Entrepreneur Magazine’s August edition features an article that calls Bend the nation’s next hot spot for entrepreneurship. It’s an interesting piece that touts Bend’s livability and outdoor recreation as draws, but also its highly educated workforce, many of whose members relocate from larger metro areas only to find that their best chance at a good paying job is to start their own business.
The piece includes quotes from Silicon Valley and Seattle area refuges and homegrown success stories like 10 Barrel’s Garret Wales, who helped grow the fledgling Bend brewery into a regional powerhouse. Locally grown Bend Broadband also gets a shout out for helping to set the stage with its early and aggressive expansion of its rural high-speed cable and Internet service that set that stage for some of the region’s now rapidly growing tech start-ups, according to the story.
Interestingly, the story touts the region’s aggressive promotion of business through the use of development incentives. The writer quotes Economic Development for Central Oregon’s (EDCO) Jim Coonan on the importance of the public private partnership. There’s a bit of irony in that Coonan is currently trying to lobby local leaders find a way to keep him from being laid off as a federal grant that has funded his position is soon to expire. Local lender Bank of the Cascades recently pledged $60,000+ toward the extension of Coonan’s employment and Deschutes County is prepared to kick in another $20K. EDCO is asking the city of Bend for another $12,000 to keep Coonan on board.
Read the full Entrepreneur story here.