The Commons Cafe and Taproom, located in the historic Rademacher House built in 1904, has a rich history as a space that has always served Bend in positive ways.
A few years ago, The Commons Cafe and Taproom moved into the house and took over management of the adjoining plaza. This space was transformed by providing positive programming, clear expectations & boundaries for the use of the space, cleaning & beautification, and a place for our community to gather, laugh, learn and enjoy each other.
The Commons is key to the health and well-being of Downtown Bend. It provides a space for storytelling, live music, art - and so much more. So many of the values that we hold dear, the bands that we love, the artists we admire - are supported by this business.
Please consider giving back to The Commons and assuring that they continue to be a cornerstone of our community for years to come. Thank you.
A message from the Owners....
We help build community in Bend, now we need support from our community!
In a typical year, right now we would be in the thick of prepping for this season's APRES SKI BASH winter concert series, lining up First Friday musicians and artists to party with, setting a schedule with The Whippoorwill for incredible intimate listening experiences, confirming private holiday parties, and of course hosting the best weekly open mic in town with Bill Powers.
These events, most of which are free and open to the public, help us navigate the slower winter months financially and keep us afloat until spring. Not being able to host any events of any kind since February of 2020 has left us in a very fragile position, and as hard as it is to admit it, we need your help.
We understand everyone has faced challenges over the past months, and there are few that the pandemic hasn't impacted negatively in some way. The heart and soul of our business, bringing people together and building community, has indeed been ripped out over the last few months and along with that the financial windfall of hosting all these events and gatherings.
We are asking you to consider how many $5 beverages you think you would have purchased off us at events over the past year, if it were a normal year, and possibly contribute that amount to help us fill our coffers as we head into a winter season like no other. Even if it is only $5, any amount is greatly appreciated. The debt load we have incurred this year is quite significant and these next few months will no doubt add to it. These funds will help pay down debt, cover future costs, and stabilize payroll. Also, we are always looking ahead to when we can throw parties again, and some will be set aside to make that first one back something to remember.
As a thank you for your $25 (or greater) contribution, we will send you
two beverage vouchers for future redemption at one of our community events.
If we can get 600 people to give $25 we'll hit our goal! We've historically hosted 200 - 600 people regularly in the plaza (often in one night) and feel this goal is attainable. If you have ever attended any of our events, please consider contributing to the future of The Commons and all the goodness and community we strive to build.
A huge thank you to all our local sponsors and agencies big and small that have helped us produce events in the past, and we look forward to the day we are able to work with you again.
More than anything, we long for the day when we can bring you all back, building on what Crow's Feet Commons started 6 years ago. And...as a thank you for your continued support in these tough times, your first 2 rounds could be on us!
We humbly thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
-Dan, Andria, Baby Evie, and the rest of The Commons Crew
*Beverage vouchers will be redeemable for alcohol or Non-alcohol beverages up to $5 in value. They have no cash value, and are redeemable only during events in 2021-2022.*
Last week DBBA staff and board observed the Thanksgiving Holiday, so there was no weekly update. We did, however, continue to serve our stakeholders throughout the Holiday, as we continued to make sure that Downtown Bend stayed clean, top-of-mind to guests, and moving forward to increase vitality in the district.
As you know, DBBA provides daily cleaning, graffiti removal and security checks throughout the EID, every day, 365 days per year. It's more than just cleaning, though, -- it's communication and collaboration.
For example, see the three images below. In the first image shows abandoned personal items - which we've seen an increase in recently as livability issues have risen in our community in response to the pandemic. As we see an increase in these types of things - we reach out to our partners at Bend Police Department to make sure that any items of value are returned to their owners, to let police know the areas of Downtown where we are see sleeping/living behaviors, and of course, we clean up an trash, human waste, and debris in the area.
In the second image shows an overflowing trash can. In this situation, in addition to cleaning up the area, we contact Bend Garbage not only to request an additional pick up if there are multiple cans overflowing, but to engage them in a conversation about the 'broken window theory' and how important it is to monitor changes in the community and respond to them quickly and efficiently to keep downtown thriving. Even though we don't hold the trash-pick-up contract with Bend Garbage (that is held by the City of Bend and Bend Garbage picks up all of the Downtown cans for free), we are the entity that manages the vendor relationship. (Vendor management is just another one of the services our association provides).
The final picture is of a street light that was broken during the overnight hours. In addition to cleaning up this mess, we contact Security Pros to see if their patrols or the garage cameras saw anyone throwing something off the garage, and we contact the City of Bend and put in a service request to have the light replaced.
