Business Advocacy

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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.


Are You Ready for Eclipse Week in Central

Dear Bend Business Owner,

It’s almost here, we’re less than one week away from the Eclipse!

By the time the moon passes between us and the sun at 10:21 a.m. on Monday, August 21st, Central Oregon will have approximately 200,000 extra visitors. You’ve likely come across a number of lists on how to prepare, here’s one more on the most frequently asked questions I’ve heard from businesses in town as we all prepare for what promises to be a busy week.

How many people are coming and when do they get here?
According to surveying and research performed by the Central Oregon Emergency Information Network (COEIN), we can expect roughly 200,000 visitors to the Tri-County area. The out of area arrivals are estimated to pick up tomorrow (Wednesday) with a steady stream of roughly 40,000 additional visitors each day from Thursday through Sunday. The majority of these folks, over 70%, will be leaving the region on Monday and Tuesday.

Click on the image above for an in-depth report on arrival and departure projections.

These numbers could skew higher if cloudy weather in the Willamette Valley or at the Coast prompts people to head east, stay up to date on projections at the COEIN blog, located here.

What will traffic be like?
Most City construction and paving projects throughout town will be on hold for Monday and on limited schedules on other days, the City's weekly traffic report is posted on Fridays and available here. However, with this many people in town you’re likely to experience delays no matter what. Factor in extra time to get around and avoid travel when possible. Monday and Tuesday are likely to be the busiest days for travel in the region.

For an up to date snapshot of traffic on highways statewide check out the Oregon Department of Transportation’s TripCheck page.

Which services will be disrupted?
Barring an unexpected mechanical issue, City utilities have the capacity to meet demand for water and sewer during the week. You can stay up to date on city utilities via the City of Bend eclipse page, located here. Emergency services will have extra staff on hand on peak days, but be aware that they'll be working to respond to the most urgent requests first.

As a business owner you’ll want to be aware of potential broadband or cellular slowdowns and what that could mean for processing credit or debit transactions. If you end up needing to rely on cash, use the cash drops at your bank to ensure you don’t end up keeping more on hand than you’re comfortable with.

Plan ahead for availability of fuel, food, etc. and use this week as a chance to practice your disaster preparedness plans. Fill up with gas ahead of Thursday and have a week’s supply of food on hand.

How can I stay up to date?
The Central Oregon Emergency Information Network blog is a great place to stay in the loop on regional developments throughout the week. Other resources include the City of Bend Eclipse News page and the City Facebook page.

For up to the minute information keep an eye on Twitter: @CityofBend, @BendCityPolice, @BendFireDept, @BendBizAdvocate, and @COEmergencyInfo.

While this week may put a strain on your business and personal life rest assured that Oregon won’t see another total solar eclipse until 2169, we can get through this! If you have key takeaways or feedback during the week let me know by replying to this email. I’ll share your comments in a post-eclipse blog.

Finally, I’m always happy to find the answers to questions you may have as a business owner in town. For the fastest response, especially during this weekend, email me directly at

Thank you for doing business in Bend!


Ben Hemson

Business Advocate

City of Bend

(541) 388-5529