Maupin Area Chamber of Commerce
February 2019 Newsletter
Greetings from the Chamber Director
As the snow continues to fall, I am reminded of how fortunate we are to have so many vital local businesses and how important it is for us to not take their presence for granted. Among the attributes that make our small town so unique and livable is our self-sustainability, and while it can be tempting to buy into the myth that purchasing groceries, gas, home repair items, and auto parts in larger cities and from national chain stores is cheaper, there is solid research in favor of supporting small, local businesses and many reasons that value means more than just a dollar-for-dollar trade. When we buy local, we invest in our own future. We ensure that our communities will thrive and that our children will return--or remain--to continue the high-quality life that we enjoy in rural America.
As the 21st century churns on and technological advances allow more people the luxury of remote living, we have even greater reasons to celebrate and support our town. We enjoy spectacular scenery, remarkable resources, and strong community ties. We live in a place where neighbors actually know and speak to each other, help each other shovel out from under piles of snow, take meals to a community member who is ill, lend a helping hand when they see someone struggling. I've lived in a lot of places over the years, both large and small, and I can vouch for the uniqueness of these virtues and for the tragedy of losing them as small towns close up shop. Shut down. Die out. Our viability depends on our mutual commitment to support local business--to support each other.
While the phrase "Shop Local" may seem like a trendy catch phrase, I urge you to consider its relevance and to make the investment, knowing that what you are paying for is far more than just the product.
Click on the link below to read about a few of the benefits of keeping your dollars local.
See you 'round the hood!
Understanding What Your Chamber Does for You
The Maupin Area Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary, non-profit association of businesses and individuals. Its purpose is to create a unique central agency that works to improve commerce; strengthen community; promote tourism; and create a healthy, economically viable place to visit, live, work, and raise a family.
Most importantly, the Maupin Area Chamber of Commerce is people–people who recognize that, through the Chamber, they can accomplish collectively what none of them can accomplish individually.
The strength of the MACC lies in attracting the greatest number of members, therefore creating a pool of resources from which all can draw ideas and energy.
* We provide educational opportunities for the professional and business community.
* We represent the economic, social, and political interests of Maupin and South Wasco County to the appropriate outside tourism and government agencies and keep you informed of critical legislature that impacts your business.
* We promote programs and events of a civic, social, and cultural nature, which increase livability and community for both residents and visitors.
* We strengthen commerce by promoting South Wasco County as a tourist destination, working to expand the tourist season, providing website links from the Chamber to other member and affiliate organizations, and advertising South Wasco County at out-of-area trade shows and events and through consistent social media posts.
* We support economic development by working directly with the City of Maupin and surrounding communities to attract new businesses to this area; we promote family-wage jobs; we support public and professional education.
* We provide networking and community-building opportunities through annual member gatherings like Business After Hours and Off-Season Morning Jo and by sponsoring events like Maupin Daze, Maupin Madness Poker Run, and Ride, Row, Run.
To learn more about becoming a Chamber member, call, email, or click here.
Off-Season Morning Jo is Back!
This is a great way to connect with your fellow community members and business owners, discuss topics of interest, brainstorm new ideas, or just share the latest news.
Feel free to bring along potential Chamber members; our community is too small to not work together for the success of all!
Reminder: Our First Volunteer Meet and Greet is Coming Soon
Chamber Member Advertising Opportunity--Get Your Business on the Map!
February seems like the perfect month to show a little love to our visitor information kiosk in City Park and to spread the love uptown at the Visitors’ Center in Maupin. These are two high-visibility, high-traffic areas for advertising your business to our many guests. Both kiosks will include your 12” x 14” full-color signboard printed on high-quality, waterproof and scratch-resistant PVC board placed around an updated map of the city that shows the location of your business with a corresponding legend.
The low cost of this advertising opportunity is $100.00 per year and includes a signboard on both kiosks that will be replaced every three years. If you wish to make changes at any time prior to the three-year mark, we are happy to have a new signboard made at a small additional cost.
To take advantage of this advertising opportunity, please email me your business logo (firstname.lastname@example.org) and any pertinent information to be included by March 1st, and mail your payment to PO Box 220, Maupin. If you have questions or need further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the Chamber office.
High-speed fiber optic internet is becoming a reality. Look for your home or business to be hooked up in the coming weeks!
Contact LS Networks or Gorge Net to get in on the connection.
It's time to start thinking about Maupin Daze~May 18th
This is Maupin's annual celebration of river and community! A day of fun, family-friendly activities includes a parade, vendors, plant sales, raffles, barbecue, live music, a quilt show, the community-wide garage sale, and rafting trips.
If your group or organization would like to be involved in this celebration of community and place, please contact the Chamber.
February Member Spotlight: Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop
I recently had the opportunity to visit with John Smeraglio about his life here in Maupin, his love of the river that is our life-blood, and his business. John opened Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop back in 1985, with the goal of providing excellent products and service through guided trips and classes.
John's passion is not only evident but contagious. As I listened to him describe Maupin life 30 years ago, I was struck by the realization he is one of those people who embodies the old Confucian sentiment: Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life. He has turned his love of the river--and his belief that humans are gifted and burdened with the responsibility of stewardship and common sense when it comes to the resources we enjoy here in Maupin--into a livelihood, albeit one that is perpetually jeopardized by recent changes in river environment.
