Chamber News

At the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce it’s our priority to keep our members informed of any current legislation, member calls to action and upcoming events and programs. If you have any questions about current news please call 541-672-2648.

Paid Leave Oregon . . . Is Your Business Prepared?

The chamber’s November membership meeting lunch program focused on Oregon’s new paid family and medical leave insurance program which starts January 1, 2023.  Oregon employers, whether required to financially contribute or not, have mandated actions and responsibilities related to the “Paid Leave Oregon” program.  Phillip Hudspeth, Outreach Program Analyst with the Oregon Employment Department presented our members with valuable information and resources at the November 14 lunch program.  For those members unable to attend, Mr. Hudspeth provided the chamber with a copy of his presentation, CLICK HERE.  

          Following are links to additional resources and information about who is required to participate in the program, what information employers must provide to employees, what is an equivalent plan, deadlines and more.

 

Resources

Employer Toolkit  

Resource (most resources are available in up to 12 languages):

            Model NoticeNeeds to be posted prior to January 1, 2023

            Employer Guidebook

            Equivalent Plan Guidebook

            OFLA, FMLA, Paid Leave Comparison Chart

 

Contact Information

Paid Leave Oregon

PO Box 14151

Salem, OR 97311

833-854-0166

Website:  paidleave.oregon.gov

 

Sign up for the Oregon Employment Department’s bulletin HERE. 

 

Finalized Rules

The finalized statute can be found at Chapter 471, Division 70 “Paid Family Medical Insurance Leave” HERE.

Definition of wages are from 471-070-0400 to 471-070-0465

  

Nominate Outstanding Businesses & Individuals

It’s Time!  The Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce is now accepting nominations for outstanding businesses, chamber volunteer of the year and our 2022 First Citizens.  

           For details about these annual recognitions, check out the chamber’s November-December issue of its Business Perspectives e-newsletter or call us at the chamber.  Download the Business of the Year nomination form, the Chamber Innovator and Volunteer of the Year nomination form, and/or the 2022 First Citizen nomination form and submit by the February 3, 2023 deadline.  

          Honorees will be recognized at a special event on Thursday, March 23, 2023.  Save the date!

Grow Business With Exclusive Member-to-Member Program

Deadline to Participate in “Shop Chamber & Save” is December 16.  There are many reasons why it is great to be a member of the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce.  We live here…we work here…we play here…and, most importantly, we love this community.

           Our members share a common goal, to see local businesses succeed.  We can accomplish this together!  One of the ways we do this is through out Shop Chamber & Save member-to-member discount program.  Build clients, customers and relationships within our business community and support other member businesses by shopping locally.  

           To offer a chamber member-to-member discount in 2023, please download this flyer, fill it out and return it to the chamber.  Call us if you have any questions!

Chamber Launches "Job Board"

Have open positions with your company or organization?  Of course you do!   In early April, the Roseburg Area Chamber  launched a new “Job Board” page on its website.  Members of the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce with job/career openings can have those open positions posted on the chamber website. 

          Members may either email a PDF of the job description(s), their logo and/or a link to posting(s) on their company’s website to info@roseburgareachamber.org.  The chamber will share it on its “Job Board.”  The chamber also links the Job Board from its “Move Here” page, which gets significant traffic from new residents and those interested in relocating to Roseburg and Douglas County.  

Four Receive Community's Highest Honor for Distinguished Service

Each year the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce has the immense privilege of recognizing community leaders who have, over many years, given selflessly of their talents, time, expertise, heart and so much more.  On March 24, the chamber honored four such individuals.  These outstanding First Citizens’ long-time dedication and distinguished service reflects their love for our community, and we are a better, more fortunate community because of them. 

          Celebrating our 2020 honorees, Sue Van Volkenburg and Steve Loosley and our 2021 honorees, Andrea Zielinski and Dave Leonard! 

 

          For details about the distinguished service of our 2020 and 2021 First Citizens, see the Press Packet for the chamber’s annual meeting of the membership and awards dinner.  For a list of all our past First Citizens, CLICK HERE!  Check out the chamber’s   Instagram or Facebook pages for posts and photos of our 2021 Business of the Year honorees.    

Chamber Celebrates Business Excellence Recognizing 2021 Business of the Year Honorees

The Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce recognized three local businesses as their 2021 businesses of the year, at the annual meeting of the membership and awards dinner on March 24.

