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Photo of a shopper in downtown Bend, Oregon

Bend Tops Forbes Rankings for Best Small Cities for Business and Jobs

15 min read

Balloons over Bend event at the Old Mill District near downtown Bend, Oregon

Bend is accustomed to being named to multiple “Best of” lists for our outdoor offerings, mountain bike trails, golf courses and craft beer scene. But it’s a relatively new – and most welcome – trend to be honored for our booming business and industry scene.

In fact, in October 2016, Forbes named Bend the Best Small City for Business and Careers, due to continued job growth.

“But the Bend metro has come roaring back with the top job growth rate in the country last year at 6.6%. The five-year annual rate of 3.8% also ranks among the highest in the U.S. Bend companies enjoy business costs that are 22% below the national average and its high share of educated millennials ranks among the top 10% of smaller metros. Add in a strong economic and employment outlook and Bend ranks No. 1—up three spots—on Forbes’ annual look at the Best Small Places for Business and Careers.”

According to the magazine, the areas are ranked on 14 factors related to job growth (past and projected), costs (business and living), income and economic growth, quality of life and the education of the workforce.

It’s a great honor to top such an important list as it helps shed some of the misconceptions that Bend and Central Oregon is just an outdoor recreation and tourism town.

cancer center
The Cancer Center at St. Charles in Bend. The St. Charles Health Care System is the largest employer in the region.

Our partners at EDCO – Economic Development for Central Oregon – work tirelessly to help create a diversified local economy and a strong base of middle-class jobs in Central Oregon. The non-profit works to attract outside employees through the relocation process, mentor and advise scalable young companies from concept to exit on a variety of issues and partner with local trader-sector companies to help them grow and expand.

You can read the entire article here: Bend Tops Forbes List

HydroFlask is a Bend-based company that did $34 million in sales in 2016.
Ted Taylor
Ted Taylor
Ted Taylor manages COVA's digital content, media relations, PR and social media. He's an award-winning reporter and editor who has worked in newspaper and televisions newsrooms in Nebraska, Colorado, Arkansas and Oregon. A former assistant golf professional, Ted still loves to sneak in a quick 9, but you're more likely these days to find him on the mountain bike trails when he's not spending time with his family. He's called Bend home for 17 years.