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