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Birdseye panorama of the innovation district in Bend during the fall.

Fostering a diverse and growing local economy.



Bend businesses range from startups to long-established companies. Together they’ve helped lead Central Oregon from the depths of an historic recession to among the fastest growing economies in the country in 2016. The region's vibrant economy is service by city staff and local organizations committed to economic development.


The City of Bend requires that all businesses located in the City or doing business within City limits hold a valid Business Registration. This $50 fee is renewed annually; businesses can apply or renew online at

Depending upon your plans in Bend there may be other requirements. The City’s Planning Department has developed a brief guide providing answers to common questions and identifying city processes relevant to the business community. You can download the guide here.  

When it comes to city policy, the business community has a direct line to the City Council via the Bend Economic Development Advisory Board (BEDAB). The Council chartered 13-member board consists of nine representatives from Bend's major industry and 4 staff members from the city's primary economic development partners. Access the committee roster and meeting materials here.   

If you have any questions about doing business in Bend, contact Ben Hemson, Business Advocate at (541) 388-5529 or


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Get to Know SCORE Mentors John Harris & Ed Weiser

by Ben Hemson03/02/2018 10:00 AM
Updated: 03/02/2018

 The Central Oregon Chapter of SCORE offers no or low-cost mentoring services to budding and established entrepreneurs throughout the region.

Read on to learn more about two of SCORE’s 17 certified mentors.  John Harris and Ed Weiser. If you’d like to get in touch with John or Ed, or learn more about the services SCORE offers, visit

John Harris-SCORE Chair 2018John Harris is Chairperson of the SCORE Central Oregon Chapter, and a certified Mentor.

John brings to his mentoring 48 years of operating a chain of retail stores in the Northwest carrying a wide variety of hardlines, clothing, food and drugs.  As CEO, John performed and managed all aspects of retail, including buying, merchandising, marketing, warehousing, trucking, importing, as well as experience in human resources, executive decision-making and commercial real estate and construction. 

Ed Weiser is past Chairperson of SCORE-CO and a certified Mentor for four years. Ed has 32 years of senior management experience; and most recently served as Principal Consultant, Retail Solutions/Director, Product Marketing for Motorola Solutions/Symbol Technologies.

In that consulting and directing position Ed engaged with over 200 leading companies in grocery, hard goods, soft goods, chain drug, department stores, consumer electronics, super centers, and hospitality. 

For almost 20 years Ed held senior management positions with Albertsons, including Vice President, IS & T Process Engineering.

Besides SCORE mentoring, Ed volunteers in Deschutes County Search And Rescue: Ground Searcher, Medical Team, Air Operations, Instructor.


SCORE-CO is a chapter of the national SCORE Association funded by the Small Business Administration.   SCORE is the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters.

You can find success stories and more information on the services SCORE offers at


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.

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