       The 2021 small business of the year award went to Gordon Wood Insurance & Financial Services.  Douglas County Farmer’s Co-op was recognized as the chamber’s medium-size business of the year for 2021, with Lone Rock Resources celebrated as the 2021 large business of the year honoree.

       Gordon Wood was founded in 1961 by Gordon Wood. Gordon Wood & Financial Services provides personal and business services to assist in planning for the future.  The business is now owned and operated by Kelsey Wood, Gordon’s son.  The chamber’s small business of the year, Gordon Wood Insurance was recognized for its integrity, reputation, long-standing commitment to serving clients and years….and years…of active involvement, of owners and employees, in our community.  This local business, and when we say local, we mean local, from father to son to now a third generation working in the business, our small business of the year has been a recognizable name in the Roseburg/Douglas County community for over 60 years.  Gordon Wood Insurance & Financial Services celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2021.

          Our medium-sized business of the year is another home-grown, Douglas County business. Since 1921, Douglas County Farmers Co-op has been supporting and growing with the Douglas County community.  The Co-op has had several names and moved around town (most noticeably after the Co-op was leveled in the 1959 Blast).  Douglas County Farmers Co-op was once a small business with a pretty specific customer.  Over the years, D.C. Farmers Co-op has grown in size, locations, product offerings and customer base, all while never forgetting their core clientele.  Having celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, D.C. Farmer’s Co-op has been serving Douglas County ranchers, farmers and homeowners since 1921, and will continue to do so long into the future, especially with the anticipated completion and opening of a new location later this year.  Their motto is, “Good people, good products, good advice.”  But, let’s be honest, for many of us it’s all about spring time and the arrival of the baby chicks!

       Our 2021 large business of the year, Lone Rock Resources, was founded by Fred and Frances Sohn. Fred emigrated from Germany as a young man in 1936, eventually making his way to the Pacific Northwest with wife, Frances. In 1950, the Sohns built a sawmill on the banks of the S Umpqua River. Fascinated with technology, Fred hired the best talent and used innovation to differentiate his company in the competitive world of post-World War II lumber manufacturing.

            Over the next 50 years, Fred’s passion for innovation would change mill production worldwide. Taking the unprecedented step of assembling an electronics research team, Fred created the industry’s first fully computerized sawmill and later patented 3-D scanning technology to maximize log recovery. Today, every production mill in the world relies on that computer technology.  Fred’s zeal for finding a better way extended to forest management as well. In the 1970s, the company aggressively began buying cut-over lands and restoring them, planting up to 1 million seedlings a year.

            The 1990’s were a time of transition. Two of Fred’s five sons, Howard and Rick, moved into company leadership positions as the family and the company looked to the future. Continued investment in manufacturing was matched with significant additions to the forest land base. Company land holdings more than doubled over a 10-year period. Transitions continued as a new century began. In 2001, the Sohn family moved away from its manufacturing foundations selling it’s sawmill and veneer plant. Fred retired and his sons assumed leadership of the company focusing on its forest lands. The culture Fred established through investment in people, research, equipment, and technology remain integral to the company’s success today.

            Rick Sohn’s retirement as president in 2008 marked a successful transition to non-family leadership. The board expanded to include directors with experience managing family businesses, as well as welcoming third-generation Sohn family members.  Today under President and CEO Toby Luther, Lone Rock is a balanced and diversified real assets and natural resources investment company. This family-owned business is not only a standout leader in its industry, but the organization’s support of business, industry, local non-profit organizations; and, community and youth activities, is unparalleled. Lone Rock encourages its employees to be involved in our community resulting in the active participation with more than 40 local non-profit organizations, programs and events.  During the 2020 Labor Day fires, this industry leader had 72 employees with nearly 7000 hours over 10 days, working to help contain the Archie Creek fire.  Also deserving mention is Lone Rock’s aggressive diversification strategy, a diversification that added wine and Abby’s Pizza, under their already distinguished and respected brand.

         Congratulations to our 2021 businesses of the years:  Gordon Wood Insurance, Douglas County Farmers Co-op and Lone Rock Resources!  Check out the chamber’s Instagram or Facebook pages for photos.  For a list of all past recipients of the chamber’s Business of the Year recognitions, CLICK HERE!

Archived News (11/15/2022)

Economic Forecast 2023

Tickets are on sale now for Economic Forecast 2023.  What can business expect in 2023?  The November 14 program will take a look at the past year and the economic impacts on our businesses, our county and our state.  Our presenters will explore current events and issues; the political climate; a few local industries having significant economic impact; and, share valuable information about trends to help members strategically plan for 2023. 

