Updates

  • Bend Business Roundup 6-14-19

    By on June 14, 2019

    Happy Friday,

    Here’s some stuff you might like.

    Business: Let’s say you’re a fan of The Bachelor and have this really cool idea for a spinoff show featuring contestants who are all 50+ years old. What do you do? Well, you hand-write a letter to the show to share your idea, that’s what. Except, woops, you send the letter to Mt. Bachelor instead of The Bachelor.

    Law: According to the Bulletin, doctors who wish to see patients at St. Charles are required to sign a code of conduct in which they promise “Not to express public derogatory comments about the quality of care being provided by other physicians, nursing personnel or the Hospital.” Erik Lukens of the Bulletin properly points out that this restriction is at odds with creating a patient-focused culture. Legally, however, I think it’s very, very unlikely that the hospital would ever successfully enforce the policy, for a couple reasons. First, Oregon’s whistleblower protection law protects employees who report real or perceived violations of the law from being punished by their employer. Health care is a highly regulated business and it would not be difficult for a doc to couch the complaint in the context of a violation of the law. Second, the public perception of such punishment, unless the complaint was truly made in bad faith, would look pretty bad for the hospital.

    Politics: The City of Bend is getting ready to ask voters to approve more taxes for transportation. The city hired polling outfit DHM Research to learn more about what registered voters in Bend thought about transportation and congestion. Most people agreed that congestion is a problem. Interestingly, voters strongly preferred increasing street capacity to adding bike lanes:

    Widen roads, add more lanes = 29% support
    Fix intersection bottlenecks = 24%
    Make better road connections = 18%
    Install or improve roundabouts = 16%
    Build new bike or pedestrian paths = 8%
    Don’t know = 6%
    (those results on page 11 of the linked report)

    That’s 87% who preferred adding to street capacity, further evidence that the general population has much different views than the folks who tend to show up at City Council meetings.

    Et cetera:  Our oldest son, Aiden, “graduated” from preschool on Wednesday. “Graduated” is in quotes not because he did that thing where he could walk with his class but didn’t get a real diploma because he hasn’t quite gotten in his makeup work to allow him to pass geometry. No…. he has a late August birthday so he’s going to do a second year of preschool, albeit five days a week rather than three. Anyway, Anna and I were so proud of him for completing the year and during the graduation ceremony he did most everything right from singing with his classmates to walking to the stage to get his diploma. He has really matured in the past year. It wasn’t until after the graduation, at our celebratory lunch at Croutons, that I noticed Aiden had been wearing his shoes on the wrong feet through the whole thing. Such is parenting.

    Your friends can sign up to receive the Bend Business Roundup here. No sales, no spam. Just the weekly email you’ve come to know and love.

    Have a great weekend!

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  • Bend Business Roundup 6-07-19

    By on June 7, 2019

    Happy Friday,

    Here’s some stuff you might like.

    Business: One of the themes of the Bend Business Roundup has been that we’ve been enjoying some of the best economic conditions in Bend’s history in recent years. Rapid growth, almost nonexistent unemployment, lots of opportunity. At some point, the party has to stop, and the Bulletin’s recent Central Oregon Business Index has turned negative for the first time since 2011. That index measures a bunch of indicators of economic activity, like Redmond airport boardings and the amount of garbage deposited at Knott Landfill, to provide a quarterly measure of economic activity in Bend. It’s possible some of this downturn was related to the heavy snow in the first quarter of the year, but it may also be an indication of a broader economic slowdown in Central Oregon.

    Law: Have you been to the M&J Tavern on Greenwood? It’s been at least 10 years since I’ve been, but last I knew the place was a lot more pre-roundabout Bend than post-roundabout Bend. More pool, less cornhole. More denim, less puffy. Anyway, the humble M&J recently found itself in the cross-hairs of the national performing rights organization Broadcast Music, Inc. for allowing artists to play songs the rights to which BMI was tasked to enforce, without paying for that right. Well, the M&J has reached agreement with BMI, under which the tavern will apparently pay a fee, and so now may resume its weekly live music show.

    Politics: The Oregon legislature is considering a bill that would require businesses that emit greenhouse gases to pay a lot of money to the state for the right to cause those emissions. The bill, commonly called “cap and trade” because that sounds more appealing than a “big tax hike” would dramatically increase the cost of gasoline (21 cents a gallon more just in 2021) and natural gas for the purpose of deterring consumers from buying those nefarious substances. The result is $1.3 billion in new revenue (don’t call it a tax though) to the state, and a bunch of new state positions, and higher prices for everyone in Oregon who drives a fossil fuel-powered vehicle or heats their home with natural gas. The upside is that Oregonians will surely be spared the worst effects of climate change because the climate is not global and is notoccupied by polluters in places like China, India and Russia, who are outside the jurisdiction of the Oregon legislature and whose carbon output makes Oregon’s total carbon output a rounding error by comparison. Or something.

