Despite the well-known challenges Bend has faced in seeking to escape from a deep recession after years of sizzling growth, the city is still growing -- and attracting attention on yet another of those "best of" lists, the latest focusing on small towns attractive to business.
New U.S. Census Bureau estimates out this week show Bend grew by 1,170 people in the year ended last July 1, to 77,905 residents. (Redmond also grew, by about 400 residents, to an estimated 26,646 people.)
A few days ago, the American Express OPEN Forum listed what it considers the 10 "Best Small Towns for Business in America."
Actually, the site that says it is "powering small business success" (http://www.openforum.com/articles/best-small-towns-for-business-in-america?cid=em-openf-SBweekly-20120703-01&extlink=em-openf-SBweekly-20120703-01) turned to Jack Shultz, the author of "Boomtown USA" and what it called "the premiere authority in economic development for rural America."
The list is alphabetical, not ranked -- so Bend comes first. The authors note that the city of Bend has "an entire section on their website on why locate a business in Bend."
"They have a step by step guide to starting a business in this city that makes it friendly and easy," the article says.
It says the city Website lists Bend's industries that "include high tech research and software development, craft brewing, recreational equipment, and health care They also highlight their very educated work force," the article says, still referring to the city's Website information.
Others on the list range from two smaller Columbuses -- in Indiana and Mississippi -- to Keene, New Hampshire and Prescott, Arizona. Even Elivs's birthplace, Tupelo, Mississippi, is on the list -- the third city in that state to make the 10-best list.