We realize that it's not just the immediate remedy that matters - it's working together with community partners to eliminate unwanted behaviors and situations before they begin.
This week, we continued to install lights and decorations around Downtown Bend. With the lift we installed more twinkle lights in the tree canopies along the streets of Downtown Bend, and we finished up installing lit snowflakes, wreaths, skies and ribbons throughout the district.
Downtown Bend real estate pamphlet boxes have been an ongoing conversation in Downtown Bend. About 2 years ago, we met with the City of Bend with a request to create an ordinance allowing us to manage these boxes within the Downtown Bend Economic Improvement District (EID). At that time we were told that the COB wasn't interested in assisting us to take these steps, and the City requested that we improve our management of the boxes for the duration of one year and then come back to them with our request. So, given those instructions, we documented the location and owner of each box and for the past 1.5 years, we've been in communication with each box owner about maintain their unit. Our plan is to go back to the City during the next EID term to once again request assistance in creating a system that will allow us to monitor the look, feel, quantity and care of any pamphlet and advertising boxes within our district. The images below show just one of the issues that arises from having these units in Downtown Bend. In these photos, as you can see, the units have been emptied and the pamphlets littered throughout Downtown Bend.
DBBA staff continued to focus on marketing to promote our Downtown during on of the most challenging years that we have seen. Working on daily posts & stories, reaching out to merchants to learn of their sales, coupons and special offers, promoting those items, creating new features on our downtownbend.org website, working with Bend Radio Group on trade options, working with The Source to provide a holiday shopping guide, working with Bend Marketplace and Visit Bend to promote Downtown - and so much more. We continue to stay committed to doing everything within our power to keep our businesses open and profitable.
Finally, we continued to advocate at a local, state and federal level in regards to OLCC laws, proposed taxes, stimulus packages and more. We are here to take the power of our collective voices and put it to work to help our business community succeed.
If you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, please reach out to us.
"Layor Art+ Supply is a creative environment where quality art supplies are accessible, and the local community can find inspiration on Wall St downtown. Established in 2016, Layor Art+ Supply is derived from the two states the founders, Lacey and Paul call home – Louisiana & Oregon. Artist owned and operated, Layor Art+ Supply stocks premium art materials from well-known brand such as Prismacolor, Golden Artist Colors, Escoda, Cobra, and Liquitex, in addition to serving as a gallery space for rotating original artwork.
They are also home to a wide and interesting variety of art classes for adults, teens and children, taught by local professional artists. Classes range from watercolor to acrylic to pastel to pen and ink. Class fees are $45-$55 and two-day workshops are $90, with all materials provided by Layor Art+ Supply for class use. “I believe that every town should have a dedicated art store,” says Lacey Morris, the founder of Layor Art+ Supply. “It’s a place to be inspired, where people in the community can talk about all things art.” - Visit Bend
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2020
More Grants to Help Oregon Small Businesses are on the Way
Salem, OR — As the economic impacts of the pandemic continue, the Oregon legislature and Governor Kate Brown have allocated millions more in grant funding for Business Oregon to deliver into the hands of small businesses across Oregon. On Monday, November 9th, the Emergency Board of the Oregon Legislature approved $20 million more to Business Oregon’s Emergency Business Assistance Grant Fund. This funding and program are separate from the $55 million in funds the Governor also announced this week.
This grant fund has already put approximately $25 million out into the community through four rounds of funding. The first four rounds were allocated from Business Oregon to intermediary lenders such as cities, counties, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and Economic Development Districts (EDDs), who in turn granted the money to individual businesses. With this new round, Business Oregon is able to fund businesses directly. The grants are available to small businesses that have seen lost revenue due to the pandemic, and that meet a minimal set of requirements.
“This funding is timely, as we face the sharp increase in COVID-19 under this new wave of the pandemic,” said Business Oregon Director Chris Cummings. “These grants can help our small business owners today, but to get back to business in the long haul we’ve got to do what it takes now to stop the spread of this virus.”
This round makes some changes to previous rounds of grant funding under the program, so that more businesses can access the funds. Businesses with up to 100 employees can apply, whereas previous funding was limited to those with up to 25 employees, to ensure smaller businesses could access the funds first.
