Why Portland Independent Business Bloc

We formed PIBB as a loose collective of worker-owners who see firsthand how our businesses affect our employees, our communities, our city. And while we are in turn reluctant capitalists, we must acknowledge our role in this system and think critically on ways to subvert the norms and improve the situation for the working class. Our stories often get usurped by large chains and corporations, the loudest and richest voices in any given room. We strive to change this narrative and give a voice back to those who are drowned out.

We acknowledge our privileged platform and seek to use it for the purpose of accountability. PIBB came together in the midst of a global pandemic, and specifically in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, to recognize our role in the systemic oppression of Black, Brown, and Indigenous Peoples. We are here to support activists on the ground to dismantle these systems, advocate for worker-centered policies that expand universal benefit, and subvert business interests that do harm. In short, the security of our rights as humans outweighs the security of our buildings, our equipment, our products — people over profits, 100% of the time.

On the federal level, we strongly believe a living wage is the only way forward as a society. We can and must implement a $15 federal minimum wage. If we as tiny businesses can afford it, large corporations most certainly can as well. Beyond this, we must explore means of production other than exploitation. The ownership class has no choice but to support unions, strive towards more cooperative business models, and create democratic/community-based forms of economy. Finally, Medicare for All is not a radical idea. Healthcare is a human right.

We are working collectively to make PDX better. And we are growing. Please get in touch or join one of our monthly meetings if you would like to be a part of our bloc.