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

The City of Bend is an eager participant in fostering a diverse and growing local economy with our partner business support organizations.


WHY BEND? DOING BUSINESS IN BEND BUSINESS NEWS (BLOG)
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS DATA RESOURCES BUSINESS ADVOCACY

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.


WHY BEND?

Outside Magazine Best Towns cover.

Bend isn’t just a great place to live, it’s also a world-class place to work and do business. Bend’s proximity to skiing, mountain biking, state parks, and numerous other outdoor activities mean the City is featured frequently on lists of best places to live in the US. Notable recent spotlights from Outside Magazine and Money Magazine have highlighted the area’s recreational and business opportunities.

As the economy has grown, large local employers like St. Charles Medical Center, Les Schwab Tires, Deschutes Brewery and Bend Research, have been joined by budding industry clusters in tech, bioscience, outdoor products, and specialty foods.

This diversifying economy and presence of a four-year university campus, OSU-Cascades, helped Bend to the top spot in the Milken Institute’s 2016 rankings for Best Performing Small Cities. Forbes echoed that sentiment, citing the region’s economic growth in naming Bend the 2016  “Best Small City for Business and Careers.


DOING BUSINESS IN BEND

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 bendoregon.gov/businessregistration.

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 bhemson@bendoregon.gov.


BUSINESS NEWS BLOG

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Bend Economic Development Advisory Board Weighs in on UGB Next Steps

BH
by Ben Hemson04/06/2018 12:00 PM
Updated: 04/10/2018

The Bend Economic Development Advisory Board (BEDAB) is tasked with providing the Bend City Council with feedback on topics relevant to the business community and economic vitality within the City. For the past few weeks a key issue citywide has been how the implementation of the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) will take place, which areas will be annexed first, and which measures will be used to aid in development or extension of city infrastructure.

Councilors and staff reviewed the areas highlighted in red on this map. The other expansion areas are handling their planning and annexation requirements independently as they're owned by a small number of large landholders, reducing complexity.

After Council held a four-hour work session on March 21st to review recommendations on moving forward, they requested community feedback in-person at their April 4th meeting and in writing ahead of their next discussion on the topic at their April 18th.

For more background on the discussion and public comment session:

On Wednesday, April 4th the BEDAB submitted a letter detailing feedback that the group agreed to at their meeting on Monday, April 2nd. If you’d like to respond to the BEDAB’s points, you can message bendforbusiness@bendoregon.gov, all feedback will be shared with committee members ahead of their next meeting on Monday, May 7th.

Here are the four key recommendations the BEDAB shared:

  1. The BEDAB supports the blended recommendation to move forward on area planning for The Elbow while creating a new urban renewal district within portions of The Core; notably the Bend Central District and KorePine sites but not the Central Westside.

  2. While work is progressing on The Elbow, BEDAB is supportive of pursuing “soft-focus” efforts to identify and work on area-planning for the next expansion area. The Northeast Corner’s potential for new housing and ongoing sewer infrastructure development make it a likely candidate for the next area to review.

  3. Council should commit to an implementation schedule for each of the expansion areas and share it publicly as a means of developing certainty for property owners and developers.

  4. Annexation of each expansion area comes with an associated fee paid to the City’s General Fund. Council should allocate some portion of this fee toward the long range planning efforts necessary to ensure continued implementation of the UGB.

Council will take up the discussion again at their meeting on April 18th but you can still weigh in on the conversation, no matter where you stand on the topic, by emailing Councilors via Council@bendoregon.gov.

You can always catch Council agendas and meeting livestreams once available by clicking here.

  1. Updated: 04/10/2018

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS

The City of Bend works with numerous agencies and local organizations to provide businesses with the right resources and opportunities for assistance. The four organizations listed below provide assistance to businesses ranging from startups to established industries.

Bend Chamber of Commerce Logo.

Bend Chamber of Commerce

When it comes to business in Bend, no organization has been looking out for the best interest of this community longer than the Bend Chamber of Commerce. Since 1926 the Bend Chamber has worked to support its mission to be a vital strategic partner creating resources and opportunities for member success, quality of life, engagement and meaningful impact.

From traditional Ribbon Cuttings to newer and more progressive programs such as “What’s Brewing" and Young Professionals Network, the Bend Chamber provides the tools and the resources Bend businesses, visitors, relocators, and the community at large need to succeed.

EDCO Logo.

Economic Development for Central Oregon

Founded in 1981, EDCO is a non-profit corporation supported by private and public members and stakeholders. Our mission is to create a diversified local economy and a strong base of middle class jobs in Central Oregon. To do this, we focus on helping companies do the following:

  • Move. We attract and guide outside employers through the relocation process as a resource for regional data, incentives, talent, site selection and more.
  • Start. We mentor and advise scalable young companies from concept to exit on issues such as access to capital, critical expertise, and strategy.
  • Grow. We partner with local traded-sector companies to help them grow and expand.
SBDC Logo.

Small Business Development Center

Are you a business owner or aspiring entrepreneur? Get management and technical assistance from COCC's Small Business Development Center. Take a practical workshop or request no-cost, one-to-one business advising. Our mission is to have a positive impact on the growth and sustainability of your Central Oregon business.

Visit Bend Logo.

Visit Bend

The Bend City Council created, empowered, and funded Visit Bend (formerly the Bend Visitor & Convention Bureau) to develop and build Bend's tourism industry. Visit Bend is an economic development organization whose primary function is to create an effective mix of marketing, sales, and service programs, which are designed to produce a positive economic impact of visitor and convention spending in Bend.


DATA RESOURCES

Snapshot of local economy (population, jobs, industries) 

If you’re a seasoned number cruncher you can access a suite of local and regional economic data via the links below. Need some extra help? Check out the Deschutes Public Library’s “Book a Librarian” service:

Oregon Employment Department: The Oregon Employment Department's Workforce and Economic Research Division provides accurate, reliable, and timely information about Oregon's state and local labor markets.

The Employment Department’s Regional Economist, Damon Runberg, produces frequent reports on labor trends in Bend, Deschutes County, and the East Cascade Region; available here.

Oregon Office of Economic Analysis: The Office of Economic Analysis (OEA) provides objective forecasts of the state's economy, revenue, population, corrections population, and Youth Authority population. These forecasts are used by the Governor, the Legislature, state agencies, and the public to achieve their goals.

http://www.oregon.gov/das/oea/

Book a librarian: If you need help getting a handle on data that you can use to help your business flourish, take advantage of the Deschutes County Public Library’s “Book a Librarian” service. County residents are eligible for a no cost one-on-one session with a professional librarian to review publicly available and subscription only data resources

Quarterly Business Registration List: Access a list of active Bend Business Registration holders, updated quarterly.


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: bhemson@bendoregon.gov, (541)388-5529 or @BendBizAdvocate.

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