BEND, Ore. - It's no secret the population in Central Oregon is growing, and new-business growth is booming as well. Entrepreneurs registered 275 new businesses in Bend last month.
That's an increase of 18 percent over July 2017. In fact, each month this year except February and March has seen more business license registrations in Bend than last year.
Ben Hemson, the business advocate for the city of Bend, said Tuesday one reason for the increase is that people are complying more with the licensing rules, but most of it is simply growth.
"We're seeing more and more folks comply with the requirements around the business registration, but we're also just seeing a whole lot of new businesses," Hemson said. "Every day, my phone rings with folks looking to start a business, or move a business to Bend, or expand an existing business, and that's really exciting."
Hemson also said the growth of business is not only keeping up with the population increase -- it could be eclipsing it.
"One of the exciting things about Bend is it's always been a place where people come and start their own business," he said. "Most of our businesses are small -- six or seven people. I think it's safe to say that we are keeping up with the demand, because I hear from folks every day that are looking for employees."
So far in 2018, Bend entrepreneurs have registered 2,139 businesses, vs. 2,066 through July in 2017. The year-over-year trend shows the same thing: There are more new businesses each year in Bend.