clearly outlines some of the challenges that remain. While I’m concerned the benefits of our economic recovery aren’t being broadly felt, it’s encouraging to know Oregon’s small businesses feel as strongly as I do about the importance of affordable, quality healthcare, reforming our broken immigration system, and ensuring fair and equitable access to credit.”Sara Howe addresses Congresswoman Bonamici on issues impacting her small web, social media and marketing firm.
The Main Street Alliance of Oregon hopes lawmakers, the media and other decision makers will look closely at the results of this survey in planning public policy. We encourage them to listen and respond to the true voices of Main Street.
Portland, OR — Last night, October 22, hundreds of small business owners and small business supporters braved the rain storms and came together at HATCH to celebrate small business and connect Main Street business owners with local lenders.
Money on a Mission, sponsored by Beneficial State Bank and HATCH, brought together the top local small business lenders: Albina Community Bank, Albina Opportunities Corporation, Beneficial State Bank, Community Sourced Capital, Craft3, HATCH, Kiva Zip, Mercy Corps Northwest, Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon, Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs, & Portland Development Commission.
There’s no question that there is a large gap in access to capital for Main Street businesses, especially for women business owners and business owners of color. More and more, tradition forms of lending aren’t working for small businesses across Oregon and nationally. By bringing together local alternative lenders and expert panels on business development and growth, all in one room, Main Street business owners were able to think outside the box and find creative ways to fill their capital access needs.
The event kicked off with welcoming remarks (and trademark song) from Kat Taylor, co-founder and CEO of Beneficial State Bank and Amy Pearl, Founder of HATCH. Then there was plenty of time for business owners in the room to network with each other and all 11 of the local lenders on site. There were expert panels in small breakouts for budding entrepreneurs on accessing early stage funds and for established businesses working to grow to the next level.
While it was inspiring to have all of these lenders presenting their alternative forms of capital, we know that there’s still a gap for those businesses who need smaller amounts. That’s why The Main Street Alliance of Oregon and Hatch Innovation have come together to work on creating streamlined ways for Oregonians to directly invest in Oregon-owned and operated businesses. To find out more about what’s coming down the pipe line, contact oregon [at] mainstreetalliance.org.
This post originally appeared at the Main Street Alliance of Oregon blog.
Portland, OR — This past Saturday, October 11th, Leaders with The Main Street Alliance of Oregon gathered in Portland to reflect on our past work and plan for the future of the movement. We’re confident that together we can continue to raise the voices of small business, working to change the way that we think about business.
Leaders from across the state joined together to think-big about the future of The Main Street Alliance, how we can build more support for Main Street businesses, and how we can continue to provide opportunities to lift up the real stories from Oregon small business owners who understand that they’re working families too.
Main Street leaders agree that the time has come for a paradigm shift. We’re working together to lift up the voices of small business owners across Oregon and the U.S., and reclaim our voices from the Big Business spacial interest groups who stole them years ago.
There is a groundswell of support for common sense work place protections like access to paid sick days, affordable health care, and secure retirement savings options. Main Street business owners know that when we provide basic standards like these, pay living wages to our working families, and ensure that the women working in our businesses are earning equal pay for equal work, our communities and small businesses thrive.
Here at The Main Street Alliance of Oregon, we’re looking forward to the growing number of supportive businesses in Oregon and across the country. We’re looking forward to reclaiming our small business voice! Join us!
On July 28, 2014 the Mayor and City Councilors of Eugene, Oregon voted 5 to 3 to implement a paid sick days policy that will enable people who work in the city to earn sick time while they work, making Eugene the second city in Oregon, and the 9th U.S. city, to adopt such a policy.
Small business owners with the Main Street Alliance of Oregon cheered the ordinance passage as an important step to create more economy-boosting jobs.
“Eugene’s paid sick days policy will benefit everyone. It will boost the local economy and help small businesses succeed,” said Catherine Reinhart, co-owner of Sweet Life Patisserie. “It’s simple economics: we sell more sweets when working families have more money in their pockets to take their kids out for a treat. Now, Eugeneans won’t have to choose between taking care of their families and missing a day of work.”
“This is a big forward step for Eugene’s economy that will help employees better manage their work and personal responsibilities simultaneously,” said Rob Cohen, co-owner of Falling Sky Brewery. “Our employees are the heart of our business. We’re proud to provide them with paid sick leave, so they can pay their bills even when they get sick. Now all employees will have that protection too!”
