Corvallis Business: City Financial Report, Upward Trends in Local Events, Food Trail Outreach, New Contractor Laws, Young Professionals Meet

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The town of Corvallis June financial report was published. Highlights include that our liquid investments are still outnumbered by CORE or component investments for longer-term investment security. Expected inflow for July is set at just over $2 million. Regular Advocate readers know there have been some notable expenses that could throw the budget off track, so stay tuned.

Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail: The Corvallis and Albany Visitor Centers worked together to visit the media center for Oregon22, where they shared locally made food and spirits with a global audience. Corvallis offerings came from Four Spirits, Block 15 and 2 Towns. The hope is that departing visitors will stop and buy more of what they like on their way back across the state towards PDX.

Corvallis events page trending up: The last two years had created a definite lull in local events so Christina Rehklau was glad things have changed. Visit Corvallis restarted in May this year and has seen an increase in visitor numbers event page on your website. We at The Advocate have brought ours back event calendar Weeks back and we are happy to report similar trends. Things feel a bit more normal here.

Has the county move unintentionally hurt business: A Visit Corvallis partner in downtown has concerns about the long-term negative impact of moving county offices on the Research Way. “It’s a lot easier to run out and run two errands because you’re running the two or three blocks instead of getting in the car,” Rehklau said. “Corvallis is very compact, and I can respect that it’s only 10 or 15 minutes,” but despite the short distance between moving the Visit Corvallis office from the chamber building to the heart of downtown, Rehklau and her staff tend to make different ones Shops to visit within walking distance.

We’ll be digging deeper into this issue in the coming weeks. So if your business was impacted by moving to the county, please let us know at [email protected].

City council: The last city council meeting revealed that the city will begin demolition within the next 30 days to build the new crisis center. The center will be at Van Buren Ave. built between 4th and 5th streets.

Also at the meeting, Julie Arena of the Home Opportunity Planning and Equity (HOPE) Advisory Board reported that the board will be ready to provide fresh advice now that the worst of the pandemic seems to be behind us. The Board was assembled to provide an intermediary between companies that wanted to productively engage with government about homelessness issues affecting their businesses and the government officials responsible for making the ultimate decisions about what to do. Whether or not the city takes the advice is up to all of us as action comes out of HOPE.

Find out who your City council and district commissioners are and talk to them about what you would like to see with the HOPE Advice – generally email is a good place to start. Remember that Council members need your vote every two years to remain in office and this is an election year for them. Make sure they know what you think about the issues you’re seeing in Corvallis and Benton County.

So that you know who to speak to, remember that while the councilors are responsible for the HOPE Advisory Board and have a community services fund, Benton County is responsible for mental health services, the Crisis Center and the Justice System Initiative all social benefits.

Vegetation obstruction patrol: When the rain comes, things grow, and especially when the sun finally comes out. And sometimes these things grow in a way that blocks the view. Recently, the bushes in the parking lot at AMC, Home Depot, and Safeway were so overgrown you had to pull into traffic to see if anyone was coming. A Corvallisite took the initiative and contacted the city and the issue was resolved.

If you have clients trying to make daring escapes and need help from the city, head to the vegetation obstruction page on the city’s website. You have a simple form to fill out which you can find here. And make sure you tick the box to be contacted for a follow-up – it’s always good to come full circle this way.

Business Opportunity: Call all mobile food trucks. Janna Bassett, the contract employee at the Power Auto Center, has been looking for a food truck that will come to the dealership once a week. If you are interested, you can reach Bassett at 541-757-1415 for more details.

Quick Lesson About Independent Contractors: In 2013, the Oregon Court of Appeals found that a subcontractor in construction was not an employee of the general contractor Cejas Commercial Interiors Inc. v Torres-Lizama. This was an important case for Oregon companies because it sat a precedent for which an economic test should be used to decide whether someone is an employee or an independent contractor – the “economic realities” test or the “right to control” test. in the cejasthe answer was “economic realities”.

How are these tests different? “economic realities‘ is a rigorous seven-question affair where the employer bears most of the responsibility for keeping things in line. “right to control‘ requires a look at 20 questions based on a multi-stage agreement between employer and contractor.

Today, the standard for determining whether an employee is an employee or not boils down to “ABC” Test:

  1. The employee is free from the control or direction of the employer when carrying out the work.
  2. The work takes place outside of the normal business operations of the company and outside the company premises.
  3. Usually the worker is engaged in a self-employed trade, profession, occupation or business.

In 2019 Oregon HB2498 was introduced to improve the definition of this “contractor” status by adopting parts of the Dynamex decision of California. In this case, the delivery drivers claimed they were not independent contractors but employees. In light of the Dynamex ruling – which unanimously found that the drivers were employees – the Oregon legislature was looking for a way to set the questions asked to better understand this type of issue by adding one more question to the tests: Is the employee’s service outside of the ordinary course of business? If the answer is “NO,” the individual is no longer considered an independent contractor and is reclassified as an “employee.”

Now this bill is to be reintroduced. If HB 2498 were continued, any independent contractor asked to work during regular business hours could technically be considered an employee and would therefore be entitled to the same benefits as other employees. The bill was filed in 2019, but business owners should pay attention.

Chamber events: Coming from the Chamber of Commerce this week…

On July 26th, the Corvallis Young Pros and Corvallis Knights join forces to bring people to Casey Corner for fun, networking and baseball. Bring your friends to this free event. Tickets are available at Goss Stadium. More details here.

By Sally K Lehman

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