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Oregon’s Economy is Soft
Oregon continues to lose local businesses

The first Dari Mart store opened in 1965 by Gladys and Howard Gibson. The couple had owned and operated Lochmead Farms in Junction City since 1941, and the store was a way to get their farm fresh milk direct to customers. Three generations later, about 20 Gibson/Straube family members still work with the Dari Mart and Lochmead Farm companies.

Until today, there were 44 family owned and operated stores from Albany to Cottage Grove. These small, neighborhood stores employed more than 500 people. However, today, Dai Mart announced, via Facebook that it was closing one of its stores. They posted: The Dari Mart store located at 1785 W 18th will be closing it's doors for good at 8PM this evening. This is a sad day, as this is one of the original stores. The city of Eugene and State of Oregon are making it increasingly difficult to run a business. Minimum wages have increased over $4.75 and hour, which we could support, except the State put on the backs of businesses a Corporate Activity Tax and the City of Eugene, an employment tax. This location cannot sustain those additional costs of doing business. Please support the stores nearest this location at:

835 W 28th Ave and 2920 W 11th Ave. A big thank you to all of the loyal customers of that store. We appreciate you.

Unfortunately, Dairi Mart is not alone. Many businesses are facing tough decisions and the Oregon Legislature, State Agencies and local governments are not doing much to help them out. For some it is the impacts created by the Oregon Legislature by implementation of mandatory minimum wage increases, paid sick time or the Corporate Activity Tax.

In 2019, Senator James Manning (D-Eugene) stood on the floor of the Oregon Senate and said, regarding businesses, “Let’em leave. Someone else’ll come in” referencing the Corporate Activity Tax. His prediction is partially coming true, businesses are leaving. In May of 2019 Stimson Lumber announced that it would lay off 60 people at its Forest Grove mill (40% of the workforce) and move some of its operations to Idaho and Montana siting the Corporate Activity Tax. Stimson Lumber has operated in Oregon since 1933. "I do not need to be hit with a 2×4 in the face to see that Oregon is an urban state and rural Oregon is a place for urbanites to recreate," said CEO Andrew Miller in an interview with Willamette Week in 2019. He continued, "Investment capital and jobs are mobile. I see the smoke. I do not need to wait for the fire. It is time to adapt to a changing environment by moving on."

As the Oregon Legislature continues to do its work, there are more bills being considered that could be the next mandate that forces more businesses to leave Oregon.

--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-04-01 15:26:39Last Update: 2021-04-01 15:51:32

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