OBI as we know it today was founded in 2017, when Oregon’s top two statewide business organizations – Associated Oregon Industries and the Oregon Business Association – merged to create the largest and most effective statewide business advocacy group in Oregon.
The OBI mission is to strengthen Oregon’s economy in order to achieve a healthy, prosperous and competitive Oregon for the benefit of present and future generations. We believe a strong private sector is critical to ensuring that all Oregonians have access to quality jobs, so families can thrive. We value equity and support efforts to end historic injustices, and we believe a healthy business community is also critical to ensuring there is adequate funding for critical public services, like schools, transportation, public safety and others.
Based in Salem, OBI has more than 1,600 members in every region. Our members are small and large businesses, and they represent virtually every industry and sector possible, employing more than 250,000 Oregonians. These diverse businesses come together as Oregon Business & Industry because of their commitment to building a stronger Oregon.
Our organization is recognized statewide as a leader in policy development, and our entire team works tirelessly to ensure our members’ voices are heard in important policy discussions that will impact Oregon businesses. We also create opportunities for members to meet each other, to grow their businesses, and to learn about policy developments important to their Oregon operations.
OBI builds upon a long and successful history as the voice for business in our state. Associated Oregon Industries (AOI) was founded in Salem in 1895 and, throughout the 20th Century, grew to become the most influential business organization in the state. AOI worked on the belief that free market principles, predictable regulations, and efficient use of tax dollars would allow Oregon’s economy to thrive. The Oregon Business Association (OBA) was founded in Portland in 2000, to be a nonpartisan voice for business that promoted collaboration and problem solving. The core beliefs of those two organizations remain guideposts for OBI’s work today.