The Only Way We Beat This Pandemic
In her monthly column, OBI Chair Karen Vineyard, market executive, global commercial banking for Bank of America, discusses the latest round of business closures in Oregon and encourages everyone to get their vaccine.

Governor Orders Additional Business Closures Effective Today
Effective today, April 30, 15 counties throughout the state are entering what Gov. Brown has identified as “extreme” risk of COVID spread, meaning that restaurants, bars, gyms and other indoor facilities will curtail operations. She announced the moves on Tuesday and committed to reevaluating county risk levels on a weekly basis.

OBI responded by urging the governor and the Legislature to immediately establish a relief fund to help offset costs for impacted businesses. Read our full statement here.

Noting the continuing vaccination effort, the governor said she expects this will be the last time restrictions are imposed, and the counties moving to higher risk categories will remain there for a maximum of three weeks.

On April 19, all Oregonians over the age of 16 became eligible for the COVID vaccine, and last weekend, use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine resumed after a brief pause to evaluate medical risks associated with the shot. If you are unsure where to sign up for a vaccine appointment, start by registering here.

Gov. Brown has said she expects Oregon will fully reopen no later than the end of June, although mask mandates and social distancing precautions will likely continue. 
New Federal Tax Credits for Businesses, Relief for Restaurants
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The U.S. Small Business Administration announced this week that registration will begin today, Friday, April 30, for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, with applications opening on Monday, May 3, at 6 a.m. PST. The $28.6 billion fund was established through the American Rescue Plan. Learn more and register here.

President Biden also recently announced a tax credit for employers who offer paid time off for workers to get their vaccines. Our partners at the Bend Chamber put together this helpful summary. The paid leave tax credit will offset the cost for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 500 employees for up to 80 hours (i.e. 10 work days) up to $511 per day of paid sick leave offered between April 1 and September 30, 2021.

OBI hosted a webinar this month in partnership with Arbor Employment Law that focused on the expansion of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and what employers need to know about claiming tax credits. You can watch the recording and find the presentation on our website.
Economic Scorecard Updated with Latest Data
With the release this month of February employment data, we are seeing positive trends in nearly all of our economic indicators. COVID cases overall are better than the previous month, however, cases are trending upward and Gov. Brown has ordered additional business closures. We will not know the full economic impact of those closures for some time.

As the vaccination becomes more readily available to Oregonians, we are seeing improvements in the state economy. While the impact of business closures is sure to linger, consumer spending and spending in the hard-hit hospitality industries is rebounding. And, while the unemployment rate is decreasing as some businesses open back up, we are still seeing a slower recovery for Oregon’s diverse communities.

Oregon to Receive Additional Seat in Congress
For the first time in 40 years, Oregon will receive an additional congressional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, bringing our representation to six elected members.

The new seat is due to a significant rise in population throughout the past 10 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The announcement was expected, as Oregon narrowly missed the threshold after the 2010 census.

Now, a bipartisan committee in the Legislature is tasked with redrawing district lines by Sept. 27. If they fail to pass a bill, the responsibility of redistricting goes to Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, a Democrat, who must complete the process by mid-October.
Washington Legislature Adjourns
This week, the Washington Legislature adjourned its 105-day session, approving several bills that may influence conversations in the Oregon Legislature.

Of note, our neighbors to the north passed a clean fuels program similar to the one in Oregon and California, a new 7% capital gains tax, and a cap-and-trade measure. You can find more information in this news article, and read a statement from our partners at the Association of Washington Business here.
New Membership Benefits Now Being Offered
All OBI members should have received an email this week detailing exciting new membership benefits, and a quick request to update contact information at your company.

We know business is constantly evolving and we want to keep up with the changes in your organization. We want to be sure that you are maximizing your membership with us. 
Please take a few moments to review your information and make any necessary updates by accessing the online Member Information Center. Login at http://obior.memberzone.com/login.

New membership benefits include:

  • Member Directory - help other members find you with a listing in our Member Directory.
  • Job Postings - submit your own job openings to our jobs list.
  • Member-Member Offers - offer coupons and special deals to fellow OBI members.
  • Member Events Calendar - add your events to our online event calendar displayed with quick links; use these links to share in your social media, text to mobile devices, add to your calendar, or email to others.

If you’d prefer not to be listed in our new member directory, please contact Patti Winter.
Small Dues Increase Beginning in June 2021
With the health and economic challenges of the past year, we are all experiencing unprecedented challenges and, now more than ever, OBI is working hard to advocate for you and businesses across Oregon as we recover together.

Like most organizations, our expenses have steadily increased. Even though we have faced rising expenses, we have not increased our dues in over five years. Starting in June, we are asking members for a 2.5% increase in dues at your next membership renewal to support our ongoing efforts. Recognizing that it has been a challenging year for many businesses, if this increase is a financial burden, we will work with you so you can continue your engagement with OBI and our many programs.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to us any time.
Benefit Spotlight:
OBI Members Save 30% on Paylocity HR & Payroll Services
OBI is proud to partner with industry-leading human resources innovator Paylocity to provide our members an exclusive 30% discount on their services. They have the unique ability to offer OBI members everything you need in a one-stop, single database such as: benefit administration, talent management, time and labor management, applicant tracking, performance reviews, employee engagement, compliance, and more.

Their open architecture platform also provides the flexibility to integrate with other third-party systems that work best for your organization. Learn more here and start saving.

“Our partnership with OBI is something that all Oregon businesses should be aware of,” said Wes Higgins, director of sales at Paylocity. “Our company provides a wide range of services – at a discounted rate – that serve nearly every sector and region of Oregon. We’re proud to support OBI’s leadership role in Oregon and foster a greater sense of community among our fellow members.”
Federal Legislative Briefings & Discussions: Impacts to Oregon Businesses
For years, OBI has partnered with the Portland Business Alliance and the Oregon Business Council under the Oregon Business Plan to take our federal agenda to Oregon’s congressional representatives in Washington, D.C. This year, going in person is not an option, so we are taking our D.C. fly in virtual, with a series of webinars featuring Oregon’s delegation members.

We hosted Rep. Kurt Schrader, Sen. Merkley, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and Rep. Cliff Bentz in the past few weeks. If you missed those discussions, watch the recordings to learn more about what they’re working on in D.C. and how it will impact your business.

Next week, we’ll be joined by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (register here) and on May 14, Sen. Ron Wyden. Don’t miss your chance to hear the latest from our nation’s Capitol!
“Our Jobs Our Voice” Coalition Growing by the Thousands
Every month, we are celebrating more milestones in the effort to grow the Our Jobs Our Voice coalition: We now have more than 14,000 grassroots advocates from across the state!

We’re working hard to continue to grow this movement and hope you’ll join us. If you want to learn more and sign up to be part of our coalition, you can do so here.

Everyday Oregonians are connecting with their legislators on key issues like tax increases, supporting small businesses and economic recovery. As the 2021 legislature continues to meet and discuss important policy, this is one more way to ensure your voice is being heard.
OBI Members Making Headlines this Month
Welcome to Oregon Business & Industry!
OBI is thrilled to welcome 27 new members that joined in March.

Congratulations and thank you to the following businesses for joining OBI; we are a stronger organization because of you.
Are you taking full advantage of your OBI membership?
Check out all of our benefit programs and start saving today!
Oregon Business & Industry
1149 Court Street NE
Salem, OR 97301