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|Articles - December 2011|
|Tuesday, November 15, 2011|
Page 5 of 5Dennie Houle, a business development officer working on the northern Oregon Coast for Business Oregon, says the smaller coastal towns have their own struggles, but promising opportunities have begun to sprout. A stronger fishing industry in Alaska and across the Pacific has recently helped spark the coast’s ship repair business. Portland General Electric has proposed a new natural-gas-fired generation plant in Clatskanie, and the Port of Newport is in the middle of a $10 million project that will add a new commercial fishing dock and a log crane to help load logs being exported from Oregon.
“In some ways, folks are cautiously thinking that the corner maybe has been turned,” Houle says. “I think they see some growth in the next year.”
In Southern Oregon, Holzgang sees a similar outlook and scene. Although Panel Products, a Milwaukie plywood company, closed its Rogue River mill in 2009, Eugene-based Murphy Co. bought it in early 2010 and has since reopened it. It now employs more than 100. Radio Design Group, a small radio frequency products company, also broke ground on a new headquarters and manufacturing center in Grants Pass in April. When completed, the new building will accommodate Radio Design’s plans for growth, including 15 new employees.
“There are little pockets of bright spots where people are having some luck,” Houle says. “I think that we’ll continue to find those as we move into the new year.”
Other companies, he adds, may not be hiring or doing as well as they once did, but they’ve continued to invest in equipment and facilities so that they’re ready to go if and when the tide does finally turn.
One other factor that could also impact the business and economic climate in Oregon in 2012 is the Legislature. Revenue for the biennium was forecasted at $13.9 billion in September and was expected to remain flat or just slightly lower at the next forecast in November. Beyond that, however, Deckert says a few major votes could have long-term impacts.
The first concerns Oregon’s efforts at health-care transformation and would approve the creation of Coordinated Care Organizations to serve the state’s Medicaid population. The CCOs could alter how health care is delivered in Oregon and potentially save a decent sum of cash. The Legislature is also expected to review and potentially approve the business plan for the state’s health insurance exchange [see Diagnosis Unknown], which might also play a role in curbing health-care costs long-term. Deckert says the Legislature also will likely consider proposals and legislation brought by the Oregon Education Investment Board. Established last spring, the OEIB is charged with creating a new governance system for investing in and delivering public education, which will ultimately have impacts on businesses and the economy here as well.
“Some state in this country is going to have to show that you can govern effectively and still take on tough issues that can have a huge impact on the economy and on businesses,” Deckert says. “We think Oregon can be the state that does that.”
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG
A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.
Monday, October 06, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Intel's manufacturing way station; Merkley's attack dog; Diamond Foods gets into the innovation business.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY
Travis Knight wants to release a movie a year. Can he pull it off?
Friday, October 17, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
How can you move from a command-and-control leadership model to one of true empowerment and accountability? David Marquet did, and he took notes along the way.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE
Well-financed outsiders from France and California are buying up vineyards and wineries in the Willamette Valley.
Friday, October 24, 2014
A majority of respondents agreed: Local vineyards should remain Oregon-owned and quality is the most important factor when determining where to eat or buy groceries.
Thursday, October 02, 2014
More than 5,500 employees from 180 organizations throughout the state participated in the 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon project.
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Is your business ready to join us in the call for action? This opening panel includes Oregon businesses who will discuss why they signed the Oregon Climate Declaration, the investments they are making to reduce carbon emissions, and how their actions are affecting their companies.
Get ready for two days of special events produced with the EPA, Portland Timbers and ISOS before and after the GoGreen Conference on October 16.
Rotary’s Oregon Ethics in Business aims to raise consciousness about business ethics by honoring exceptional companies.
Barran Liebman’s annual employment law seminar is an industry classic.
Business leaders descend on Portland in December for the region’s largest environmental conference and trade show.
More than 400 "Change Makers" will gather to invest in a socially sustainable community.