Mapping Bend's Economic Development Future
The Bend Economic Development Advisory Board's (BEDAB) three year strategic plan guides the work of the City board charged with advising the Bend City Council on business and economic development issues.
City code requires the BEDAB to create a three-year strategic plan, identifying projects and guiding the work of the city’s nine-member board as it seeks to:
- Advocate: Provide input into City policy and procedures from a private sector perspective.
- Facilitate: Broker entrepreneurial support among existing community resources.
- Market: Brand and guide marketing efforts of Bend as “Open for Business.”
- Coordinate: Organize and oversee City resources applied to economic development.
This plan also provides strategic direction for the City of Bend’s Economic Development Department. Policy direction for City of Bend staff and committees comes from the Bend City Council, who create their own goals every two-years (available here).
Both the 2019-21 BEDAB Strategic Plan and the Bend City Council goals share a focus on land supply, housing availability, and infrastructure development.
The BEDAB drafted the plan over the final six months of 2018: BEDAB members heard from the regional economist, Damon Runberg, and hosted a round-table session with business stakeholders focused on three key economic development areas of focus:
- Interaction between businesses and the City of Bend
- Land supply
- Workforce availability and development
These planning and information sessions resulted in a final plan, approved in February 2019. This plan identifies actionable goals based on three principles, you can view each goal and objective in more detail below:
- Improve two-way communication with the 7,000 registered businesses in Bend, soliciting feedback via an annual business satisfaction survey
- Host three open listening sessions annually for businesses to share feedback and concerns with the BEDAB
- Turn business feedback from the annual survey and listening sessions into at least four policy recommendations for consideration by the Bend City Council each year, 75% of which will be implemented
- Increase the reach and engagement of the Business Registration Newsletter—growing the mailing list by 20% while increasing average open rate to 31%, and average click-through rate to 3.5%
- Look at opportunities for frictionless permitting; work with Community Development Department staff to scope out the potential for a permitting “Express Lane” following the launch of an updated permitting system in the Fall of 2019
- Increase the availability of childcare by 500 slots in Bend, identifying at least one new policy to incentivize expansion of childcare services
- and tracking the impact of the recently adopted two-year Transportation SDC reduction for childcare
- Connect businesses to workforce development opportunities through the addition of an East Cascades Works ex-officio seat on BEDAB. Leverage this coordination into 20 new Bend businesses participating in ECW programs
- Support policy that results in additional housing units
- Pursue objectives detailed in Goal 3 that increase funding for infrastructure
Work with relevant City departments to develop and distribute a quarterly report detailing buildable land inventory, absorption rates, and other relevant metrics concerning land supply
Ensure the Juniper Ridge Management Board meets the benchmarks set forth by the Juniper Ridge Working Group, completing a framework plan and an implementation plan for Juniper Ridge by 2021.
Survey a sample of property development and production builders operating in Bend twice annually to determine developer confidence and identify looming concerns around land supply or other development barriers. Share aggregated results with interested businesses
Support policy that allocates funding for critical infrastructure investment
BEDAB members receive updates on progress and identify next steps at their monthly meetings. You can find BEDAB meeting agendas and materials here.