Portland Earned Sick Days Campaign Builds Business Support
Portland’s campaign for earned sick days is making significant headway in its business outreach. The Everybody Benefits Coalition has reached out to over 600 businesses throughout Portland, engaging them in one-on-one discussions and inviting them to events. Main Street Alliance (MSA) has canvassed employers on main streets in Portland. As a result of this extensive outreach, numerous individual business owners have signed on to the campaign, while others have indicated a strong interest.
MSA and Voice for Oregon Innovation & Sustainability (VOIS) Business Alliance hosted an event for business owners in late December which resulted in several new small businesses signing on to the campaign. In January, MSA and VOIS issued an exciting new report, Understanding Earned Sick Time in Portland: A Guide for Businesses. The guide reviews the benefits of earned sick days for small businesses and responds to common concerns expressed by business owners. MSA and VOIS’s report also includes quotes from business supporters in the Portland area and offers evidence of the impact of sick days mandates in other jurisdictions. In addition to the report, the campaign also distributes a brochures, amplifying the voices of numerous supportive business owners.
Through its outreach, the Portland campaign has encountered business owners who already offer sick days to employees. These business owners cite reduced turnover, decreased healthcare costs, and a sense that offering leave is “the right thing to do” as reasons for their policies.
"The development of a paid sick time law requires talking to many different stakeholders - factoring in a variety of perspectives,” said Andrea Paluso, Executive Director of Family Forward Oregon. “Effective outreach should include voters and elected officials, employees and employers. Business support, along with support from a variety of other stakeholders, helps to inform the development of a successful policy."
As momentum behind the earned sick days campaign in Portland builds, the support of businesses will be vital. Portland’s hard work reaching out to the business community will surely pay off.