If you’re on the fence when considering a move to the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and pondering the question, “Why Bend?”, here are some of the advantages to consider:
The cost of doing business in Bend, and in Oregon for that matter, is significantly less than in other states in the PNW. With some of the lowest utility costs and no sales tax, Bend is a great place to start a business.
Because most of our region has been built new in the past two decades, our telecommunications infrastructure is one of the Northwest’s most technologically advanced, meeting business and telecommuting requirements for capacity, redundancy and reliability.
The population growth in Bend and Central Oregon is one of the fastest in the nation. While this can bring certain challenges to the city to manage the growth, it is a boon for businesses in that our local workforce is growing, too. New residents bring new ideas, diverse experiences and new energy to the area.
Up until 1970s, Bend was primarily a logging town where timber was the main industry. When the timber industry dried up, tourism and hospitality took over as the dominant sector. Other sectors, like healthcare and professional services, and scientific and technical services are also very vibrant in Bend. A diverse economy is a more stable economy and is much more resilient to recessions and downturns.
A driving force for Bend’s economic performance is a collaborative and inclusive entrepreneurial community. This is supported via the number of new business registrations, which has outpaced larger cities. Bend registered one new business for every 26 residents in 2018 – nearly twice the state average. The region is large enough to support the resources and access to capital that help new entrepreneurs get started, while still being small enough that those resources are interconnected to support businesses as they grow.
With St. Charles Health System and other specialized medical centers, residents of Bend have many choices to meet their healthcare needs. From sprained ankles out on the hiking trails to cancer treatment, the options in Bend range from the emergency room to specialty clinics to outpatient facilities.
Bend is home to two higher education campuses, Oregon State University-Cascades and Central Oregon Community College. These institutions play a vital role in the workforce development of the area. Students educated locally will tend to stay if they can find employment. Employers benefit from not having to relocate a new hire from outside the region in order to fill a position, thereby saving money.