           This year’s panel will address the results and anticipated impacts of the statewide and national mid-term elections.  Industry experts will delve into the timber/wood products industry, real estate trends, ongoing workforce shortages and more. Addressing the overall economy will be John Tapogna, Economist, ECONorthwest.  Joining Tapogna, will be Travis Joseph, Oregon Forest Resource Council; Jeremy Rogers, Oregon Association of Realtors; and, John Horvick, DHM Research.

            Economic Forecast 2023 is Monday, November 14 from 8:45 to 11:30 am at the Douglas County fairgrounds.  Advance ticket purchase is required.  Get your tickets HERE.  Deadline to purchase tickets is Wednesday, November 9 by 5:00 p.m.  Economic Forecast 2023 sponsors are:  Bowers Industrial, Cardinal Services, Inc., Con-Vey, Gordon Wood Insurance & Financial Services, Inc., Lone Rock Resources, Marco Pharma International, Roseburg Forest Products, Inc., Tyree Oil and Umpqua Insurance Agency.

Archived News (11/15/2022)

VOTE for Pro-Business Legislators in General Election

Roseburg Area Chamber Endorses Three in Oregon House Races.  The board of the Roseburg Area Chamber voted unanimously to endorse two incumbents and one candidate seeking reelection/election to Oregon’s House of Representatives in this November’s general election.

           The chamber endorses the honorable David Brock Smith, incumbent, Oregon House District 1 and the honorable Christine Goodwin, incumbent in House District 2, in her post-redistricting campaign for the Oregon House District 4 seat.  These endorsements are, first and foremost, because these distinguished public servants have earned and maintained the chamber’s confidence by their support of Douglas County businesses during their service in the Oregon Legislature.

           The chamber considers a number of criteria when endorsing incumbents, with the greatest weight given to the legislator’s voting record and active engagement with the Roseburg Area Chamber and Douglas County business community.

           To round out its legislative endorsements, the chamber is supporting local business owner and candidate for Oregon House District 2, Virgle Osborne.  The government affairs team (GAT) managed the chamber’s formal candidate review/interview process, recommending Osborne’s endorsement to the board.  The board’s endorsement of Osborne reflects the alignment of his campaign platform with the chamber’s pro-business initiatives and advocacy positions.  

           All three endorsements are also reflective of board criteria related to electability, candidates existing relationships with local businesses and business organizations and a willingness to maintain a working relationship with chamber leadership.  Please join us in November in casting a vote for business by supporting these candidates.  

Archived News (11/15/2022)

2022 Membership Meeting Luncheon Schedule

Mark the Calendar / 2022 Scheduled Membership Meeting Luncheons

Monday, January 10, 2022–“State of the County” with Douglas County Commissioner Tom Kress

Monday, March 14, 2022–“What’s Happening in Washington, D.C.” with Chris Eyler, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Monday, April 11, 2022–“Education in Douglas County” with UCC President Rachel Pokrandt & RPS Superintendent Jared Cordon

Monday, May 16, 2022–“The Changing Landscape of Health Care” panel discussion, KC Bolton, Dr. Timothy Powell and Brent Eichman.

Monday, June 20, 2022–“Timber/Wood Products Industry” with Grady Mulbery, President/CEO Roseburg Forest Products

     and Project Leadership Graduation 

Monday, September 19, 2022–“Oregon by the Numbers” presented by The Ford Family Foundation’s Anne Kubisch and Kasi Allen.

Monday, October 17, 2022–“Protecting our Forestlands from Wildfire” with Pat Skrip, Douglas Forest Protective Association

Monday, November 14, 2022–“Paid Leave Oregon . . . Are You Prepared?” presented by Phillip Hudspeth, Oregon Employment Dept.

Archived News (3/19/2022)

Annual Meeting of the Membership, Celebration of Business & Awards Event

TICKET SALES CLOSED!   The Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting of the membership, celebration of business and awards dinner is March 24, from 5:45 to 8:00 p.m. at the Douglas County fairgrounds.  The theme for 2022 is “Boldly Forward.” This year’s–COVID/post-COVID dinner will be a smaller, casual event than in the past.  The event will still focus on the work of the chamber in 2020 and 2021 and the organization’s priorities for the future.  The chamber will be recognizing small, medium and large businesses of the year for 2021, with the evening’s highlight, the honoring first citizens for 2020 and 2021.  

