While the Alabama Legislature was busy with political payback and base political pandering, the Oregon enacted legislation which will assist Oregon small businesses and help secure a resilient local economy.  Oregon HB 3000 allows state agencies and local governments to give preference to goods made in Oregon and services perfomed by local businesses, even if it entails paying up to 10 percent more than the cost of out-of-state suppliers. (Alabama only allows a three percent local preference rule currently.)

“Oregon government purchases a lot of goods and services. We should be buying Oregon products first. We think as many of these products as possible should be purchased from small businesses within our state, particularly when the price of those products is very similar. This bill allows Oregon companies to take advantage of the state’s purchasing power to grow their businesses and create more Oregon jobs,” said Rep. Clem. . . .

Another State Senator explained further:

“This bill will help Oregon businesses by encouraging the development and growth of our local supply chains, which will help create local jobs and revitalize our state’s economy,

Efforts like this such as leveling the playing for locally-owned businesses by removing tax advantages and closing loopholes  for out-of-state corporations and establishing minimums for local purchases by state agencies, we too can stride down the road to economic resiliency. Restoring local family farms, securing a strong local food supply, empowering local entrepreneurship, authentically supporting locally-owned, small businesses, should be at the top of any policy priority list. As I wrote before:

We import so much unnecessarily into our local economies. Job security and economic resilience cannot be achieved by focusing exclusively on recruiting big industries like the automotive sector in Alabama. A balanced approach should be adopted which encourages the development of home-grown, import-substituting local manufacturers. We must identify the leaks of investment out of our local economies and enact policies which catalyze the local production of many items we now import. Only then can we have some peace of mind concerning a future prosperity.

Long term stability of our local economies and job security will not be achieved by the current models of economic development.  New ideas which defy standard definitions and break traditions need be brought to Montgomery.

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