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Two Prominent Oregon Business Groups Announce Merger

The headquarters of Associated Oregon Industries in Salem.
Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network
The headquarters of Associated Oregon Industries in Salem.

The two largest business lobbying groups in Oregon will merge next year. The organizations say the move will give business interests a more unified voice at the state Capitol.

The Oregon Business Association and Associated Oregon Industries said the merger has been in the works for three years. But the announcement came soon after the state's business community worked to defeat a corporate tax hike. The sponsors of that failed initiative say they'll take their fight for higher business taxes to the state Legislature.

The two business groups will work in tandem during the 2017 legislative session and then formally merge next summer.

Associated Oregon Industries is based in Salem and has been around for more than a century. The Oregon Business Association is based in Portland. It was formed in 1999 and has tended to be more politically moderate.

The merged group will take on a new name.

Copyright 2016 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.