The association of Oregon businesses that's powerfully progressive

Jeff Golden

If you own or run a small business, I'm guessing you've had moments when you want to heave after hearing the National Chamber of Commerce or NFIB or any number of ranking Republicans declare what's "good for business."

You know, more deregulation, more or bigger upper-end tax cuts, and occasionally, from the more shameless ones, proposals to stuff even more corporate goodies into the tax code. Gotta make life fat for the "job-creators" if we want them to make life better for the rest of us.

If you're looking for a different voice out there on what's good for business, meet the Main Street Alliance of Oregon. They're one of the most vibrant chapters of a national movement of business people putting forward a whole different message: businesses succeed over time if they're grounded in communities of secure people who enjoy access to good health care, good education and genuine economic opportunity.

The MSA formed during the 2008 round of health care debate because health care costs have been crippling their members' businesses. They go beyond cutting the legs out from under Big Business' bitching and moaning about Obamacare to aggressively advocating for a universal single-payer system.

They're powerfully progressive on other issues, too. They were on point in securing mandatory sick leave pay for Portland workers, and have their eyes on bigger wins going forward--all realistic, I think, as more and more progressive business folks find out about their work.

I got inspired after interviewing them for Immense Possibilities, my weekly series on Southern Oregon Public TV on cool social inventions. More and more of IP's audience is online. You can watch the Main Street Alliance episode at ImmensePossibilities.org when it streams live at 8:30 p.m. Friday night, June 14, and on-demand for a week after that.

Tell me what you think about this growing business movement.

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