09-22-2023  2:23 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
Rep. Janelle Bynum
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 22 September 2022

SALEM, Ore. - Today, Representative Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas County), newly appointed chair of the House Committee on Economic Development and Small Business, invited state and local leaders to discuss ways Oregon can champion businesses of all sizes, expand broadband, bolster the growing semiconductor sector, and support the sports industry. 

“As someone who has run a business for over 15 years, I know too well the struggles we’re facing as a state,” said  Bynum. “I’m committed to ensuring we have the economic infrastructure to retain and grow all businesses and key industries. Through private and public incentives, investments in good paying jobs, and a strong workforce, we can break down barriers and uplift all Oregonians.” 

“Representative Bynum's leadership of the House Committee on Economic Development and Small Business will invigorate Oregon's path towards a recovery that is inclusive and innovative. As a small business owner, she knows what it takes to be successful and provide for good paying jobs,” said Andrew Hoan president & CEO of the Portland Business Alliance. “As a trading state we need public private partnerships to succeed in our key industries to compete on a global stage, and we look forward to working with the chair and committee, together, for a more prosperous region and state.” 

Expanding Broadband And Helping Oregon Businesses

During the meeting, committee members heard about the influx of federal dollars expected from the Biden-Harris administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and American Rescue Plan Act to help support broadband access expansion throughout the state. Oregon is expected to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in funding. 

“Making sure underserved communities have access to broadband is a top priority. It’s about giving everyone a chance to grow or build their own business and create generational wealth,” said Bynum. “With over 390,000 small businesses, representing 99.4% of all businesses in the state, broadband is critical to our state infrastructure.” 

Bolstering the Semiconductor Industry

The committee also heard recommendations brought forward by the Oregon Semiconductor Competitiveness Task Force to help strengthen the state’s semiconductor industry. The Task Force identified ways Oregon can further research and development, strengthen incentives, create jobs, and recruit, train,and retain workforces in the sector.

“Oregon has a long history of semiconductor manufacturing and I look forward to supporting  efforts that ensure we remain a top industry leader,” said Bynum. “This means creating career pathways and investing in private and public incentives to help build out our workforce, create good paying jobs, and support innovation.” 

This year the Biden-Harris administration passed the CHIPS & Science Act and Inflation Reduction Act to revitalize domestic manufacturing, create jobs, strengthen supply chains and accelerate future industries. The legislation will provide billions in funding for semiconductor research and manufacturing in the U.S., some of which are expected to go to Oregon. 

Supporting the Sports Industry

Additionally, the committee heard from Sport Oregon, which presented “The State of Sport,” outlining the economic impact of athletic, outdoor, team and recreation industries. The report shows opportunities to strengthen Oregon’s reach in the industry. 

“From the World Athletics Championships Oregon22, hosted this past summer, to college and high school football, we can see just how important sports are not just in bringing together community, but in supporting and strengthening our economy,” stated Bynum. 

“The study brings attention to what has been long neglected: the economic impact of the sport industry in Oregon. The numbers related to job creation , tax revenue for the state, and the positive impact on small business in particular are staggering and present an opportunity for the Legislature to engage, help create jobs and build community,” said Nathan Nayman, external affairs liaison for Sport Oregon.

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