Since November of 2007, Oregon has lost nearly 120,000 private sector jobs.
Bend has been hit harder than almost any other community in the State. We are ground zero in this recession.
Look at our empty storefronts and "For Lease" and "Going Out of Business" signs everywhere you go. It is very tangible here. We all feel it. And, we all are impacted by it. Unfortunately, there is more bad news. The recent tax increases are projected to put up to another 70,000 of us out of work.
But that is not the end of the story. We can make Oregon stronger! We can create jobs and opportunity by encouraging home grown business in Oregon.
Oregon is uniquely blessed by abundant natural resources and a favorable location on the Pacific Rim. But our true strength comes from Oregon's skilled workforce and bright, talented and creative entrepreneurs who can help grow our economy and put people back to work.
We need to embrace Oregon's potential and lower the barriers to business and job creation. It is imperative that we invest in the future by promoting the development of new ventures and new technologies that will create new jobs and new tax revenue. The legislature has fallen down on the job and it is sending the wrong message to local small businesses.
We need to re-brand our state, from "Oregon -- fourth highest unemployment in the nation" to "Oregon - open for business."