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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 Bruce Barrett & Tom Counos

by Ben Hemson08/01/2018 12:00 AM
Updated: 08/16/2018

The Central Oregon Chapter of SCORE provides no-cost mentoring with experienced former business owners and executives. No matter whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned entrepreneur there’s a SCORE mentor for you.

Here’s the latest spotlight on SCORE’s mentors from Tim Conlon. You can always find more information at

Bruce Barrett-SCORE MentorBruce Barrett is Chair, SCORE-Central Oregon Marketing Committee, and a seasoned mentor with the nonprofit for over 5 years.  He served as Chair of the chapter and is a Director with Redmond Economic Development, Inc. (REDI)

He is a commercial real estate broker with Windermere/Central Oregon.  His experience includes 15 years in business consulting focused on strategic planning, business and marketing plans.  He has been a CEO for a manufacturing company in the advertising specialties industry.

Bruce oversees SCORE’s marketing program, including partnering with the City of Bend, city of Redmond and Deschutes County which is experiencing creation and expansion of small businesses and entrepreneurs.  Year to date SCORE-Central Oregon has seen an increase of 23% in services provided. 

Bruce adds, “As a Central Oregonian I care about our economic future; and if I help small businesses succeed, I believe that helps to affirm why we choose to live here.”

Tom Counos-SCORE MentorTom Counos is Co-Vice Chair, SCORE-Central Oregon and Co-Chair of its Client Referral Committee.  His business and civic service roots are deep in Bend, having been in the Rotary Club since 1984 and in the Greater Bend Rotary Club for five years.  

He shares the critical job within SCORE of matching clients with mentors for free counsel.  Tom advises his co-mentors to enlist colleagues to enrich the counseling sessions.  Tom says, “SCORE’s competency is in giving a small business person the best advice within our resources.”

He has forty-five years experience with small business operations employing less than ten people. Tom’s management expertise has been in the automotive service and repair industry. Responsibilities included managing operations, along with marketing, human resources, and inventory control. 

Educated with a major in accounting, Tom achieved a profit for every year in business. He further built a new business site so has knowledge in dealing with banks, permitting authorities and contractors. 

As Bend grows with more small business entities, Tom is the Chapter’s specialist in successful small business operations and guiding the Chapter from Bend’s traditional business base to the exploding diversification now occurring.                               

More from SCORE:

  • Looking to connect in person? SCORE hosts brief walk-in consultations at the Downtown Bend Library on most Tuesdays from 5:30-7:30 pm. Sign up at the desk on the second floor for a 25 minutes meeting. You can find the Library Event Calendar here.

  1. Updated: 08/16/2018
  2. Updated: 08/02/2018


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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