Is Lifestyle Part of Your Business Plan? It Should Be!

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Nestled in the mountainous high desert of Central Oregon, Bend is known for scenic beauty, limitless outdoor recreation opportunities, and great beer. This reputation has helped the city climb to the top of numerous “Best Places to Live” rankings in publications ranging from Outside, to Men’s Journal, to Sunset.

Bend isn’t just a great place to live, it’s also a world class place to do business. Forbes recently named Bend the best small city in the country for business and careers, citing a local cost of doing business that’s 22% below the national average plus a fast growing and diversifying local economy.

Sound intriguing? Read on for more on available incentives, economic data, and what local business leaders have to say about living and working in Bend.

Local Events:

If you’re looking to develop local connections, you’re in luck! There’s something going on in Bend just about every night of the week from festivals, to PubTalks, to the largest venture conference in the Pacific Northwest.

Whether you’re just visiting or lucky enough to call Bend home, you can find an up to date overview of business and community events on the calendars of the Bend Chamber of Commerce, EDCO, and Visit Bend.

Economic and Business Data:

For local labor and employment data the Oregon Employment Department is the clearinghouse for all of Bend's and Central Oregon's workforce data. You’ll find their Bend and Deschutes County data here.

The City of Bend releases a quarterly report of active business registrants, click here to access the most recent edition. While Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) provides a regionally focused breakdown of relevant data on their Info Hub.

If you’re looking for national level economic data, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis are both good starting points.

Feeling overwhelmed? The Deschutes Public Library’s “Book a Librarian” program is a free service for county residents that provides one on one instruction on how to access the library’s suite of publicly available and subscription only data and research tools. Click here for more information and to make an appointment.

Incentive and Finance Programs:

The City of Bend supports and facilitates creation and expansion of all business -- large and small -- if you have any questions, contact Ben Hemson, the City's Business Advocate, or call 541-388-5529.

The City has adopted an Enterprise Zone that covers the majority of the City’s industrial and light industrial zones. This zone provides specific tax abatements for new equipment and new construction projects within such zones. For information on the program contact EDCO at 541-388-3236.

Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) offers flexible loan programs for start-ups or growing businesses.  COIC loans can finance real estate, equipment, or working capital, usually in partnership with a bank lender. In some cases, COIC can finance the entire project, while the bank retains the customer relationship. Check them out or call COIC at 541-548-8163. 

Traded sector companies may be eligible for specific incentives to aid in expansion or relocation. For additional information contact EDCO at 541-388-3236

Business Oregon offers a number of statewide incentives, click here for more information on their programs.

See What Others Are Saying:

"Beer, Bio, Rec & Tech" is how one local refers to our business community and lifestyle.  Although not inclusive of all of the business activity, it does fit in well with the work hard, play hard philosophy.

But don't take our word for it – see what local business leaders have to say about operating a business here in Bend: