About Us

The Outdoor Playground Of The West

The Downtown Bend Business Association

The nonprofit organization was formed in 1982 and serves over 325 businesses and 85 property owners in Downtown Bend. 

Our mission is to improve the economic vitality by enhancing the experience, image and lifestyle of Downtown Bend.


-Rod Porsche, Executive Director
-Mindy Aisling, Community Relations
-Marc Stevens, Operations Manager

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FAQ's About The Downtown Bend Business Association

  • What does the Association do?

    The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) formed in 1982 as a local nonprofit that serves over 325 businesses & 85 property owners in the downtown district.  Our mission is to improve the economic vitality by enhancing the experience, image, and lifestyle of Downtown Bend.    The DBBA is funded primarily by the Economic Improvement District (EID) created in May of 2012 by City of Bend ordinance to improve and maintain downtown. The EID was approved by vote of the 96% of the property owners who elected to annually assess themselves 18 cents per square foot of commercial space. In May of 2015, the EID passed again this time with 100% approval at the same rate of 18 cents. This year, the EID renewal as moved to 25 cents in order to accommodate our recent growth and future developments.
    Our downtown area has an important and unique role in the economic and social development of our city.  Our downtown creates a critical mass of activities where commercial, cultural, and civic pursuits are concentrated. This concentration facilitates business, learning, and cultural exchange.
     
    We believe in creating a space where all people are welcome, where dreams can be pursued, and where memorable moments can be made.  A healthy downtown is key to a strong community.  
    Bend Oktoberfest

    Chicken Dance at Bend Oktoberfest, where 100% of the funds go to Downtown Bend beautification & development.

     
    We believe that our Downtown district is the beating heart of our community.  It is where our citizens can come to create memorable moments, learn something new, or experience their connection to our past.  Healthy Downtown's create thriving cities, and our mission is to increase the vitality of our Downtown, supporting our diverse community members and our City at large.

     The DBBA responsibilities include but are not limited to:
    • Funding and maintenance of 100 flower baskets and 50 planters.

      The DBBA staff watering flower baskets in Downtown Bend.

    • Snow removal - 42 inch wide clear path of Downtown sidewalks and crosswalks for employees, visitors and customers to get around safely.

      DBBA staff clearing sidewalks of snow, Winter 2017

    • Daily sidewalk cleaning, sweeping, and debris removal. We now have a person cleaning earlier in the morning (by 7am) every single day of the year to make sure Downtown looks its best.
    • Create the Downtown Bend Holiday experience, through events such as the Community Tree Lighting, Shop Small Saturday, and free visits with Santa.  We also provide tree lights, decorations, snowflakes, and wreaths.
    • Banner installation and maintenance, as well as maintaining and reconditioning benches, trash receptacles and bike racks as needed.
    • Marketing Downtown to promote business, including working with organizations like the City of Bend, Bend Chamber, Visit Bend, Old Mill, Central Oregon Visitors, Here & Now, Bend Bulletin, KTVZ and The Source.  We also coordinate with visiting groups and tours to provide welcome bags to incentivize their spending time and money Downtown.
    • Event production: Bend Oktoberfest, by far our largest fundraising event, is now in its 13th year, drawing 12,000 attendees in 2016. It underwent a complete rebrand with expanded merchandise opportunities.  This event connects us with over 20 different sponsor businesses including 11 local breweries each year. Other events we produce to draw customers include: Monthly First Friday Art Walks, Sidewalk Sale, Shop Small Saturday, Holiday Tree Lighting Event, Visits with Santa and Ladies Night.
    • Promote Downtown events such as Bite of Bend, Summer Fest, Fall Fest, Cascade Cycling Classic Criterium, 4th of July Pet Parade, Veterans Parade and Christmas Parade.
    • Marketing each individual business, including online business portfolios on our website, featured news stories, and social media support.
    • We maintain the Downtown Dollar Gift Certificate program.  Last year, over $76,000 dollars in Downtown Dollars were purchased through DBBA and other agencies, including Visit Bend.  Downtown Dollars are accepted at over 150 Downtown Businesses, and they encourages local spending.
    • Small Business Advocacy on larger community issues, working closely with City of Bend officials and Bend Police Department. (parking, garbage, transients, bike lanes)
    • Continued expansion, growth, and vision for Downtown Bend.  Partners include: City of Bend, Commute Options, Bend 2030, Marketing Partners and businesses beyond our current EID.
    • We produce Newsletters, brochures, maps and directories for Downtown Bend.
    The vast majority of DBBA funding comes from this EID.  Additional funding is derived from grants, sponsorships, marketing partnerships, and fundraisers like our annual Bend Oktoberfest. The Board of Directors oversees staff and makes policy decisions that determine the direction of the EID and the DBBA. The Board, comprised of property and business owners, holds monthly meetings on the second Wednesday of the month. Looking ahead 2018-2021
    • Increased heavy-duty sidewalk cleaning
      • In partnership with City, the DBBA will provide high-pressure cleaning for sidewalks within the EID, creating a cleaning Downtown experience
    • Expand Downtown community events and projects to reach all members of our community
      • This includes more family-friendly events (like our new Trick-or-Treating and Springtime events), more fundraising events (like our Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl), an improved First Friday Art Walk, new public art projects, building the "Holiday Lane" concept, and more!
    • Spearhead the “Bend Cares” awareness campaign
      • Including a new website, street signs, banners and posters all designed to educate our community members and visitors how to give to those in our community experiencing homelessness to optimize their care and keep them off the streets.
    • Increase Downtown Security
      • Including Downtown security officer(s), increased lighting, and cameras (pending successful pilot project)
    • Streetscape Improvements
      • Ideas include, but are not limited to; Upgraded directories, Drinking fountains for furry friends (and their people), Partnership on possible streetscape expansion
    • Greater Marketing Reach
      • Ideas include, but are not limited to; Billboard advertising (both locally & Portland metro), kiosk advertising at Redmond Airport, co-op marketing with like-businesses in Downtown, rolling out Downtown rebranding, and more.
    • Proactively seek outside grants, and develop a community fundraising campaign
      • Allowing us to further develop and preserve our Downtown to ensure its continued vitality.