    Et cetera:  You probably noticed that yesterday was the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs commemorated the occasion by tweeting that the landing of U.S., British, Canadian and a smattering of other countries’ troops on the French coast was “not a game-changer,” and anyway, the U.S. and U.K. “dragged out opening the second front” for three years. The real heroes were the Soviets, you see. Except that the Soviet Union was, well, ya know, an ally of Nazi Germany until Hitler broke the deal and invaded Russia in 1941. Prior to that time, the USSR stood by while their Nazi allies invaded Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France, heavily bombed the United Kingdom, and invaded Greece and Yugoslavia for good measure. But for Hitler’s insanity, Stalin would presumably have been happy sharing Europe with his fellow genocidal murderer. It was the bravery and sacrifice of the western Allies (the U.S. had not been invaded or even attacked on its territory by Hitler) that helped prevent that, both by beating Hitler, and by standing up to and outlasting Stalin and his successors during the Cold War. Here at BBR, we’ll stick with this account of D-Day.

    Your friends can sign up to receive the Bend Business Roundup here. No sales, no spam. Just the weekly email you’ve come to know and love.

    Have a great weekend!

    Read more
  • Bend Business Roundup 5-31-19

    By on May 31, 2019

    Happy Friday,

    Here’s some stuff you might like.

    Business: Bend, famously among local nerds, recently and finally expanded its Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), which slightly increased the boundaries within which people can develop urban-style housing and employment uses. The first property to be annexed into the city, the next step in the process, will be located in the far western portion of the new UGB. The new development, called Discovery West, will be spearheaded by acclaimed NorthWest Crossing developer Brooks Resources.

    Law: Who owns the seal of the State of Oregon, the people of Oregon or our state government (which, to put things politely, has an expansive view of what it owns or should own)? Well, some legislators want to require anyone using the seal for commercial purposes, for example on blankets, ties, or socks, to pay the state a license fee. Better to leave the seal in the public domain, like the U.S. flag, for the surely dozens of people – all of whom presumably work in the state capitol building – who are in the market for products adorned by the seal of the State of Oregon.

    Politics: Speaking of our state government’s voracious appetite for your stuff,Governor Kate Brown wants to cap taxpayers’ kicker rebate at $1,000. Without that change, higher-income Oregonians would receive significantly larger kicker rebates, because, well, they pay a lot more in taxes under Oregon’s progressive income tax. The kicker is, somewhat quaintly as it turns out, based on the idea that the money Oregonians make is theirs and if the state has more revenue than it planned, we get it back. The Governor’s plan upends this approach, and if approved would destroy one of the only mechanisms (somewhat) limiting the expansion of government and its desperate quest to substitute its spending preferences for our own.

    Et cetera:  It used to be big news when a national publication like the New York Times ran a story about Bend. Not so much any more, but it’s still kind of fun to see an outsider’s perspective on what to do with 36 hours in Bend. Coincidentally, I met one New Yorker the same day this story came out who used part of his time in Bend to stop by my office looking for help with a power of attorney to sell his house back there to move out here.

    Your friends can sign up to receive the Bend Business Roundup here. No sales, no spam. Just the weekly email you’ve come to know and love.

    Have a great weekend!

    Read more
  • Bend Entrepreneur Report

    By on May 30, 2019

    Bend Entrepreneur Report – January – April 2019 

                                                         

     

     

     

     

    Early 2019 Bend Business Registrations up over 2018

    Bend, OR – New business registrations in Bend for the first four months of 2019 outpaced the same period in 2018. January through April 2019 saw entrepreneurs form 1,299 new businesses in Bend. The same period in 2018 resulted in 1,244 new businesses. The 2019 registrations exceeded 2018 for all months except March.

    “Whether it’s the increased population or the city’s now well-established entrepreneurial spirit, Bend grows a lot of businesses,” Bend business attorney Jeff Eager said. “All months from the beginning of 2019 were up over 2018 except March, when most of us were just trying to keep up on snow shoveling this year.”

    EagerLaw PC compiles new Secretary of State new business registrations and issues the monthly Bend Entrepreneur Report.

    The Bend Entrepreneur Report is released monthly. It is a tabulation of the number of new businesses registered in Bend, Oregon with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office.

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  • Bend Business Roundup 5-24-19

    By on May 25, 2019

    Happy Friday,

    Here’s some stuff you might like.