“When you do your best by your employees, they stick around and give you their best, so it really works for everyone,” noted Gavin McComas, owner of Sundance Natural Foods. “It feels great to be part of a solution that will directly benefit so many people and that positions Eugene as a leader in our country when it comes to a triple-bottom line economy. It’s a great day for the city of Eugene, and for Eugene business owners and their employees!”
The Main Street Alliance of Oregon business owners applaud the Eugene City Council for taking action on this important issue. Despite the backdoor political dealings of the Lane County Commission — whom last week attempted to stall or block the City Council from taking action by passing three rushed ordinances — the Council and Mayor supported the 25,000 workers in the city who need this basic protection.
This morning, Catherine and Cheryl Reinhart, owners of Eugene's Sweet Life Patisserie and leaders with the Main Street Alliance of Oregon, hosted a coffee meeting with Congressman Peter DeFazio. The Reinharts, as well as Rob Cohen of Falling Sky Brewing and Gavin McComas of Sundance Natural Foods, spoke about the state of small business in Eugene; the conversation focused on issues of tax fairness, the ever-expanding corporatocracy, immigration reform, women's economic equality, and a variety of local issues.
Working with The Main Street Alliance, neighborhood business owners like these leaders are working hard to change the way the business sector is perceived, both in Oregon and nationally. We know that the US Chamber of Commerce and other 'small' business groups are really representing the voices of the big guys. We're happy to have a champion for small business who understands that important distinction, like Congressman Peter DeFazio, fighting for small businesses and our communities.
Last week, Reuters reported on a new study detailing how a majority of Fortune 500 companies use offshore tax havens to avoid their full U.S. tax responsibility.
Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz tells Bill Moyers that these lucrative tax loopholes are contributing to widening income inequality and hurting economic growth in the U.S.
Yet, the response from some in Congress appears to be doubling down on offshore tax avoidance – pushing to renew offshore tax loopholes as part of an unpaid for “tax extenders” package, and giving full-throated endorsement to the notion of a so-called “repatriation tax holiday,” a patriotic sounding name for what amounts to a “get-out-of-taxes-free” card on profits booked offshore.
Corporate tax dodgers’ apologists often claim that returning offshore profits to the U.S. – even at a severely discounted tax rate – would bring with it new revenue for economy-boosting investments in America.
This week, a new report from the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’ non-partisan scorekeeper, threw cold water on that claim. Bloomberg reports that, while a repatriation tax holiday would temporarily return some new revenue to American soil, the Joint Committee on Taxation has concluded that such a move would ultimately cost the U.S. treasury $95.8 billion over the next decade.
For small businesses, corporate offshore tax dodging is a two-headed beast. The first devours resources necessary for economy-boosting investments, while the second breathes fire onto small business competitors who pay their fair share of taxes, unfairly exacerbating the competitive advantage large corporations already enjoy.
Main Street Alliance leader Deb Field, co-owner of Paperjam Press in Portland, Ore., writes in a guest column in the Oregonian:
“I'm proud to pay my fair share of taxes. Most of us realize that it's the price of sustaining our public infrastructure, schools, legal system and other things essential to making America an excellent place to do business. Corporations that take advantage of all America has to offer and then refuse to pay their fair share in taxes are shirking their civic responsibilities.”
Tim Foster, owner of Patriotic Motors in Spokane, WA, sums it up in the Spokesman Review: “Corporations making record profits shouldn’t need tax breaks that are paid for on the backs of hard-working Americans and small businesses.”
If Congress wants to boost the economy, combat widening income inequality, and support small business success, it’s time to cut offshore corporate tax dodging beast off at the head(s).
While corporate CEOs are pressuring Congress to cut Social Security and Medicare as part of a so-called "Grand Bargain" to reduce the debt, small business owners say that cuts to Social Security and Medicare would be devastating to small businesses across the country.
A new series of reports from the Main Street Alliance and Social Security Works, Business is (Baby) Booming, analyze the important role Social Security and Medicare play in both strengthening the retirement security of small business owners themselves, and fueling consumer demand on Main Street in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Instead of cutting Social Security and Medicare, small business owners say Congress should crack down on offshore tax abuse that allows the wealthy and corporations to avoid more than $100 billion in U.S. taxes per year by sheltering their income offshore.
State "Business is (Baby) Booming" Reports
- Washington, D.C.
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
Blog mentions small business support.
OREGONIAN | Mandated sick leave for Portland businesses gains support: downtown and Northwest Portland news
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
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
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
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
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
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?
Radio show includes small businesses supporting paid sick days
Small business leaders from the Main Street Alliance and our state affiliates weighed in and framed the debate in press coverage of the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act. MSA small business leaders shared concrete, personal stories of how the law is helping their businesses and what small businesses can look forward to now that the law has been upheld and will keep moving forward. A compilation of links and excerpts from the coverage follows!
The decision was embraced at Palm Beach Groves in Lantana, where the business relied on a tax credit to offer health insurance to its employees, all of whom are older and have preexisting conditions, said General Manager and CFO Louisa McQueeney.
“I think it’s great news. It means that we can move forward, the gains we made this year, the premiums being flat and we applied for the tax credit which is $7,400, which is great.”
McQueeney is pleased with the Supreme Court's decision. She took advantage of a tax credit of about $7500 this year and believes other businesses could benefit too.
"You are a business person. There is money sitting there on the table, right there, take it. And provide people with health care," she said.
Louisa McQueeney interviewed on importance of ACA for her business and employees.
MAINE: MAINE SMALL BUSINESS COALITION
Quotes MSBC leader John Costin:
“Provisions of the Affordable Care Act – from rate review to the value for premiums rule to the guarantee that there’s somewhere to go for coverage even if you have a pre-existing condition – are already making a difference for small businesses, and there’s more to look forward to.”
Small business groups that supported health care reform were elated by the decision.
“Small business owners knew we couldn’t afford to go back to the nightmare scenario that health care was for us before reform,” said John Costin, owner of Veneer Services Unlimited in Kennebuck, Maine, and a leader of the Maine Small Business Coalition. “The Supreme Court’s decision means we won’t have to. Instead, we can keep looking forward.”
“Now that the court case is behind us, it's time to put politics aside and get down to implementing the law to maximize the benefits for small businesses,” Costin said.
Gov. Martin O'Malley is highlighting a Columbia businessman's support for the Affordable Care Act as an example of why the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the law matters in Maryland.
At the end of the op-ed, England said feared these savings would be taken away by a Supreme Court decision, but after today's ruling, he can rest easier.
"It's unbelievable," said England in an interview with Patch on Thursday. "I'm walking on air."
NEW JERSEY: NEW JERSEY MAIN STREET ALLIANCE
NJ MSA’s Odette Cohen quoted:
Willingboro physician Odette Cohen, a vocal supporter of the reform law, said she was “elated” by the court’s decision, claiming it will ensure that millions of uninsured residents will have an avenue for obtaining coverage. She also said small businesses like her practice will be able to get more affordable plans for employees.
“This is really good news; the law is in place. There’s hope,” Cohen said Thursday.
Popular components of the law that already have been implemented, such as provisions permitting young adults to remain on their parents’ plans until they turn 26 and preventing insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions, also will be maintained, Cohen said.
NJ MSA small business leaders Kelly Conklin, Henry Passapera, and Odette Cohen quoted in online story; Kelly Conklin featured on radio segment.
Anita Thomas, owner and chief executive officer of AM Thomas and Associates in Plainfield, finds much to like in the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Thomas, who is also executive director of the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, was more than happy with the decision — especially since she had just come from a procedure at a doctor’s office after the long-awaited ruling was released.
Opinion piece by NJ MSA’s Kelly Conklin.
NJ MSA’s Kelly Conklin interviewed for BBC World News.
OREGON: MAIN STREET ALLIANCE OF OREGON
Interview with MSA-Oregon co-chair Jim Houser at Hawthorne Auto Clinic.
From Jim Houser, Hawthorne Auto Clinic, Portland, co-chair Main Street Alliance of Oregon: "I joined the fight for health care reform because I knew from painful experience that the insurance companies weren't meeting the needs of small businesses. After nearly 10 years of double-digit premium increases, the ACA provided my small business over $12,000 a year in tax credits and an over 3% drop in premiums. (And my two children were able to rejoin our health plan.) I saw the campaign to reform health care in this country as an investment in the success of my small business.”
The Main Street Alliance of Oregon represents business owners favoring the law. “This is a good day for small businesses in Oregon and across America,” said Jose Gonzalez of Tu Casa Real Estate in Salem.
“We’ve been working hard to make health care reform work for small businesses. Today, we should take a minute to celebrate – and then get back to the work of implementing the law.”