Most previous rounds also targeted businesses that did not already receive assistance through the CARES Act (such as PPP, EIDL, City of Portland Small Relief Program, the Oregon Cares Fund for Black Relief + Resiliency and other programs funded with CARES Act funds). This round will now consider applications from businesses with 1 to 25 employees that have already received anywhere from $100,000 to $1 million in funding from these federal resources. Businesses with 26 to 100 employees are eligible regardless of the amount of federal resources they received (up to $1,000,000), if they meet other program requirements.
Businesses are eligible to receive up to $200,000 in grant funding as detailed in the grant application. To be eligible, a business must show it was prohibited from operations by the Governor’s Executive Order 20-12, or demonstrate a 25% reduction in sales over a 30-day period in 2020 compared to a comparable period in 2019.
Tomorrow, Thursday November 19, the application form and additional details will be found on Business Oregon’s website. If the application is not yet posted in the morning, a time estimate will be provided on the web page. Grants will be reviewed on a first-come first-served basis, and will be allocated so that there is an equitable geographic distribution of funds as dictated by the Oregon Legislature.
The application portal will close once applications totaling $25 million in requested grants are received. Business Oregon will reopen the portal if any funds remain after reviewing those initial applications for eligibility.
Additional resources and information on COVID-19 response can be found on the department’s website, and the Governor's COVID-19 web page has the latest guidance.
Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency, invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. The agency's services span rural community development and infrastructure financing; business retention, expansion and recruitment; export promotion and international trade; investments in industry research and development and entrepreneurship; small business assistance; and support for arts and cultural organizations. Learn more at www.oregon4biz.com.
Media Contact: Nathan Buehler 503-689-3559
Business Oregon, the state's economic development agency, invests in Oregon businesses, communities, and people to promote a globally competitive, diverse, and inclusive economy. The agency's services span rural community development and infrastructure financing; business retention, expansion and recruitment; export promotion and international trade; investments in industry research and development and entrepreneurship; small business assistance; and support for arts and cultural organizations. Learn more at www.oregon4biz.com
It was another wonderful week supporting small businesses in Downtown Bend! Our mission is the increase the vitality of Downtown Bend, and DBBA staff and board once again worked tirelessly at this mission.
We also had a ton of fun putting together the community tree lighting for Bend. This event is always one of the highlights of the year for DBBA staff.
"I can't help it," says Mindy Aisling, DBBA Executive Director, "I tear up at every community tree lighting. There is just something so magical and small-town about Santa counting down to the lighting of the community tree with the citizens our our community."
This year, because of COVID19, the community tree lighting (like everything else) had to be re-imagined. In years past, the community tree lighting has been a big party, where local Bend families come out to visit with Santa, drink local beer, sing songs, and light the community tree together. For 2020, the Community tree lighting is going virtual. DBBA staff worked with Mayor Russell, Bob Shaw and Santa to pre-record the tree lighting and have it played on KTVZ on Friday, 11/27, so that the community could count down to the lighting of the tree from the comfort and safety of their homes. For more information, click here.
This week we also continued to work on the Shop Small Passport Event to drive traffic to local businesses. This year we are once again registered as a Neighborhood Champion with American Express, which allows us to receive free swag that we can give out to participants. We worked to get all these goodies out, we continued to promote on our social media, and we made sure that our stores at the supplies they needed.
As we mentioned in a previous weekly update, we are passing on savings so that businesses can market themselves at a discounted rate in the Downtown Bend Holiday Guide that will publish in The Source on 12/10. We are also creating a full centerpiece spread with photos of our local merchants and families and the messaging will say "Shopping local supports local Bend families" - or something similar. We are working hard to spread the message that shopping local matters!
Meeting with the wonderful women who are running the new North West Crossing (NWX) Business Association was a delight. We discussed a plethora of ways to collaborate for the good of our community. With a powerful belief that collaboration works better than competition we set forward on a path to include not only our two districts, but other shopping districts, such as The Box Factory and Old Mill to unite for a common good. By working together, we can make sure that planned events don't overlap, that promotions and event compliment each other, and that we are able to offer each other wisdom, experience and support.
This week was also the DBBA Board of Directors meeting. The DBBA Board of Directors meets every month on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, and is open to the public. To follow along with our agenda and minutes, click here. If you'd like to attend the next board meeting, click here to be added to the calendar invite. This month we had a guest speaker from Yiftee, a digital gift card program, and the board and staff decided to move forward to test the public and business participation of an online option for our currently paper-only Downtown Dollar program. We are excited to roll this out, and (if all goes as planned) we'll have some exciting updates for you in regards to this program and future sponsorship!