            There will be more details in the chamber’s March/April issue of Business Perspectives and future in “Chamber News” member emails, tickets are on sale now.  PURCHASE TICKETS!  We look forward to seeing our members on March 24! 

Archived News (3/10/2022)

What the Heck is Happening in Washington, D.C.?

A question a lot of people are asking.  Get answers to some of those questions at the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce March membership meeting lunch.  TICKETS ON SALE NOW.  TICKET SALES CLOSED!

          The featured speaker at the March 14 lunch will be Chris Eyler, executive director for Congressional and Public Affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Chris will discuss what is happening in Washington D.C., from the 117th United States Congress, to national and international issues and possibly some 2022 November general election predictions.  Eyler will also share some of the US Chamber’s ongoing advocacy endeavors in D.C. on behalf of business. 

          Roseburg Chamber lunches are held at the Douglas County fairgrounds from 11:45 am to 1 pm.  The luncheon buffet opens at 11:45.  Advanced ticket purchase is required.  Online ticket sales only.  The deadline to reserve your ticket is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9.

Archived News (3/4/2022)

Chamber Supports SB 1501 & SB 1502/ Oregon's Private Forest Accord

Last year private forestry representatives, small forestland owners and conservation groups struck a historic agreement designed to end decades of nasty conflict and expensive lawsuits.

            The Private Forest Accord asks forest landowners and wood products manufacturers to make significant sacrifices, but here’s why the sacrifice is worth it:

For years, litigious environmental activists have threatened to lock up our forests with lawsuits over fish, salamanders and frogs. This compromise will put those fights to rest – for the next fifty years. So one of Oregon’s most important sectors can keep doing what it does best . . . actively manage our forests.

          The Oregon Legislature needs to pass Senate Bill 1501 and Senate Bill 1502 to codify the agreement in state law.

            On February 23, the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce voiced its support and urged elected officials in Salem to vote “Yes” on SB 1501 and SB 1502, to put Oregon’s new Private Forest Accord into state law.

            In its urging for passage, the chamber expressed that we “understand that this Accord isn’t perfect. But the sacrifice is worth it to avoid unpredictable lawsuits over fish, salamanders and frogs that threaten to lock up our forests and create an uncertain and volatile future for important Oregon businesses and the tens of thousands of family-wage jobs they support.

            The chamber asked legislators to “please back this compromise. It’s time to move on from the timber wars of the past. Please support Senate Bill 1501 and Senate Bill 1502 and give the Private Forest Accord a chance to work.”

Archived News (3/4/2022)

Chamber Opposes HB 4002A/Ag Overtime Bill

Overtime wages for agriculture workers – HB 4002A – continues to be the biggest labor debate of the 2022 session.  

            HB 4002A would require agricultural employers to pay farmworkers overtime payments for all hours worked over 40 per week by 2027. While this phase-in does include a tax credit that is phased-out at the same time, this is not a workable solution for those in agriculture. Our local farmers will be left without the resources they need to keep their business running or their workers employed.

            The agricultural community has come to the table to find a workable solution for both farmers and their employees; however, labor advocates have refused to negotiate.

          On February 23, the Roseburg Area Chamber urged legislators to OPPOSE HB 4002A.  In a letter, the chamber asserted, that HB 4002A would “have a devastating impact on our local farms and rural communities. It has far-reaching impacts on so many of our essential industries, from dairies, to vineyards, to local berry farms and orchards.

            Farmers and their employees work unique hours in order to plant, harvest and maintain crops and livestock. This requires a flexible workforce, meaning a straight across 40-hours threshold simply does not work.

            Most farmers are price takers (not price makers) will not be able to afford the increased payroll costs. This will in turn hurt the very workers this bill proposes to help – providing them with fewer hours, fewer benefits, and fewer jobs. All this will lead to the loss of Oregon family farms and the deterioration of rural communities. 

            The agricultural community has offered several alternative solutions, but labor advocates have refused to come to the table.

            Oregon’s family farms are the heart of our rural communities and an important driver of our local economy. HB 4002A will cost jobs, loss of worker income and, in the end, mean the closure of family farms and ranches across the state.”

            The chamber asked legislators “to stand with our agricultural community and protect Oregon’s rural way of life. Please OPPOSE HB 4002A and work with farmers to find a lasting solution.”

Archived News (3/1/2022)

COVID-19 Pandemic News & Information

                  For the most current news, resource information and updates pertinent to our local businesses about the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s “COVID-19 Business Recovery Resource Center Library.”

