2021 Small Business Day Perfectly Synced with Legislative Action

Date: April 21, 2021

Members hear from lawmakers while taking action on unemployment insurance bill

One of the many benefits of NFIB membership is the opportunity your association presents to hear directly from and talk directly to the top policymakers and agency officials making the decisions affecting your ability to own, operate, and grow your business.

Small Business Days at the Capitol are one of the ways NFIB creates this opportunity, and the April 20 (Virtual) Small Business Day could not have been more timely given legislative action on bills of importance to Main Street entrepreneurs.

Sen. Lynn Findley was the first Small Business Day guest and led off his remarks with interesting perspective on what separates this session of the Oregon State Legislature from past ones.

“The session we’re in is troublesome at best,” said Findley. “The virtual policy committees, the virtual atmosphere that we work under is great in a lot of regards. The fact that we can involve people from all over the state, they can participate without driving seven hours one way … it allows those people to participate where they couldn’t very well before, but what it also does is prohibit communication. It makes it very difficult by not having people in the building to walk out in the middle of a hearing or out in the hallway to talk about an issue and resolve it immediately and move on … we exclude a lot of incredibly good comment.”

The second Small Business Day guest, State Rep. E. Werner Reschke, vice chairman of the House Committee on Revenue, led off his remarks on two things the Legislature has done well this year, one being passage of a bill that countered the financial impact of every small-business owner’s unemployment insurance rating spiking because of the pandemic. The other success was holding the line on tax increases.

“There’s always the appetite, unfortunately, to raise taxes in the building [State Capitol],” said Reschke. “After 2019, when the Legislature raised taxes 41% through various means, that all of the business lobby, big, small, in between said this is not the time to raise taxes after the year we had in 2020 with ice storms, and then COVID-19, and then wildfires.”

In between both guests’ remarks, NFIB Oregon State Director Anthony Smith went through all the good, bad, and ugly bills NFIB was supporting, fighting, or monitoring. While the Small Business Day event was going on NFIB Senior Grassroots Manager Stacy Jenkins urged all those participating to take action on House Bill 3389 a measure to bring unemployment insurance tax relief, by clicking this link. HB 3389 would:

  • hold businesses as harmless as possible for pandemic-related layoffs, while at the same time providing partial deferral and forgiveness for 2021 tax increases …
  • … and, it will keep Oregon in a lower overall tax schedule over the next decade to address long-term costs. The Employment Department estimates that HB 3389 will save Oregon employers $2.4 billion through 2029.

NFIB thanks its Oregon Leadership Council member Steve Ferree, owner of Mr. Rooter Plumbing in Portland, for his help in making this a successful Small Business Day event.

NFIB also thanks its guests and our members who make NFIB what it is and empower it to attract our state’s top policymakers to any opportunity to talk with the people at the pulsing heart of every economy in the world—Small Business Owners.

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