Oregon Mainstreet is a organization that we are grateful to be a part of every single day. Collaborating with other downtown districts, and sharing mutual benefits is a powerful component to increasing the vitality of our downtown district. This week, Oregon Mainstreet offer a series of webinars on funding. This kind of valuable education is just one of the benefits we receive from Oregon Mainstreet. The DBBA board and staff are taking a long, deep look at funding for the organization in preparation for the EID renewal in Spring 2021. If you have any questions about DBBA funding, please feel free to reach out to us.
We've been meeting with the newly elected councilors for Bend City Council, and we are looking forward to working with them to build a strong downtown for years to come. This past week we met with Melanie Kebler to talk about funding, beautification, water conservation, parking, open streets, future Holiday programs to increase tourism, & more.
In 2018, the DBBA Executive Director met with all of the business and building owners who were willing to sit down and talk about what they wanted for Downtown Bend and how they felt that the DBBA could support that vision. One thing that we heard was that our stakeholders wanted more advocacy and resources. We have worked diligently at supplying these things both pre and post COVID19. This week we once again communicated with our stakeholders on how to participate in advocacy for their industry and how to receive support for themselves and their staff.
Last but not least, we continued to decorate Downtown Bend for the holidays. As mentioned in a previous post, this year we upgraded all of our wreaths to include solar-paneled warm white twinkle lights, and we're loving the way they look!
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) is a small nonprofit
dedicated to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend.
As a bar or restaurant, we know that this latest "freeze" is heartbreaking - and as the owner of any small business, we know that you might be apprehensive about what is to come. We thought that you might like to know about what advocacy is being done on your behalf, and what resources are available.
The Independent Restaurant Alliance of Oregon (IRAO), and over 300 members from the group have signed a new letter to Governor Kate Brown and officials asking for some relief and help for local restaurants and bars. You can read more here.
The Coronavirus Recovery Business Coalition, a large and diverse alliance of businesses and business associations, sent the attached letter to Governor Brown, urging her to pause on any future business closures or curtailed operations and instead engage in a series of actions the state can take to slow the spread of the virus. Please see the document below for more information.
Mainstreet Partnerships and Downtown Associations across the state of Oregon, including but not limited to, The Dalles Downtown Association, Astoria Downtown Association, Downtown Beaverton, Alberta Main Street, Hillsboro Downtown Partnership, Newburg Downtown, and Klamath Falls have written a letter urging the Governor to call a special session in November to take up the issue of To-Go Cocktails. Please see the attached draft letter adopted from the IRAO website that was used as a template.
On Wednesday, November 18, 2020, fifty-one leaders throughout the State of Oregon including members of the Oregon Senate & Oregon House, and Commissioners from fourteen counties - including all three commissioners of Klamath County - sent a letter to Governor Kate Brown urging her to stop the one-size-fits-all approach to COVID-19 mandates. The letter asks for each county to control themselves. Read more here.
The Oregon Beverage Alliance drafted a petition asking local lawmakers to support Oregon’s breweries, wineries, cideries, distilleries, restaurants and bars by opposing tax increases here: https://donttaxmydrink.org/petition/.
As the economic impacts of the pandemic continue, the Oregon legislature and Governor Kate Brown have allocated millions more in grant funding for Business Oregon to deliver into the hands of small businesses across Oregon. Thursday November 19, the grant application form and additional details will be go live on Business Oregon’s website.
Shutting down your business can mean laying off employees who may have just returned to work after navigating a broken unemployment system. Directing laid off staff to the following resources as quickly as possible is the best way to ensure they can access the benefits they’ll need:
If you need additional help please call the City of Bend's business assistance line at 541-323-7151. The City of Bend will also return to posting updates and assistance opportunities at bendoregon.gov/bizresources as well.
For over a decade FOUND Natural Goods’ CEO & Founder, Jacqueline Smith, has showcased the unique beauty and value of commercial products for local, national, and international brands. Today and since 2015, FOUND Natural Goods has been her sole focus.
As a kiddo growing up in rural Central Oregon, gathering thunder eggs, juniper berries, and obsidian arrowheads was a pastime that naturally evolved into a general aesthetic. Pairing that found feeling with sustainability was the next step in sourcing PNW women artists and progressive products free from packaging, utilizing glass or upcycling materials. From there, FOUND Natural Goods was born online and now, downtown Bend, Oregon next to The Pine Tavern and Bend Brewing Company.
Found Natural Goods is a sustainable shop featuring beautiful things found in nature: eco home decor, handmade jewelry, organic beauty products.