Archived News (1/6/2022)

"State of the County" Featured at January Membership Lunch

Tickets are on sale, online, for the Roseburg Area Chamber’s first membership meeting lunch of 2022.  The annual “State of the County” presentation will be the featured program on Monday, January 10.  Presenting is outgoing 2021 chair of the board of commissioners, the honorable Tom Kress.  

          Chamber lunches are held at the Douglas County fairgrounds from 11:45 am to 1 pm.  The luncheon buffet opens at 11:45.  Advanced ticket purchase is required.  Online ticket sales only.  The deadline to reserve your ticket is 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 5. 

          The chamber’s January membership luncheon program is generously sponsored by Avista Utilities.   

Archived News (12/26/2021)

The Roseburg Area Chamber WANTS YOU TO SHOP LOCAL!

RACC Encourages Community to Shop Local and Shop Small on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and All Season Long

This holiday season let the small businesses in our community know how much we appreciate them.  Please be sure to #ShopLocal and  #ShopSmall, because the holidays are happier when we celebrate together.

       November 26 is Black Friday . . . SHOP LOCAL!

       November 27 is Small Business Saturday . . . SHOP LOCAL!

Support and spend where you live by shopping local and shopping small all season long,  all year long!

Archived News (9/1/2021)

RACC Urges Members of Congressional Delegation to Oppose PRO Act

                  The Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce asked members of our Congressional delegation to oppose the Protect the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act).  The PRO Act would dramatically change the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in ways harmful to workers, employers and the economy.  Among other things, the PRO Act would negatively impact workers by (1) threatening private ballots during union organizing votes; (2) nullifying Right-to-Work laws, and; (3) undermining the gig economy.  CLICK HERE to read the March 8 letter to members of our Congressional delegation.   Unfortunately, the PRO Act passed out of the House and moves to the Senate.  On April 8, the Roseburg Area Chamber sent a letter to Senators Merkley and Wyden urging they oppose this proposed legislation.

Archived News (9/1/2021)

Chamber Urges Immediate Post-Wildfire Recovery and Reforestation on Federal Lands

            In a February 17 letter to members of our Congressional delegation, the Roseburg Chamber urged federal action to “re-green” our forests after devastating fires. 

            RACC believes that in response to last year’s devastating wildfires, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management should take quick action to remove dead and dying trees from burned federal lands.  Swift recovery of these dead and dying trees will provide funding to help replant new trees on these devastated forests, among other benefits.

            The chamber is disappointed to learn these federal agencies face opposition from anti-forestry activists when they have proposed removal on less than two percent of the total acres burned in last year’s wildfires. This means that over 120,000 acres of federally managed land in Oregon will be choked with dead and dying trees, left to fuel future wildfires.

            Our “ask,” of our congressional representatives, is to urge the Forest Service and the BLM to recover and reforest these federal lands. In addition to supporting reforestation efforts, removal of dead and dying trees assures safer access on public lands, supports Oregon jobs, generates new revenues for local public services, and removes fuels and reduces the risks of “re-burns” in the future.

            The chamber supports post-fire recovery of dead and dying trees and reforestation on federal lands. Prompt removal of dead and dying trees:

 

  • Provides funding for re-replanting and other post-fire rehabilitation.
  • Assures safer access on public lands.
  • Supports Oregon jobs when dead and dying trees are made into wood products.
  • Generates revenues for local public services such as Sheriff’s deputies and public health.
  • Removes fuels and reduces the risks of “re-burns” in the future.

Archived News (9/1/2021)

RACC Joins Coalition Urging Liability Protections Related to Pandemic

                  The Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce joined hundreds of local and state chambers of commerce and business organizations across the country urging the members of the United States Congress to pass temporary liability protections related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  CLICK HERE to read the February 1 letter to Congress.  

Archived News (6/29/2021)

House and Senate Bills Still "In Play" After April 13 Deadline

April 13 was the hard deadline for Oregon House and Senate bills to be advanced out of their policy committee of origin or, be considered dead for the 2021 legislative session.  On April 14, the chamber had a better idea of the existing bills potentially impacting our local businesses.  Following is a brief recap of the bills RACC previously weighed in on, planned/plans to in the future and/or bills we’re still watching.

 

Bills Still Alive

Good Bills

HB 2343:  Authorizes local government to adopt resolution suspending enterprise zone employment requirements otherwise imposed as a condition of receiving enterprise zone tax abatements.