    General meetings are typically held quarterly. Call the office for information. The DBBA welcomes input and encourages anyone who is invested in downtown to come to a meeting. We want as many voices as possible at the table as we all work together to keep downtown vibrant!

  • Who oversees staff?

    Downtown Bend Business Association

    Board of Directors

    The Board of Directors is comprised of business and property owners interested in improving Downtown Bend. Board members positions are elected annually and each member serves a two year term.

    The Board of Directors oversees staff and makes policy decisions that determine the direction of the Economic Improvement District and the DBBA. The Board holds monthly meetings on the first Wednesdays of the month. Interested parties can contact the office to obtain the location and time of the next meeting.

    As per the bylaws, the Board must have 35% property owner representation.

    Current Board Members are: Ex-Officio Board Members include: Board Meeting Minutes are available on request. Please email us through the contact link page.
  • Are there meetings?

    We hold regular mixers and events for business networking. The DBBA welcomes input and encourages anyone who is invested in downtown to come to a meeting. We want as many voices as possible at the table as we all work together to keep downtown vibrant! Watch this website for meeting announcements.
  • Are there reports on the downtown efforts?

  • How is the Association funded?

    The EID is proceeding through a scope of work over a three year period to beautify and maintain the Downtown area and enhance existing City services. The EID funding has been helping leverage other funds secured by the Downtown Bend Business Association from the City of Bend and other event revenues.

    The EID area is defined by: Brooks Street to the west, Louisiana Avenue to the south, Lava Road & Harriman Street to the east & Greenwood Avenue to the north.

    Improvements will include, but will not be limited to:

    • -Flower baskets-every block-spring, summer and fall
    • -Beautified planters-every block-year around
    • -Sidewalk snow removal-clear path for customers-District wide
    • -Sidewalk sweeping and debris removal-year around
    • -Graffiti removal-on public right of way-year around
    • -Tree lights
    • -Holiday Wreaths
    • -Banners
    • -Benches
    • -Trash receptacles-recondition
    • -Marketing downtown to promote business
    • -Events-to draw customers-Monthly Art Walks, Bi-annual Art Hops, Sidewalk Sale, Holiday Tree Lighting
    • -Advertising-to draw customers downtown-radio, tv, print, web and other outlets

    Beautification projects and services will be provided equally throughout the District area with every block receiving flowers, every tree with electrical service receiving lights, etc. Maintenance will be performed throughout the entire District area. Capital improvements will be phased in over the life of the District in a geographically equitable manner.

    Marketing efforts including events and advertising will be executed to obtain the maximum exposure and benefit for all downtown businesses. These efforts will keep downtown a central gathering place for the community, keep it vibrant and stimulate economic improvement.

    The District will be managed by the Executive Director of the DBBA for 40 hours per week paid from District revenues.

    The tasks of the Executive Director shall include, but not be limited to:

    • -Organize and oversee Committees that will help direct the economic improvement projects (beautification etc.)
    • -Research contractors for projects and operate RFP processes to find best candidates
    • -Oversee and manage contractors from concept to completion
    • -Develop quarterly reports to property and business owners on District progress
    • -Coordinate resources with the City of Bend to ensure there is maximum leveraging of funding
    • -Report regular progress in newsletter to all downtown stakeholders
    • -Organize and coordinate monthly Board Meetings to report on District progress
    • -Oversee all fiscal District activities including budgeting and accounts payable and receivable
    • -Act as a liaison between property and business owners and the City of Bend and others
    • -Organize regular General Meetings to get information out to all stakeholders
    • -Meet regularly with property and business owners one on one to address issues
    • -Develop, negotiate, administrate all contracts and interact with all vendors
    • -Ensure execution of the Scope of Work
    • -Interact with City of Bend Finance Department to ensure accurate accounting of District funding
    • -Work with property owners to ensure accurate assessment of square footage
    • -Create and execute marketing, events and advertising
  • What are the boundaries of Downtown Bend?

    The Downtown Bend Economic Improvement District is bounded by the intersection of Wall and Bond Streets to the north, Lava Road and Harriman Street to the east, Louisianna Avenue to the south and Brooks Street to the west.