"We're spending over $70,000 a year to cover insurance for our employees," Gilbert, 68, said. "As rates go up, we pay more, then employees pay more for insurance."
But now that Gilbert knows that his business will benefit from a tax credit due to the Affordable Care Act, which was upheld today by the U.S. Supreme Court, he no longer worries as much.
"It's a huge decision for a small business like mine," he said. "We're on the front line to provide insurance to our employees and we will continue to do that now. As long as I am in business, I am dedicated to help my employees. "
On the other hand, the Main Street Alliance of Oregon group gushed over the news. The Alliance represents small businesses that, group officials said, are already benefitting from tax credits and cost controls imposed by the law.
"After nearly 10 years of double-digit premium increases, the (Act) provided my small business with more than $12,000 a year in tax credits and a 3 percent drop in premiums," said Jim Houser, owner of Portland's Hawthorne Auto Clinic and the Main Street Alliance's co-chairman, in a statement.
But another small-business group, the Main Street Alliance, celebrated the court’s decision on its blog. Jim Houser, owner of Hawthorne Auto Clinic in Portland and a leader of the state affiliate, wrote: “I joined the fight for health care reform because I knew from painful experience that the insurance companies weren’t meeting the needs of small businesses… The court’s decision to affirm the ACA makes this a great day for America and for America’s small businesses.”
880 AM RADIO MEDFORD :: Southern Oregon live talk show, MSA-Oregon co-chair Mark Kellenbeck spoke on ACA as the decision came out.
VIRGINIA: VIRGINIA MAIN STREET ALLIANCE
The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the health care reform law left Tammy Rostov jumping for joy.
"We're very excited; we jumped up and down and hugged when the news was announced," the owner of Rostov's Coffee and Tea in Richmond said Thursday.
"I provide full coverage for employees, and we were close to being priced out of the market," she said, adding that the new law will help prevent that.
WASHINGTON: MAIN STREET ALLIANCE OF WASHINGTON
Commentary by MSA of Washington’s Makini Howell (Plum Bistro, Seattle):
Then, President Obama’s health care reform law came along. When I crunched the numbers, I found out that the law’s health care tax credit for small businesses would immediately cut 20 percent off the cost of insuring my employees. And in 2014, when the law’s fully in effect, that tax credit goes up to about one-third of my costs.
Suddenly, providing health insurance wasn’t just something I dreamed of doing – it was something I actually could do. About three months ago, right around the two-year anniversary of the law, I began enrolling my employees in a health insurance plan for the first time. Let me tell you – that felt good!
Features Main Street Alliance member Jody Hall (Cupcake Royale).
Story of Main Street Alliance of Washington member Laura Waite (Jay's Professional Automotive).
Spokane business and real estate developer Ron Wells called the court ruling a victory for people and business. He applauded the requirement of forcing insurance companies to spend 80 percent of their premium collections on paying medical bills rather than fighting claims, paying exorbitant executive salaries, building rich reserves and hiring lobbyists.
Features MSA of Washington leader Makini Howell.
For Hall, the decision means it will become more affordable for her to continue offering healthcare for her 72 workers. Before the Affordable Care Act, she was subject to annual rate hikes of 20 percent—in 2009 it climbed as high as 40 percent—and in 2011, she paid over $67,000 to cover her workers. But this year, Hill said her premium only went up five percent, an increase she called “unheard of.”
KVI 570 AM RADIO :: Interviews with Main Street Alliance members (Molly Moon Neitzel and Laura McDowell Waite)
KOMO RADIO :: Interview with Main Street Alliance member Jody Hall (Cupcake Royale)
KOMO 4 & KOMO RADIO :: Interview with Laura Waite (small business owner who has a pre-existing condition & relies on the Pre-Existing Condition Plan for coverage)
Q13 FOX :: In-studio interviews with Main Street Alliance members Makini Howell (Plum Bistro) and Jody Hall (Cupcake Royale)
KOMO TV :: Interview with Main Street Alliance member Laura Waite (Jay’s Pro Auto)
KIRO TV :: Interview with Main Street Alliance member Makini Howell (Plum Bistro)
KPLU :: Interview with Main Street Alliance member Molly Moon Neitzel (Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream)
“Some small businesses are actually getting tax breaks. Molly Moon Neitzel is the owner of Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream in Seattle. She says since the health law was passed, she’s been able to get tax credits the past two years because she offers health insurance for her employees.”