 

HB 2433 / SB 842:  Exempts federal stimulus benefits from taxation up to maximum allowed deduction of state taxes.

 

HB 3389:  Unemployment tax rate relief on employers, particularly those whose experience ratings were negatively impacted by pandemic.

 

SB 330:  Establishes income tax credit for amount of unpaid rent forgiven by landlord and certified by Housing and Community Services Department. Amortizes tax credit over five years.

 

Bad Bills

HB 2021:  100% Clean Energy bill; phases out electricity generation by natural gas.

 

HB 2238Disallows compensation to property owners or businesses whose property or businesses are taken or ordered closed under emergency rules or orders.

 

HB 2253 / HB 2457:  Imposes a tax/assessment of forgiven PPP loans.

 

HB 2358:  Overtime wages for agriculture workers.

 

HB 2379Imposes severance tax on owner of timber at time of harvest at five percent of value of timber.

 

HB 2598Imposes severance tax on all timber harvested from public and private forestland.

 

HB 2474Expands eligibility under Oregon Family Leave Act.

 

HB 2814:  Requires DEQ to study program and policy approaches to reducing diesel engine emissions attributable to “indirect sources” of air contamination including construction sites.

 

HB 2839 / SB 137:  Disconnects from Federal CARES Act business tax benefits.

 

HB 2840:  Suspends all tax abatement programs (Opportunity zones, Enterprise Zones, etc)

 

HB 3296Increases privilege taxes imposed upon manufacturer or importing distributor of malt beverages, wine or cider.

 

HB 3305:  Bans the retail sale of diesel fuel in Oregon by January 2027.

 

SB 139Eliminates Oregon’s “small business tax cut” and reinstates personal income tax rates for pass-through businesses.

 

SB 483:  Creates presumption that any adverse employment action taken on an employee within 60 days of that employee lodging a “whistleblower” complaint is considered prohibited retaliatory conduct.

 

SB 582Creates new $100 million recycling system in Oregon in which every store, restaurant, warehouse, office, publisher, manufacturer, or delivery service will be impacted and required to help pay for these new programs.  

 

 

Bills That Died

Good Bills

HB 2638:  COVID liability protections for businesses following state health directives.

 

HB 3177Disallows closure of restaurants and gyms during future emergency declarations

 

SB 531:  Establishes right to reimbursement for actual damages resulting from business closures required by emergency rules or orders.

 

Bad Bills

HB 2043:  Bill restricting insurance companies tools for determining automobile insurance rates. 

 

HB 2205:  Private Attorney General Act allows attorney and/or nonprofits to bring suit against employers for violations of OSHA or BOLI regulations on behalf of the state.

 

HB 2489:  Re-classification of independent contractors as W-2 employees.

 

HB 2588:  Requires employers to monitor daily outdoor air quality and determine whether employees who perform outdoor work activities will be at risk of exposure to unhealthy air quality

 

HB 2674:  The -1 amendment created multiple taxes to fund diesel engine retrofits and replacements.

 

HB 2974:  Provides that conditioning employment on refraining from using any substance that is lawful to use in Oregon is unlawful employment practice.

 

HB 3025 / SB 488:  Presumption of workplace exposure of Covid-19 for workers’ compensation claims.

 

HB 3171:  Added insurance in to Unlawful Trade Practices Act, resulting in added litigation and increased premiums.

 

HB 3351:  Would have increased minimum wage to $17/hr in 2023.

 

SB 208:  Insurance “bad faith” legislation that would result in added litigation and increases premiums.

 

SB 335:  Requires State Forestry Department to study and make recommendations to interim committee of Legislative Assembly regarding operation of State Board of Forestry.

 

SB 477Provides that employee need not prove that alleged unlawful conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive, only that employee was treated less favorably than another similarly situated employee for discrimination claims.

 

SB 489:  Workers’ comp – removes restriction on authorization of retroactive temporary disability compensation.

 

SB 650Would have allowed the Oregon Health Authority to levy “fair share” tax assessments on employers that do not provide health insurance.

 

SB 802:  This bill would have effectively prohibited the ability to self-insure for workers’ compensation as it required all self-insured companies to use SAIF Corporation for claims processing.

Archived News (6/29/2021)

RACC Adds Voice to Coalition Urging Congress to Extend PPP Deadline

                  The Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce joined hundreds of local and state chambers of commerce and business organizations across the country urging the members of the United States Congress to extend the current PPP application deadline from March 31 to December 31, 2021.  Our small local businesses continue to struggle and will need access to those funds long past the current deadline at the end of this month.  CLICK HERE to read the March 3 letter to Congress.  

