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|Tuesday, April 23, 2013|
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Lots of upheaval in the Oregon business world this past week, and CEOs and leaders of local business associations are not at all happy. The latest (bad) news comes from solar manufacturing startup SoloPower, which announced today it was shuttering its Hillsboro plant, calling into question the fate of millions of dollars in tax credits and future job creation.
That’s the clean tech employment report.
On the conventional energy side, jobs are also dematerializing. Last week, The Greenbrier Cos. announced it plans to lay off more than 200 workers at its Gunderson LLC plant in Northwest Portland. CEO Bill Furman blamed the layoffs, or furloughs as he calls them, in part on the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's decision to withhold permits for the Morrow Pacific coal export project, which would send coal from Montana and Wyoming down the Columbia River for export to Asia.
Australia’s Ambre Energy has awarded Greenbrier's Gunderson division a $55 million contract to build 15 enclosed barges for the project.
Business leaders are equally glum about the progress of PERS reform, the centerpiece of the 2013 Oregon Business Plan agenda. Instead of addressing windfall payments under the PERS money match system, the Senate tomorrow will debate SB822, which reduces cost of living increases for PERS retirees, elimantes the payment PERS retirees get to offset Oregon income tax liability, and delays payment of $350 million into the system.
Oregon Business Plan leaders expressed their displeasure today in a news release: "If all the Legislature does on PERS this biennium is pass SB 822 and let employers skip a payment, Oregon schools will be looking at a decade ahead much like the last: larger classes, shorter school years, and fewer class offerings -- even when revenues are increasing.”
Then there’s House Bill 2456 which would raise $275 million in new revenue mainly by increasing corporate tax rates and reducing deductions for the wealthy, neither of which tend to be priorities on the business agenda.
As the tide turns, business leaders might want to join Gov. Kitzhaber and decamp to Bhutan, where the Oregon statesman is attending an international gathering on Gross National Happiness — a project that seeks to move beyond conventional economic indicators as a measure of social progress.
OB Editor Linda Baker keeps tabs on public policy and CEO issues.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
BY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER
Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014
Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.
Friday, July 18, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”
Friday, August 15, 2014
In this week's poll, we asked readers: "Who should pay for the troubled Cover Oregon website?" Here are the results.
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Vigilant enters a New Year with a new president.
How George Fox has become one of Oregon's largest private universities.
Forest Grove sees growth in the burgeoning food and beverage scene.
Fifty-one Lane Powell lawyers were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® (Best Lawyers) 2015; of those selected, 23 lawyers are from the Firm’s office in Portland, Oregon.
Barran Liebman is proud to announce that Andrew Schpak, a Partner of the firm, has been named Chair of the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division for the 2014-2015 bar year.
Vanessa Sturgeon and Miller Nash LLP were selected as leaders in encouraging female advancement.