Updates

  • Doing Business in Silicon Valley’s Newest Commuter Town

    By on March 9, 2018

    Over the weekend, CNBC told the world what many of us Bendites already knew: there are a lot of Silicon Valley tech refugees living among us. The CNBC story is light on specifics, but it’s hard to disagree with the anecdotal conclusion that Bend is a destination for Silicon Valley types, and likely to become even more popular. What does that mean for the Bend business community?

    The first is a long-term trend that is reducing Bend’s biggest historic hurdle. Since its founding, Bend’s biggest economic, cultural and political challenge (“middle of nowhere”- 1986 gubernatorial candidate Neil Goldschmidt) has been its location far from large population centers. We’re a three-hour drive (with no snow) to Portland, and much farther to Seattle or San Francisco or Boise. We have no ports, we’re not on an interstate highway and the rail connections are few and far between. We’re kind of out here by ourselves, guys.

    The result is that our economy has historically been highly cyclical, dependent upon whichever industry prevailed, be it timber or homebuilding. We were just too far away from everything, and were too small, to have a truly diverse economic base.

    The Internet is helping to change this. With a good Internet connection, it doesn’t matter as much that we’re a three-hour drive over a two-lane snowy highway away from the nearest large-ish metropolitan area. As the CNBC story explains, it’s possible for many folks to participate in their work remotely. Many of us without Silicon Valley ties (myself included) work in Internet-based businesses.

    The end result is that Bend is a more desirable than ever location for information economy workers and business owners. To the degree that diversifies our economy and helps to stave off plummets like those in 2008 and in the early 1980s, this is clearly a good thing.

    But the story is not all positive. If there is indeed a growing pipeline from Silicon Valley to Bend, fueled by our lower housing prices and better quality of life, then that pipeline may itself erode those desirable things. To the degree Bend’s housing market is tied, even remotely, to that in the Bay Area, there will be a significant upward pressure on housing prices at a time when many in Bend are already struggling to afford to live here.

    Therein lies the conundrum for Bend businesses. Silicon Valley (or Seattle tech) transplants who move here undeniably enrich our community and often start businesses of their own here which employ Bend residents. On the other hand, the more popular Bend becomes for transplants from richer cities, the less affordable Bend becomes for workers and business owners already here.

    At the end of the day, as with so many of its problems, this is a good one to have, for Bend. It is a place people want to come and a place where people want to live. There are many cities in the rust belt or even throughout rural Oregon that would love to be dealing with the challenges our success brings.

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  • Bend Entrepreneur Report: January Business Registration Comparison

    By on February 20, 2018

    Entrepreneurs registered 355 new businesses in Bend, Oregon, in January, a 9% increase from January 2017. Bend, which led large cities in Oregon in registrations in 2017, again led the pack for the first month of 2018.

    Bend entrepreneurs continue to register new businesses at a break-neck pace. We will keep an eye on whether that pace continues throughout 2018.

    Each month, EagerLaw carefully analyzes Oregon Secretary of State’s business registration data to prepare the Bend Entrepreneur Report. The Report is released monthly to local media and on the EagerLaw PC Facebook page, where the firm also spotlights local business achievements and provides information of use to Bend businesses.

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  • Bend Entrepreneurs Registered More Businesses per Capita than any Other City in Oregon in 2017

    By on January 10, 2018

    Bend Entrepreneurs Registered More Businesses per Capita than any Other City in Oregon in 2017

    Bend Entrepreneur Report: 2017 Annual Report

    Back in January 2017, we decided to start tracking the number of new Bend businesses registered with the Oregon Secretary of State. We sorted the publicly available data and, on a monthly basis for a year now, we reported our findings in the Bend Entrepreneur Report. What we found over the course of the year was pretty cool.

    Entrepreneurs in Bend Registered More Businesses per Capita than any other City in Oregon

    You know that thing about Bend being an entrepreneurial city? It is. Big time. There was one 2017 business registration in Bend for every 28 residents. In other words, walk down your street and chances are someone and probably multiple someone’s on your street registered a business in 2017.

    The next closest among cities with populations over 30,000 (the numbers get wonky below that population) is Lake Oswego, with one business registration for every 30 residents. Have you been to Lake Oswego? There’s not a lot of workforce residents there, who typically have neither the means nor the inclination to start businesses. Bend is a self-sufficient city, not an elite suburb, with residents of all incomes – and there were more registrations in Bend.

