It has been a long work weekend prepping for our annual Economic Summit event that will be taking place virtually this Tuesday, October 27th but I wanted to take a minute to send you a note on what we have been working on for the past few weeks at the chamber.
Quickly…the sprint to the holidays and Q4 hustle is upon us and our team has been working hard on several priorities, but here are three I will share with you today (see below for more information on these topics):
A bit more on these three things…
While business have been busy navigating a global pandemic and complying with new regulations, Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been working on updates to administrative rules that may significantly impact businesses across our state. These rule changes are technical, so bear with me.
Under current law for an employer to be liable for a serious violation, OR-OSHA must prove that the employer knew or could have known of the violation. It is a fault-based system. However, in its most recent rules proposal for employer responsibility, OR-OSHA proposes defining “reasonable diligence” to change Oregon’s fault-based system to a strict liability system which could make it easier for OR-OSHA to win a contested case. Additionally, through a separate rulemaking on penalties, the agency is seeking to grant OR-OSHA’s Administrator unfettered discretion to impose maximum penalties on businesses up to $135,382.
The three main issues we have found with these rule changes:
Without strong opposition or feedback, OR-OSHA could adopt these rule changes at the end of October. Oregon’s businesses are already under immense pressure from OR-OSHA and are struggling to stay afloat during COVID-19. We are working to encourage businesses to weigh in on these two rule changes.
Consider weighing on these rules by Friday, October 30th:
To Comment: Department of Consumer and Business Services/Oregon OSHA
350 Winter Street NE
Salem OR 97301-3882 E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax – 503-947-7461
Comment period closes: October 30, 2020
Our annual Economic Summit will take place this Tuesday, October 27th and we would love to have you in attendance. We will hear from our keynote speaker, Rebecca Ryan, who is a futurist and an economist and has done work with communities across the country on how to prepare for future economic changes. Next we will hear from Henry Fields, a state workforce analyst about the economic impacts of COVID-19 on Lane County.
In addition to those two economist presentations we will have 5 “lightning talks” on key industry and economic activities in technology, food and beverage, wood products, bio-science, and entrepreneurism and innovation. We will then hear from a panel of small business owners about the challenges and opportunities they are facing.
Next attendees will have an opportunity to choose from 4 breakout sessions on healthcare & COVID-19, homelessness in Lane County, our housing crisis, and the economic impacts of diversity, equity and inclusion work in our community.
Last we will launch our new RISE Executive Leadership Institute and hear closing remarks from Eugene City Manager, Sarah Medary on how we can move our economy forward.
I hope you will join us!
While we have seen the permanent closure of tens of thousands of small and large businesses across the country due to the impacts of COVID-19, a glimmer of hope can be found in startup activity across the country as well. Since the crisis began, Americans are starting new businesses at the fastest rate in more than a decade, taking advantage of pent-up demand and new opportunities created by the crisis. We want to do our part to help these startup businesses succeed.
Under the leadership of Managing Director, Matt Sayre, Onward Eugene started EUG Launchpad this fall. It is a 12-week virtual program that helps entrepreneurs by providing them with a step-by-step method to develop their business model and their product ideas. The program is supplemented with interviews of successful local founders who discuss their startup journey and lessons learned, as well with guest instructors with expertise in financial modeling; business structure, contract and intellectual property law; raising capital; and pitching to investors. The Fall 2020 cohort is comprised of nine startup companies in a variety of traded sector industries, led by facilitator and entrepreneur, Jeremy Green.
Thank you for following along on a heavy update. I appreciate your engagement and hope you have a great week!
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Brittany Quick -Warner
President & CEO, Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce