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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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Winter is Here! Here's What You Need To Know Before The Snow Starts Falling

by Ben Hemson12/13/2017 11:00 AM
Updated: 12/13/2017


The following letter was included in the regular e-newsletter shared with City of Bend Business Registration holders. Are you a Business Registration holder that would like to receive these in your inbox? Contact to ensure your contact information is correct in our database.  

Dear Bend Business Owner,

Winter is here! So far that’s meant chilly temps and clear skies but it won’t be long before the white stuff starts showing up here in town.

Whether you embrace winter weather or prefer to stay inside dreaming of tropical climates (guilty!), Bend residents, businesses, and city departments all play a role in ensuring folks can get around town when the snow starts falling.

Read on for more information on what you should know, as well as some winter weather resources from various City of Bend departments.

Local Policy Changes
After a record winter, the City of Bend has made some changes to snow removal policy in town. Notably, certain high traffic roads will not allow any on-street parking during declared snow emergencies.

What constitutes a snow emergency? They’ll typically coincide with private contractors being called out to aid City crews. During the declared emergency there will be a 12-hour period of time where parking will be restricted on nine streets in town. You can read more and access the list of streets subject to snow emergency parking restrictions by clicking here.

For a three-minute overview of the policy changes and other updates, check out the video below:

Picture of City of Bend Youtube Video on Snow Removal

The best way to stay up to date on snow emergencies is by signing up for “snow emergency notifications” at If you have signed up for other news notifications, you will need to login and change your preferences to include emergency snow zone notifications. 

Business Owner Responsibilities
As a business owner it’s up to you to clear the sidewalk directly adjacent to your business within six hours of daylight after snow has fallen. However, depending on your business type and location you may also need to consider snow clearance for areas like parking lots and other pedestrian walkways on your property. You can download snow removal best practice diagrams for business corridorsshopping complexes, and hotels or motels on the Code Enforcement page, located here.

If you have a complaint about snow removal you can download the submission form here.If you have a streets related concern during the winter, or any time of year, you can leave a message at 541-317-3000 or fill out the online Citizen Service Request form here.

As always, if you have a question or concern related to this or any other City issue, you can always get in touch via the contact information below.

I hope you have a safe, happy holiday season and thank you for doing business in Bend!


Ben Hemson

Business Advocate

City of Bend

(541) 388-5529

  1. Updated: 07/11/2018


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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