Archived News (6/29/2021)

Chamber Testimony Opposing HB 2674-1 Amendment Adverse to Local Business

RACC submitted written testimony opposing HB 2674-1 Amendment, which would levy a full suite of new taxes to fund diesel engine retrofits and replacements with large impacts on construction, trucking and agriculture. CLICK HERE TO READ BILL AMENDMENTS

                In 2019, legislators on both sides of the aisle passed legislation to phase out older diesel engines in the Portland metropolitan area and make smart investments in newer technologies. The bill that ultimately passed, HB 2007, was a compromise to encourage the retrofit and replacement of older on-road engines in heavy traffic areas, while exempting ag trucks, log trucks and small truck fleets. 

                Unfortunately, just two years later, that agreement is already falling apart.  The amendment to HB 2674 completely rewrites the bill imposing a suite of new taxes on Oregonians to fund clean diesel engine retrofits and replacements: 

  • 3% excise tax on the retail sale of tires;
  • 5% privilege tax for businesses who sell or lease off-road equipment;
  • 5% use tax on off-road diesel equipment purchased outside of Oregon;
  • 5% rental tax for rentals of off-road diesel equipment;
  • 2% rental tax for rentals of all other qualified heavy equipment (note: this tax goes to counties not diesel retrofits);
  • Privilege tax on heavy-duty trucks and light-duty vehicles; and
  • Gas tax on all red dyed diesel used in off-road equipment.

                This is an appalling overreach by our policymakers, particularly when many Oregon families are struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, devastating wildfires in 2020, and the recent ice storms.

                At its core, this amendment creates a suite of new taxes on construction, forestry and agriculture to fund engine upgrades in Oregon’s most populous metropolitan areas. It’s fundamentally unfair to working families who are barely struggling to get by. 

                HB 2674-1 is being heard by the House Committee on Energy and Environment on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. 

                 **************************************************

                The Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce has weighed in on several proposed bills during Oregon’s Legislative Session, which the chamber believes is bad for our local businesses.  So far, those bills include:

 

  • SB 137 and HB 2839:  Disconnects businesses from Federal CARES Act tax benefits.  RACC Opposes.
  • SB 139: Repeals the Oregon Small Business Tax Cut.  RACC Opposes. 
  • SB 137-1:  This amendment is a tax increase on Oregon businesses, as the proposed amendment would disconnect Oregon businesses from the benefits of the bipartisan CARES Act legislation, which would raise taxes by $115 million on Oregon businesses.  RACC Opposed. 
  • SB 335: Reduces number of forest and land management representatives on Oregon’s Board of Forestry.  RACC Opposed. 
  • SB 483: Retaliation presumption for employment actions taken within 60 days of whistleblower complaint.  RACC Opposes
  • SB 716:  Requires employers to reasonably accommodate employee’s work schedule availability related to childcare.  RACC Opposes. 
  • SB 801 and SB 802:  Workers’ comp COVID presumption. RACC Opposes. 
  • HB 2043:  Directs insurer to consider only specified information in determining rates for motor vehicle liability insurance policy, disallowing tools such as credit, education and occupation, resulting in higher automobile insurance costs.  RACC Opposes.  
  • HB 2205: If passed, this bill would deputize third parties/plaintiffs attorneys to file class action lawsuits against employers for any violation of Oregon law–wage and hour, workplace safety, etc.  RACC Opposes. 
  • HB 2253 and HB 2457: Related to taxing of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)/Levies state tax on PPP loans.  RACC Opposes.
  • HB 2358: Overtime payments for agriculture workers. RACC Opposes. 
  • HB 2474: This bill would fundamentally change the law on family leave in Oregon. Among the proposed changes are reducing the number of employees from 25 to 1 for purposes of eligibility of employers subject to the law, amending the definition of “family member” and reducing the waiting period for employee eligibility under OFLA from 180 days to 30 days.  RACC Opposes
  • HB 2489: Reclassification of independent contractors as employees.  RACC Opposes. 
  • HB 2379 and HB 2598:   These bills propose new timber taxes at the worst possible time in light of the pandemic and the devastating wildfires of 2020.  RACC Opposed. 
  • HB 2839:  House counterpart to SB 137, which would disconnect Oregon from Federal CARES Act tax provisions that allow for the immediate monetization of businesses losses through the tax code to help with cash flow issues as a result of the pandemic.  RACC Opposes.
  • HB 3296:  If passed, this bill would increase beer and wine taxes to nearly 30 times their current levels.  This bill is the largest tax on beer, wine, cider and spirits ever proposed in the U.S.  RACC Opposes.
  • HB 3305: Proposed legislation would begin to ban the sale of “petroleum” diesel by “non-retail dealers” as soon as 2024 in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties and statewide by 2027.  RACC Opposes.   