John's knowledge of the river and all things fly fishing is evident; he is passionate about educating locals and visitors of all ages and experience levels and hosting special events throughout the year. John teamed up with Rick Hafele to create a trio of educational videos: Fly Fishing Large Western Rivers, Nymph Fishing Basics, and Advanced Nymph Fishing. He offers product demo days, stream-side entomology classes, clinics, casting lessons, and more. His website, www.flyfishingdeschutes.com, offers an abundance of information, from river levels, hatch charts, and fish counts, to local resources. If you are in town, stop and have a visit with John. His business is located beside the river at 599 South Highway 197.
2019 Legislative Report - Week 3
Dear OSCC members and colleagues -
We have now completed three weeks of the 2019 legislative session. The upcoming week appears to be an abbreviated week with several committees being cancelled or otherwise not scheduled to meet this week.
What's Happening (OSCC Political Observations)
Two major bills are moving quickly - rent control (SB 608) and the first Medicaid funding bill (HB 2010).
One other major bill is now in full swing - cap and trade (HB 2020).
Additionally, the legislative conversations are now underway on a major business tax to fund K-12 education. This discussion is happening every Tuesday and Thursday evening in the Joint Student Success Committee (Revenue Subcommittee). To date, the committee is looking at other state taxing models that utilize gross receipts - Washington, Nevada, Ohio, and others. At this point, it looks most likely that the committee will recommend a gross receipts-based tax and not additional increases to the state's corporate income tax.
Activity on Major Issues
We are expecting to see early activity this week on a handful of key policy and budget items that Democratic legislative leaders have identified as key priorities, including:
- Medicaid Funding will likely pass Ways & Means this week (HB 2010). This is the bill that will implement the first stages of Medicaid funding proposed by the Governor - the Hospital provider tax ($98 million) and the insurance tax ($410 million). Local hospital systems will support this bill because it eliminates the true tax that was levied on hospitals in 2017-19. However, the bill also increases taxes on commercial health insurance policies from 1.5% to 2%. These taxes will be passed through directly to small business customers.
- Rent Control will get a Senate vote this week (SB 608). We expect this bill to pass the Senate as early as Tuesday. SB 608 has two key features: (1) it limits rent increases to 7% plus CPI in all buildings over 15 years old, and (2) disallows no-cause evictions after one year.
- Cap & Trade legislation is now in full swing (HB 2020). OSCC members got a major boost last week as NW Natural clearly articulated the huge cost increases on their natural gas customers if HB 2020 were to pass. They gave legislators a handout that showed massive cost impacts to residential, small commercial, and industrial ratepayer. The invited testimony on HB 2020 will continue on Monday this week. Public testimony kicks off on Friday afternoon at 1:00 PM and is scheduled again on February 18 at 5:00 PM. OSCC participation will be needed as the public hearings go around the state in the coming weeks.
- Single use straw ban (SB 90). This issue seemed to stall as committee members pressed for exemptions from the 'straw ban' for convenience stores and drive throughs as well as a local preemption that would prohibit more stringent local regulations. Environmental advocates oppose carve-outs and appear to now want to let cities and counties move forward with a patchwork of local regulations. Although SB 90 appears stalled for now, we don't believe we've seen the last of this issue in 2019.
- Workplace marijuana accommodation (SB 379). In a touch of irony, the proponents for the workplace marijuana accommodation bill were late and almost missed the hearing. OSCC submitted joint testimony with the general business community in opposition to this measure. OSCC has an active ACTION ALERT on this issue. Please contact your senator and ask them to say 'no' to SB 379.
Other Key Issues Coming up This Week
- Small business tax cut repeal. (SB 211) OSCC is disappointed, but not surprised, to see the Senate Finance & Revenue Committee taking up the issue of repealing Oregon's lower tax rates for pass-through businesses. Oregon's 'small business tax cut' law currently imposes lower tax rates on the first $5 million of business income. SB 211 would apply lower tax rates to only the first $415,000 of business income and then would completely repeal the 'small business tax cut' altogether starting in 2026.
- Liabilities for Employment Discrimination. (SB 726) Watch out for this bill. This could be very similar to the wage equity bill of 2017 where it is politically impossible to oppose but will have far-reaching impacts on business. This bill started out as targeting sexual harassment, but has morphed into a general employment discrimination bill that creates a new 7-year statute of limitations and holds officers and principals personally liable for discrimination. OSCC is monitoring this bill closely as there is lack of agreement on potential impacts.
- Workplace Marijuana Accommodation. (HB 2655) This is the House version of SB 379 that would make it an unlawful employment action to condition employment based on refraining from the off-duty use of cannabis. While the bill contains an exception for jobs where the work cannot be performed while impaired, there is currently no easy test to determine if someone is impaired while at the workplace. OSCC is opposing this legislation in the Senate because it is a direct affront on an employer's ability to enforce a workplace drug-free policy. A hearing is posted on the bill this Tuesday in the House Business and Labor Committee. We do not expect the House to move its version.
- OSCC has issued an ACTION ALERT for SB 379 (Workplace Marijuana Accommodation) in the Senate. PLEASE RESPOND THIS WEEK WITH YOUR MESSAGE TO SENATORS! OSCC has made it exceptionally easy to contact your Senator and ask them to say 'no' to SB 379.
- OSCC asks for your assistance to shine a light on the negative impacts of cap-and-trade! Individual chambers can start by joining the Partnership for Oregon Communities. The Partnership will coordinate grassroots voices with concerns about the rising costs of fuel and energy. Email email@example.com to join the coalition. OSCC will follow up as we learn of opportunities for public testimony and engagement with the legislature.
JL Wilson & Jenny Dresler
2019 Chamber Board of Directors
Imperial River Company
All Star Rafting
Sage Canyon Outfitters
MD Hunt Construction