Morning Roundup: Minimum wage rules released; Uber expands

Minimum wage rules released, Uber expands its Portland territory.

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Laying down the rules. The first tier of Oregon’s minimum wage increase is set for July 1, bumping the wage to $9.75 in most parts of the state, and $9.50 in rural areas. In preparation, the Bureau of Labor and industries released its final minimum wage rules Wednesday. The Portland Tribune reports the rules are a compromise between labor and business groups.

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Breaking ground. A 2014 challenge from Nike’s Phil Knight to raise $1 billion to cure cancer finally has its first result. Oregon Health & Science University is using a chunk of the “Knight Cancer Challenge” to build a research facility. The 9-story building will cost $160 million. OPB has more.

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Data in trouble. After losing a major client, Peak Hosting has laid off 135 workers and filed for bankruptcy. The Tualatin-based data center hosted Machine Zone — most known for its popular mobile app Game of War — before a network outage issue last October. The two companies are in a legal battle, fighting over $100 million. Read more from The Oregonian.

Licensed tobacco. Multnomah County will issue its first 1,000 tobacco licenses to retailers soon, after the Board of Commissioners agreed to mail applications yesterday. The board approved a tobacco license system last year, but did not approve the specific $580 annual license fee until its Thursday meeting. The first round of licensing is expected to result in 875 licenses, and as The Portland Mercury reports, $507,500 in revenue to fund the program.

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Expanding territory. Uber is continuing to expand its portfolio of services with the announcement of a partnership with WeWork and Portland State University. Uber will offer a program called UberEntrepreneurs, to connect drivers with resources to start a small business. The Portland Business Journal has more.  


Marijuana progress. The legalization of marijuana has proven incredibly lucrative, but with federal regulations still in place, banking for these booming businesses has been an issue. Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley is working with his Washington counterpart, Sen. Patty Murray to provide access to banking services. Merkley announced Thursday an amendment to do so passed as part of the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill. The bill still needs to pass the full Senate and House.

In other marijuana news, Microsoft announced it is joining the pot industry with a software company called Kind Financial. Kind will provide software that allows marijuana retailers to run their businesses, but also verify compliance with regulations. Read more from Business Insider.

Makeup businessRevlon announced Thursday it will purchase competitor Elizabeth Arden for $870 million — cash.  Elizabeth Arden has struggled to escalate its brand in the new marketplace, but Fortune reports Revlon will use its connections at high-end department stores to further its own reach.