Business Advocacy

The Business Advocacy Program is designed to provide local business owners, and potential business owners, with a dedicated staff member within City Hall. Current Business Advocate, Ben Hemson, serves as your first point of contact for city related questions, keeps stakeholders in the loop on important developments, and engages members of the business community around relevant city policy or process issues.

Reach out directly with questions, concerns, or feedback:, (541)388-5529 or @BendBizAdvocate.


Bend Economic Development Advisory Board Outlines Themes for Council Goal Setting

Dear Bend Business Owner,

The time for New Year’s resolutions may have passed but the newly seated Bend City Council is in the midst of developing their goals for the next two years. Over the coming months Council will identify areas of focus and develop a work plan to help guide their efforts through the beginning of 2019 (you can see the 2015-17 Council Goals here).

During this goal setting process Council is soliciting input from city boards and commissions along with other community groups. The Bend Economic Development Advisory Board (BEDAB) has worked to develop a list of key topics and themes that they view as providing opportunities for continued economic growth or as hurdles to business expansion in Bend.

These focus areas include:
  • Housing availability and affordability
  • Transportation infrastructure and additional transportation options
  • Urban Growth Boundary implementation and incorporations accompanying public facilities plans
  • Developing or expanding infrastructure (roads, sewers, etc.) to serve employment lands
  • Developing business friendly policies
The BEDAB will present a fully fleshed out version of this list in person at a mid-February special Council meeting. In the meantime, I’m seeking your feedback. Do these priorities align with what you’re seeing as you work to grow your business in town? Do you have experiences you’d like to share? Are there items that are missing?

As always, you can let me know what you think by responding directly to this message or calling me at 541-388-5529. I’ll work to compile your feedback for discussion ahead of BEDAB’s presentation. Feel free to forward this on to colleagues that may want to weigh in as well.

Thank you for doing business in Bend!


Ben Hemson

Business Advocate

City of Bend

(541) 388-5529