Fighting for a level playing field online for Oregon businesses

When 90 percent of a small business’ sales are online and its workforce has grown from nine employees to 24 in two short years, it’s vital Congress not unfairly tilt the level Internet playing field that helped that expansion.

That’s the story at Daddies Board Shop in Northeast Portland and why Ron has stood with Daddies and so many other small businesses across Oregon in the fight against what’s termed the Marketplace “Fairness” Act.

“Fairness” is of course in the eye of the beholder since this bill would have unfairly forced Oregon companies to collect sales tax for other states when a resident in another state made a purchase. In today’s competitive economy, it’s critical for companies to expand their market in other states, and it’s unfair and expensive for them to play tax collector when they do.

Like owners of so many other Oregon small businesses that rely on online sales, Daddies’ owner Daron Horwitz says it’s the level playing field of the Internet that allows his business to compete with big retailers around the world.

After checking out Daddies’ world-class products during a visit this month, Ron told Daddies Board shop employees their business is exactly the kind of business he’s proud of as an Oregonian.

My goal is to keep the Internet free and open -- as it always has been,” he said. “After all, that’s the underpinning of what’s allowed Internet commerce to flourish.”

For now, thanks to the efforts of Sen. Wyden and his bipartisan coalition, the MFA appears to have been disconnected in this Congress. Businesses across Oregon can breathe easier and keep selling their great Oregon products. And, if legislation tries to tip the scales against small businesses in the future, Ron will go to the mat again.

This scheme would make Oregon businesses collect sales taxes for hundreds of other state and local governments,” Ron said. “It essentially forces Oregon companies to subsidize Texas’s government. That’s not fair to Oregon, and it’s not fair to small businesses nationwide.”