    Portland, which registered the largest total number of businesses but also, by far, the largest population, only registered one business for every 84 residents. The statewide average was a business registration for every 65 residents.

    Business Registrations were Seasonal

    Maybe not surprisingly, entrepreneurs registered more Bend businesses when most folks are working, and not during the summer or the holiday season. The biggest months were March, January, October and May. The slowest were August, November and July.

    In general, registrations were strongest at the beginning of the year and, aside from a big month of October, slower in the latter half of the year.

    Looking Ahead to 2018

    With a year of data under our belts, we’ll be able to compare monthly 2018 data with that from 2017. Will the rapid rate of business registration in Bend continue in 2018? It may be that factors such as a tight labor market and limited commercial and industrial space in Bend force a slowdown in registrations. On the other hand, nationally small business and consumer optimism are high.

    We will release our first Entrepreneur Report of 2018, analyzing January data, in early February. Stay tuned.

     

    Each month, EagerLaw carefully analyzes Oregon Secretary of State’s business registration data to prepare the Bend Entrepreneur Report. The report is released monthly to local media and on the EagerLaw PC Facebook page, where the firm also spotlights local business achievements and provides information of use to Bend businesses.

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  • Bend Entrepreneur Report: Bend Biz Registrations Down 33%

    By on December 13, 2017

    Entrepreneurs registered 216 new businesses in Bend, Oregon, in November, a 33% decrease from October totals. November’s decrease followed a string of big increases in September and October. That’s according to today’s edition of the monthly Bend Entrepreneur Report from Bend business attorneys EagerLaw PC.

    November is the beginning of the holiday season, which probably contributed to this decline.

    Statewide, registrations decreased by 13%. Among bigger cities, Bend had the highest rate of business registrations per 100,000 population. Bend ranked fourth in total registrations in November, behind Portland, Salem and Eugene. Bend retained the title of most registrations by population among large cities.

    I’d expect an uptick in December as business owners form new entities for tax and other year-end purposes.

    Each month, EagerLaw carefully analyzes Oregon Secretary of State’s business registration data to prepare the Bend Entrepreneur Report. The Report is released monthly to local media and on the EagerLaw PC Facebook page, where the firm also spotlights local business achievements and provides information of use to Bend businesses.

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  • Bend Entrepreneur Report: October business registrations up another 24%

    By on November 9, 2017

    Entrepreneurs registered 321 new businesses in Bend, Oregon, in October, a 24% increase from September totals. October’s increase followed a 22% increase in September’s registrations from August’s. That’s according to today’s edition of the monthly Bend Entrepreneur Report from Bend business attorneys EagerLaw PC.

    Economists have said that Bend’s economy is leveling off, but entrepreneurs continue to register new businesses at a rapid clip. We haven’t seen registration numbers this high since March.

    Statewide, registrations increased by 6%. Among bigger cities, Bend had the highest rate of business registrations per 100,000 population. Bend entrepreneurs registered more businesses than those in any other city in Oregon, other than Portland.

    Fall – before the holiday season – is the time to prepare for business success in 2018, and for some people that involves starting a new business.

    Each month, EagerLaw carefully analyzes Oregon Secretary of State’s business registration data to prepare the Bend Entrepreneur Report. The Report is released monthly to local media and on the EagerLaw PC Facebook page, where the firm also spotlights local business achievements and provides information of use to Bend businesses.

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  • Bend Entrepreneur Report: Bend Business Registrations Up Big in September

    By on October 13, 2017

    New Bend business registrations in September increased 22% from August totals; Most monthly registrations since June.

    Entrepreneurs registered 249 businesses in Bend, Oregon, in September, a 22% increase from August totals. More new businesses were registered in Bend in September than in any month since June.

    After a long summer of vacations, smoke and a notable celestial event, Bend entrepreneurs got down to business in September. It’s good to see numbers come back after dragging somewhat during the summer.

    Statewide, registrations increased by a healthy 12%. Bend’s total continues to be double the statewide average, based on population.

    The period of time between Labor Day and Thanksgiving is when lots of business gets done. We hope to see strong October numbers too!

    Each month, EagerLaw carefully analyzes Oregon Secretary of State’s business registration data to prepare the Bend Entrepreneur Report. The Report is released monthly to local media and  at the EagerLaw PC page, where the firm also spotlights local business achievements and provides information of use to Bend businesses.

    Read more