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Bend for Business: Advocacy and resources support a thriving business community

If you have ever pondered starting or expanding your business in Bend, now is an opportune time to make those aspirations real.

Since forming the Bend Economic Development Advisory Board (BEDAB) in 2009, the city has continued to support business growth in Bend by implementing a strategic plan centered on economic development and business advocacy.

The new
The new

BEDAB’s plan assembled a dynamic “Bend for Business” team with Economic Development for Central Oregon, Bend Chamber of Commerce, the Small Business Development Center, Visit Bend and the City of Bend all working  together through one board and several committees to maximize opportunities and contribute to enhancing the success of Bend’s business community.

Through the collective knowledge of all the business organizations at the BEDAB table, the group identified five core industries that Bend is ready to serve: The outdoor industry, aviation and aerospace, technology and software, bioscience and advanced manufacturing.  Coordinated economic development efforts continue to advance with each business support group contributing to lure these industries to town.

Through the “Bend for Business” plan, the city has provided business owners with expanded resources, including having a fulltime business advocate on staff, increased communication and a new website that offers a one-stop portal to access key business organizations and related information.

BEDAB’s advocacy is also helping businesses streamline communication with the city to get answers at key stages of planning and development.

“Business owners are able to get the timely attention of the city when seeking help with critical issues such as zoning, fees or ordinance concerns,” said Erich Schultz, a partner at Compass Commercial Real Estate Services who serves as BEDAB’s Vice Chair.  “BEDAB brings these issues directly before the Bend City Council or to the right department, which provides incredible support to businesses at crucial planning stages.”

The plan appears to be working. In 2014, over 1,200 new businesses registered in the City of Bend — a 20 percent increase over 2013 and a 40 percent increase over 2012.

Visit to learn more about BEDAB’s successes and find information about the business organizations and local resources to help you realize your vision in Bend.

Visit to connect with a broker to help you find the ideal space for your business.