New Bend Business Registrations Down 21%
Each month since we began compiling the Bend Entrepreneur Report back in January of this year, new Bend business registrations have stayed pretty consistent. Between January and March, we never saw more than about a 9% increase or decrease month to month.
That changed with this month’s Bend Entrepreneur Report. Our data showed that new business registrations in Bend dropped off in April by 21%, with 260 new business registrations. Those were the lowest Bend numbers of 2017 to date: In January, new Bend business registrations came in at 325, followed by 297 in February and 328 in March.
Bend Drop Mirrors Statewide Numbers
Interestingly, the 21% dip we saw in Bend in April was mirrored in Portland and in Oregon as a whole. Among Oregon’s most populated cities, new business registrations in Medford and Salem fell off similarly at 19% and 20%, respectively; Hillsboro saw the biggest drop, with 39% fewer new registrations in April than in March.
Bend Business Registrations Still Outpaced Oregon
The news wasn’t all bad in April: Bend’s ratio of new businesses registered per 100,000 people exceeded the state average for the fourth consecutive month, more than doubling the state figure. Bend saw 298.80 new business registrations per 100,000 population in April, while the state averaged just 123.46 per 100,000. Central Oregon seems to remain the place to start a business in Oregon: With the exception of Warm Springs, every city and populated area in Central Oregon exceeded the average Oregon ratio in April.
What’s more, Bend once again saw more new business registrations than any other city in the state, except for Portland. But at 204.01 new business registrations per 100,000 people, Portland significantly trailed Bend’s rate of 298.80.
Overall, the Bend Business Picture Remains Encouraging
Although new Bend business registrations did hit a bit of a slump in April, businesses were still created at a rate higher than everywhere else in the state. It’s encouraging to see that even as Central Oregon registrations fell off, our region continued to outperform the rest of Oregon. This is the first year we’ve tracked this data, so we can’t say for sure whether this is a seasonal change. It may be that entrepreneurs start more businesses at the beginning of the year, and they’ve gotten it out of their systems by April. Plus, April is a shorter month than March—and most people file their taxes in April, leaving less time for starting new ventures.