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Secrets behind Les Schwab’s success story

April 20, 2011 --

Success of Family-Owned Business: Its Non-Family Employees
By Ater Wynne LLP,
Oregon law firm

The success of Les Schwab Tires is its non-family employees….all 7,000 of them. This is the lesson I took from the discussion with CEO, Dick Borgman on April 14, 2011, at the Power Breakfast sponsored by Portland Business Journal.

Fifty years ago founder Les Schwab established a profit sharing program company wide that gives every employee a stake in the business. This sharing gives each store 50% of the profits to share with the employees of that store.

In addition, every employee has the potential and possibility of becoming a store manager. This is done through growth. Because Les Schwab promotes from within, employees have an opportunity of becoming managers of those expansion stores.

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Rule will cost Oregon manufacturers millions

April 19, 2011 --

Manufacturers to be Facing Millions in New Costs
By John Ledger
Associated Oregon Industries

Steep cost increases, curtailments, or new construction requirements loom for manufacturers discharging wastewater into municipal systems or directly into waters of the state.

Proposed statewide water quality standards, the result of lawsuits and federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements, are expected to result in new Oregon water quality standards more stringent than any other state – so stringent that they will be impossible to meet. In some cases the standards will be below detectable limits or background. As a result, the only way some dischargers may be able to obtain a permit will be if they apply for and are granted a variance by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The variances have been developed by the Oregon DEQ as one of several tools whereby facilities will be able to continue operation without violating the Clean Water Act.

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Paul Allen opens up on 60 Minutes interview

April 18, 2011 --

The Northwest’s other billionaire/entrepreneur celebrity is Paul Allen who is always in the local news for his Seahawks team and Portland Trailblazers. Yet, Paul Allen does few interviews and has been very private about his many business ventures. Now he has a new book called Idea Man where he unravels his life, his deep feelings and the history of one of the most successful businesses in the world. Much of this is captured in the 60 Minutes interview which aired last night. Although is focuses too much on Bill Gates — it does succeed in opening up the world of Paul Allen. View video below.

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Oregon welcomes Facebook center in Prineville

April 17, 2011 --

State-of-the-art Prineville facility illustrates that Oregon is open for business, he says
By Oregon State Treasurer Office

PRINEVILLE – State Treasurer Ted Wheeler welcomed social media giant Facebook today at the grand opening ceremony at the company’s new, state-of-the-art facility in Central Oregon. The Treasurer, who spoke on behalf of Gov. John Kitzhaber, said the decision of the company to locate its data backup center in a rural community – and the efforts of economic development professionals to make it happen — is a perfect illustration of what state leaders have been promoting: Oregon is open for business, from border to border.

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More taxpayers stashing than spending their tax refunds

April 16, 2011 --

Nearly 40% of tax returns will go into savings
Career Builders Survey,

CHICAGO,  – Fewer workers plan to use their tax refunds to pay off bills and more plan to put the money into savings, reflecting a more stable economy. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, 46 percent said they plan to use their tax refunds to pay off bills, down from 56 percent last year. In addition, more than one-third (36 percent) of workers report they will use their tax refund to augment their savings accounts, up from 34 percent who said the same last year. The annual CareerBuilder survey was conducted among more than 3,900 workers.

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Gov. Brown Signs Bill Increasing California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 33%

April 15, 2011 --

Governor Brown Signs Bill Increasing California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 33%
by Allison C. Smith
Stoel Rives Law Firm
Renewable Law Blog

A Legal News Alert from Seth Hilton and the Stoel Rives Renewable Energy Law Group:

California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill (“SB”) X1-2 on Tuesday requiring California’s electric utilities to procure 33% of their energy from renewable resources by 2020. Upon signing the bill, Governor Brown stated the “bill will bring many important benefits to California, including stimulating investment in green technologies in the state, creating tens of thousands of new jobs, improving air quality, promoting energy independence and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

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Hollywood invades Oregon economist’s house

April 14, 2011 --

Hollywood invades Oregon economist’s house
By Patrick Emerson
Oregon Economics Blog

I was AWOL this week for the Oregon jobs report. The news is unsettling, losing jobs after five months of gains, but I think there is a good chance that this is a blip and not a new trend. Still, oil price increases, in part due to trouble in the middle east but more fundamentally due to increased demand as the world economy resumes growing, the disaster in Japan and generally tepid recovery US growth are not helping.

The reason I was AWOL yesterday was that it was the day Leverage took over my house. I have to say, all joking aside, that I was pretty staggered at the scale of the endeavor. There are a lot of people employed by the show: actors, directors and cinematographers sure, but also lots of painters, traffic control personnel, security, caterers and so on. I don’t know enough about the strategic environment to say if the tax breaks they get make sense, but I have revised my own impression of the size of the economic impact they have.

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Restoring the tax balance between small and large business

April 13, 2011 --

Small businesses pay up to 40% higher tax rate than big corporations in Oregon
By Senate Republican Office Press Release,

Salem, OR – Senate Republicans want to put Oregon small businesses on the same footing as big corporate firms that currently hold up to a 40% tax advantage over Oregon entrepreneurs and family businesses.

Senate Bill 472 would lower the tax rates applied to small business like sole proprietorships, partnerships, and family-owned S-corporations to a rate equal with big business.

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Senate passess bill on bad charity crack down

April 12, 2011 --

A bi-partisan 28-2 vote sends Senate Bill 40 to the House
By Oregon Attorney General

Attorney General John Kroger today praised the Oregon Senate for its strong bi-partisan 28-2 vote in favor of a landmark bill that aims to crack down on charities that spend more than 70 percent of their donations on fundraising and management.

“Most charities in Oregon provide badly needed support for veterans, children and other worthy causes, but unfortunately some non-profits do little to benefit the public,” said Attorney General Kroger. “I want to thank Finance and Revenue Committee Chair Sen. Ginny Burdick and Vice Chair Sen. Frank Morse as well as committee members Sen. Mark Hass and Sen. Chris Telfer for their leadership on this important bill.”

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Will R&D tax credit survive?

April 11, 2011 --

Oregon’s Research & Development Tax Credit Critical to Economic Growth – Will it Continue?
By J.L. Wilson
Associated Oregon Industries

Right now, the Oregon Legislature is determining whether to keep the R&D Tax Credit in place or eliminate it. Associated Oregon Industries is supporting passage of either House Bill 3174 or Senate Bill 315, each of which keeps the R&D Tax Credit alive for another six years. If either of these bills don’t pass, Oregon’s R&D Tax Credit will go away.

Why is the R&D Tax Credit important? Because incenting research spending is critical to the Oregon economy. Research drives innovation and the development of new products, and research-intensive jobs generally are much higher-paid than other types of employment.

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