Senator Merkley Discusses Financial Reform with Small Business Owners

Redmond, OR
– Today, Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley attended a small business roundtable event in Central Oregon hosted by the Oregon Small Business Council to discuss the pressures that small businesses across the state are facing and the need for true financial reform.  Senator Merkley talked about his plans for financial reform and the need to establish rules of the road for Wall Street that will help improve financial fairness for Main Street.  

“Today’s discussion with small business owners underlines the message I have been carrying in Washington,” Merkley said. “Millions of Americans are out of work, businesses are shuttered and people have lost their homes because accountability and oversight was stripped from our financial system. It is time to move forward with financial reform and make banking boring – and stable – again.”

Merkley joined a handful of small business owners from around Central Oregon at the Brickhouse Restaurant in Redmond, Oregon, to talk about the mounting pressures and challenges that small businesses in the region face. The group discussed challenges in getting the necessary credit and capital for their businesses to survive, and the struggle to hire new employees and keep existing talent.

“I am grateful that Senator Merkley is committed to working families and making credit available for the small businesses that keep this country running,” said Jeff Porad, owner of the Brickhouse Restaurant.

The roundtable also highlighted the ongoing work of the Oregon Small Business Council and the recent report from the Main Street Alliance about financial reform.  In late January, the Main Street Alliance released a report that showed significant support among small businesses for a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to regulate consumer credit products and protect American consumers from predatory financial practices.

“When financial products are full of tricks and traps, even a well-run, profitable small business can be put at risk,” Merkley said. “For many years, financial institutions have been marketing defective products to Americans.  A Consumer Financial Protection Agency will allow us to crack down on these practices and make sure that a simple loan can’t destroy a well-run business.”