Archived News (6/29/2021)

Chamber Testimony in Support of SB 330 Income Tax Credit for Rent Forgiveness

          The Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce submitted written testimony in support of SB 330, which would provide tax credit for local property owners for the rent they have forgiven over this past year due to the pandemic, while also providing immediate relief to tenants.  CLICK HERE TO READ THE BILL.

          SB 330 is being heard by the Senate Committee on Housing and Development on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. 

          Following is a list of bills the Roseburg Area Chamber supports and either has or will at the appropriate time submit written testimony in support:

  • SB 330:  Income Tax Credit for Rent Forgiveness.  RACC Supports
  • SB 531: Would establish a right to reimbursement for actual damages resulting from cessation of business operations required by emergency rules or orders.  RACC Supports.
  • SB 727: May allow Oregon businesses to claim federal ‘State & Local Tax’ (SALT) deduction in excess of $10,000 federal limit.  RACC Supports.
  • SB 780: COVID liability protections for health care facilities and providers.  RACC Supports.
  • SB 842:  Tax exemption for federal stimulus payment to Oregon taxpayers.  RACC Supports. 
  • HB 2343:  Allows local government to suspend Enterprise Zone requirements.  RACC Supports.
  • HB 2638:  Would limited liability fro Oregon employers following COVID directives.  RACC Supports.
  • HB 3177:  This bill, if passed, would prevent the Governor from shutting down restaurants and gyms in any further emergency declaration.  RACC Supports. 

Archived News (6/29/2021)

Chamber Testimony Supporting HB 2638 in Defense of Local Businesses

          The Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce submitted written testimony in support of HB 2638, COVID Liability Protections for Business, which would offer COVID liability protection for businesses, frontline medical providers and other entities.  HB 2638 would ensure that businesses acting in good faith would be protected from unwarranted lawsuits. It recognizes the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 emergency and provides timely and targeetd protections for businesses at a time when they need it most. CLICK HERE TO READ THE BILL

          HB 2638 is being heard by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Civil Law on Wednesday , February 24. 

 

Archived News (6/29/2021)

Roseburg Chamber Provides Testimony in Support of SB 531

                  The Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce submitted written testimony in support of SB 531, which would establish a right to reimbursement for actual damages resulting from cessation of business operations required by emergency rules or orders.  The written testimony was presented to Oregon’s Senate Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness at its February 18, 2021 hearing. 

Archived News (6/28/2021)

Chamber Weighs In On Proposed "Bad-for-Business" Legislation

                  The Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce has weighed in on several proposed bills during Oregon’s Legislative Session, which the chamber believes is bad for our local businesses.  So far, those bills include:

 

  • -1 amendment to SB 137:  This amendment is a tax increase on Oregon businesses, as the proposed amendment would disconnect Oregon businesses from the benefits of the bipartisan CARES Act legislation, which would raise taxes by $115 million on Oregon businesses.  RACC Opposed. 
  • HB 2379 and HB 2598:   These bills propose new timber taxes at the worst possible time in light of the pandemic and the devastating wildfires of 2020.  RACC Opposed. 
  • HB 2839:  House counterpart to SB 137, which would disconnect Oregon from Federal CARES Act tax provisions that allow for the immediate monetization of businesses losses through the tax code to help with cash flow issues as a result of the pandemic.  RACC Opposes.
  • HB 2205: If passed, this bill would deputize third parties/plaintiffs attorneys to file class action lawsuits against employers for any violation of Oregon law–wage and hour, workplace safety, etc.  RACC Opposes.

Archived News (6/28/2021)

Let's Make Sure the Voice of Businesses in Rural Oregon are Heard!

          It is so important that our members testify on bills that are important to them, their industry(ies) and our local, rural business community. The Oregon Legislative Assembly has established a process to accept remote verbal public testimony on bills by video or phone during this time, in addition to written public testimony.

          Detailed information about how to testify in the 2021 Oregon Legislative Session is outlined in this “How to Testify” guideline.  Be sure and download it for use during the session!