Flourishing Despite the Predictions

Jeff Alworth

"You're not going to get a lot of ammunition from me about how hard it is to do business here," Jones said. "We're in Oregon because we love Oregon. Born and raised here. Can't imagine living any place else." --Don Jones, JV Northwest

Steve Duin has a nice piece in today's Oregonian that shows just how "sticky" businesses can be--despite those dreaded tax increases from a couple years back. The article details how JV Northwest went from fabricating saw blades 30 years ago to being one of the premier manufacturers of stainless-steel tanks of the kind used in breweries and wineries.

As a close watcher of the brewing industry, I'm well aware of JV's impact on the world of brewing; their systems are considered the gold-standard among craft brewers. This kind of fizz surrounds a local industry built around 120 craft breweries. In addition to metal fabricators (JV now has local competitors), Oregon is home to:

Many states have lots of breweries, but Oregon does a far better job of selling their beer locally than any other state. According to IRI/Symphony scan data (which tracks supermarket sales), over the past eleven months, craft beer--most of it brewed locally--outsold industrial lagers. No doubt there are businesses that feel little connection to the state. But not the beer biz; people are clamoring to get into it here.

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    Somehow my bullet list in the second paragraph didn't work, and now I can't get back in to change the post. Sorry!

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    Wait... wait... Are you actually saying that businesses are fueled by opportunity and not tax cuts?!? What madness is this! We all know that all businesses would be insanely successful if you had to pay no taxes whatsoever, and had no oversight! Just look at the Catholic Church!!!

    ...okay, that was a little over the top, but still. People with money to spend = successful businesses. Not tax cuts. Not labor costs. Give people enough money and they'll buy things.

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      Even more true is the fact that very few businesses ever move their HQ out of state. Intel may have a lot of employees in Oregon, but they are still based where they started. Same with Microsoft, Nike, Starbucks, etc. Businesses succeed where they start or they die soon after starting. It is really expensive to move companies and they will almost never do it for tax reasons. Those that do are typically personal businesses led by anti-tax owners.

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