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Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam is at the forefront of an effort to reopen Oregon businesses on Jan. 1.

PAMPLIN MEDIA - STAN PULLIAMOregon mayors gathered virtually Tuesday as a new coalition advocating for the opening of local businesses, even as the COVID-19 pandemic builds momenetum heading into the winter months.

Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam hosted a virtual meeting of the Main Street Mayors coalition, which is supportive of business owners who say they can open safely and strike a balance between slowing the spread of the coronavirus and also prevent irreversible economic damage to Main Streets across the state.

"People are packing into malls and grocery chains supporting corporate America, and yet we can't sit down at a locally owned restaurant to support a local business owner and their employees while enjoying a meal with our families in a safe and responsible way," Pulliam said in a press release. "The double standards must end."

Pulliam described the coalition as peaceful and nonpartisan. The group's political action committee is dedicated to supporting candidates and measures that "stand up for small businesses threatened by government overreach."

"A sales tax on gross sales, huge increases in the minimum wage, excessive wage and hour requirements and now a full stoppage of work are decimating community Main Streets around Oregon," said Bess Wills, director of Main Street Mayors PAC. "As someone who has dedicated my life to propping up my local community, I'm proud to be part of this effort to give these communities a voice to fight back."

Main Street Mayors is supporting coalition members operating in counties labeled as "Extreme Risk," who will voluntarily comply with state requirements for "High Risk" counties starting on Jan. 1. This will allow restaurants and gyms to open at significantly reduced capacity.

In Tuesday's virtual meeting, Oregon mayors discussed their roles in this environment and brainstormed solutions to assist small businesses that may soon close permanently. In the event such economic devastation comes to pass, the coalition asserts that great harm will be inflicted on Oregon's cities smaller than those the size of Portland, Salem, Eugene and Bend.

For more information on the Main Street Mayors plans for Jan. 1, visit its website.


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