    Business: If you are in the market to buy a newspaper or even five, you’d best hurry. Western Communications, the parent company of the Bend Bulletin, has filed documents in its bankruptcy case indicating that it intends to sell all its newspaper businesses and liquidate the company. According to those filings, the company has met with a number of potential (and, currently, anonymous) buyers. What does this mean? It means that probably someone will buy the Bulletin and keep publishing it, but the buyer may not be local and may severely cut back the Bulletin’s local coverage, as has happened throughout the country. If that’s what happens, this will be really bad for Bend, as the Bulletin is currently the primary (and usually the only) source for reporting about what has to be more than a billion dollars of taxpayer funds managed and occasionally mismanaged by local government in Central Oregon.

    Law: The family of a woman who died in an auto accident occurring on Highway 20 between Bend and Burns received a $26.5 million judgmentagainst the trucking company that employed the driver of the semi truck that struck the car carrying the woman. The facts of this one are pretty nasty. Apparently the drivers for a few semi trucks were driving aggressively toward one another, and at one point one of the semis was prevented by another of the semis from getting out of the lane for oncoming traffic while trying to pass. The woman and her husband (who was suffering from blood cancer) were in the oncoming lane, coming around a corner. He survived; she did not. Truly tragic.

    Politics: All desirable metro areas on the west coast (think Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, LA, San Diego and, yes, Bend) suffer from the same problem: unaffordable housing. Democrats have almost complete political control in those cities and the states they inhabit. Progressives have instituted strict development limits in these cities for, primarily, two reasons: (1) a sincerely held view that the environment is better off if people live in relatively close proximity to each other in cities, rather than in sprawling suburbs; and (2) wealthy progressives, who are ideologically aligned with the ethos of these cities and also, critically, have the money to live there, benefit from higher property values caused by severely limited housing supply. Some progressives who call themselves Yes In My Back Yard (YIMBYs) note that the resulting sky high housing prices, enacted by progressive politicians elected by progressive voters, are contrary to the traditional progressive values of equality and concern for the less fortunate.

    Et cetera:  Redmond’s Ridgeview High School softball team apparently has that sport’s version of baseball’s Randy Johnson. Allicitie Frost threw a no-hitter, striking out 19 (!) batters. Most impressive, only twice did the opposing team’s bats even contact the ball: one a groundout to second and the other a pop out in foul territory. Twice. They only hit the ball twice, during the entire game. Remarkable.

    If you forward this email on to friends or coworkers, thank you! You might also let them know that they can sign up for the Bend Business Roundup here. No sales, no spam. Just the weekly email you’ve come to know and love.

    Have a great weekend!

    Read more
  • Bend Business Roundup 5-17-19

    By on May 17, 2019

    Here’s some stuff you might like.

    Business: Oregon exports a lot of stuff, especially to China. The Trump administration has been increasing tariffs on stuff Americans buy from China, and China has retaliated. This will hurt Oregon industries, especially “hazelnuts and lasers.” Also, Hazelnuts and Lasers sounds like the name for a show aimed at breaking down the divide between boys’ and girls’ cartoon TV programming.

    Law: Many contracts that small business owners deal with commonly, like commercial leases, contain arbitration clauses. Those clauses, which generally obligate the parties to resolve disputes in front of a lawyer acting like a judge rather than in front of a judge, are invariably at the end of a really long and boring contract, and often they don’t get a lot of attention. There are a couple of simple things to pay attention to. First, what organization will conduct the arbitration (American Arbitration Association is national, Arbitration Service of Portland from you know where, and can be a little less expensive); and, second, where the arbitration will take place. You want the arbitration to be held where you are, so you’re not paying your attorney a lot of money to travel somewhere else in the event of a dispute.

    Politics: I promise you one of these weeks we’ll skip complaining about the Oregon legislature, but it’s not this week. As predicted, the legislature passed and the governor signed the $2 billion plus business tax hike. Meanwhile, the state economist reported such a large increase in state revenue that he called it a “seismic event.” Under my personal favorite provision of the Oregon constitution, seismic events like this caused by the state taking more from taxpayers than it expected to, results in an income tax “kicker” going back to taxpayers. (Note: it could also be caused by the state cutting spending or even cutting the growth of spending but, yeah, haha). Anyway, now House Speaker Tina Kotek has introduced a bill that would divert half the kicker to a new bridge in the Portland metro area and zero emissions programs. That’s after the legislature and governor decided to keep $108 million in kicker refund that otherwise would have gone to taxpayers. (But it’s OK! Our leaders in state government know how to keep track of your money and spend it better than you can!)

    Et cetera:  If your Friday needs a two minute video of two guys jumping from the top of a mountain into a moving airplane, I’m your huckleberry.

    If you forward this email to friends, please do us a favor and suggest they sign up for the Bend Business Roundup here. No sales, no spam. Just the weekly email you’ve come to know and love.

    Have a great weekend!

    Read more