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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.


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.


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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EDCO Announces Growth & Impact Category Semifinalists for 2018 Bend Venture Conference

by Ben Hemson09/14/2018 12:00 AM
Updated: 09/14/2018

Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) announced the semi-finalist companies to advance in the Growth and Impact Categories for the 15th Annual Bend Venture Conference (BVC) to be held Thursday, October 18 - Friday, October 19, 2018. This group of companies is one step closer to presenting on the historic Tower Theatre stage in Downtown Bend. Last year, companies in the Growth Stage category won prizes ranging from $25,000 to $485,000, while the Impact Category winner walked away with $110,000.

With multiple industries represented (software, cleantech, real estate, consumer products) from across the United States (as far east as New York and as far south as Arizona), the Bend Venture Conference has become a truly national competition.

 In alphabetical order, the 10 Growth Stage semi-finalists that will compete to make it through the next round of cuts are: 

  1. BAKERpedia (Portland, Ore.) – An encyclopedia built for industrial bakers that helps to make informed decisions on formulations and processes.
  2. Caligoo (Bend, Ore.) – A mobile customer journey software platform providing predictive and personalized experiences that sense, learn, reason, and react in real-time to target customers and reach applications goals.
  3. CommLoan, Inc. (Scottsdale, AZ) – A commercial real estate finance marketplace reducing the cost and time it takes to secure a commercial real estate loan.
  4. krowdsourced, LLC (Portland, Ore.) – Modernizes architectural material sourcing by centralizing samples and information for firms seeking a better way of selecting products.
  5. Liquid Wire (Beaverton, Ore.) – Allows electronics to be worn on a range of fabrics by printing them with MetalGel, enabling circuits to stretch.
  6. Stabilitas (Seattle, WA) – An AI engine designed for security teams that allows us to do the work of 1,000 human analysts in real-time.
  7. Tali (Portland, Ore.) – A voice-driven, hands-free productivity assistant powered by artificial intelligence, helping organizations become more productive and profitable.
  8. Talkoot, Inc. (Hood River, Ore) – An intuitive, cloud-based tool that helps teams create high volumes of product copy.
  9. TransformativeMed (Seattle, Wash.) – Develops SaaS apps enabling physicians and nurses to deliver better patient care by making hospital medical records intuitive and easy to use.
  10. Walker Tracker, Inc. (Portland, Ore.) – Works to build wellness into organizational culture, making healthy behaviors fun and accessible to everyone.

 In alphabetical order, the 6 Impact Stage semi-finalists that will compete to make it through the next round of cuts are:

  1. AlgoteK (Eugene, Ore.) – Creates 100% biodegradable safe plastic replacement material from algae which can be used as single-use plastics or take-home boxes from restaurants.
  2. Allmade Apparel (Portland, Ore.) – Sustainable apparel with ethically-sourced screen-printing options.
  3. Asarasi, Inc. (Katonah, NY) – Certified USDA organic plant-based water sourced from maple trees without compromising the groundwater table.
  4. Dweller, Inc. (Portland, Ore.) – Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) built using modular construction and an innovative ownership structure to reduce the cost of housing in dense cities.
  5. OCO Corporation (Vida, Ore.) – Converts carbon dioxide generated by industrial and fossil fuel burning power plants into a value-added platform chemical, formic acid.
  6. ROTBLOC (Bend, Ore.) – A sustainable post wrap for wood trellis systems and ranch fencing that lengthens post life while preventing ground line rot.

 Hosted by Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), this year’s BVC will once again feature three competition categories: Growth Stage, Early Stage and Impact. The BVC finalists presenting at the conference will be announced in early October.

 Ticket Sales
Tickets to the 15th Annual Bend Venture Conference are on sale now and are available here.

About Bend Venture Conference (BVC)
Now in its 15th year, BVC, hosted by EDCO, is one of the largest angel conferences in the country. Over the past four years, more than $7.8 million has been invested in 34 companies as a result of the conference. This year, over 600 entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders are expected to attend the multi-day conference on October 18-19, in Bend, Oregon. For more information, visit

About Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO)
EDCO is a non-profit corporation supported by private and public members and stakeholders, whose mission is to create middle-class jobs in Central Oregon by: recruiting new employers to move to the region; helping entrepreneurs start new, scalable businesses; and working with businesses that are already here to grow their operations. For more information, visit


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.


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.

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.


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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