For Immediate Release, Aug 24th, 2020
Bend, Or - The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA), a small nonprofit dedicated to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend, announced today that it has created a Cultural Awareness and Social Diversity Coordinator position to serve as an ex-officio on their Board of Directors. This role will coordinate and guide efforts to define, assess, foster and cultivate diversity and inclusion in Downtown Bend.
To drive this effort, the DBBA has named Riccardo Waites as the organization’s first Cultural Awareness and Social Diversity Coordinator.
Waites is a naval submarine veteran, single father, small business owner, and Founder of Central Oregon Black Leaders Assembly (COBLA).
Back in 2019, Bend City Councilors unanimously approved goals for the 2019 – 2021 biennium that included, for the first time, actions focused on “embedding a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion within the City of Bend.” At the time when this goal was established, the DBBA was in full support of these efforts and they also began working with city staff in their efforts to make Bend a Welcoming City.
Since this time, our world has shifted and changed in more ways than one and we are seeing now more than ever the need to bring experts on this diversity and inclusion into every level of leadership. In establishing this new position, the DBBA wants to communicate that Downtown Bend is for everyone, that Black Lives Matter, and that we welcome and honor people of all races, ethnicity, culture, country of origin, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender, language, socioeconomic status, emotional, developmental and physical ability.
In April, the DBBA partnered with OUT Central Oregon to encourage local businesses to display a "You are Welcome Here" sticker on their windows. Next month, you’ll see “Downtown is for Everyone” in white, yellow, brown, black and rainbow letters on Downtown Bend Directory Maps.
“It is important to our organization that people who live in our community, and those who visit us, know that it doesn’t matter what the color of their skin is, or who they love, Downtown is a place for everyone.” says Aisling, Executive Director of the DBBA.
Waites hopes to bring a sense of inclusion, safety, and more businesses of color to Downtown.
Downtown Bend was established in 1903, and for over a 100 years has served as the heart of the Bend community. Downtown serves as Bend’s living room, the entrepreneurial hub of the city, the City’s largest collective employer, and the #1 tourist destination in Central Oregon. Downtown offers unique boutiques, award-winning restaurants, state-of-the-art beauty and spa services, and high-quality entertainment venues.
Downtown welcomes everyone to enjoy all that their district has to offer.
I hope that you are all hanging in there.
In case you missed it, here is information on the most current news from Kate Brown on the plan to reopen Oregon, and here an update on the SBA small business loans.
We also have a plethora of websites aimed at helping local businesses get much-needed customers, SOS Bend just launched this week, Visit Bend created this page, KTVZ created this page, there is a new charity-based website for Bend businesses here, and our own downtownbend.org is almost completely updated with the new “Downtown Online” pages.
For staying connected, I recommend tuning into Bend Chamber’s weekly webinar (click here to view last week's), Matt Hand’s Show up Central Oregon is also tackling a lot of great issues, Let's Keep Connected has some valuable content, and you can view updates from Governer Brown here, and sign up for updates from Jeff Merkely and Representative Helt.
In addition, check out:
Good News from Downtown Bend
Our Favorite Product ThisWeek
& our We’re Open in Downtown YouTube video
Last week our Board of Directors voted to defer EID payments for 90 days. So the City will send out the annual EID bill, as usual, in May - but building owners will be able to delay their payment without a penalty. The Board also voted to extend all Downtown directory kiosk ads for an additional 6 months at no extra charge and to suspend billing until September.
Right now, we have cut all non-essential staff and programs (to save money for whatever the future may hold), and with the remaining 1.5 FTE we've adjusted our focus to concentrate on marketing, and helping the public know what businesses are still open & how they can shop and dine with them. We are also working with businesses one-on-one to help them adjust their business models to offer online services, and in some cases, we're helping them get their stores online. Let us know if you need individual assistance. Additionally, of course, we still have Ryan on the street every morning cleaning and checking for safety issues (Thank you, Ryan!). As soon as this has passed, we'll be ready to bring all staff back to full-time and hit the ground running to make sure that Downtown Bend is as unique and vibrant as it was before this crisis hit.
Finally, we are accepting applications for new board members. You can find all the information and the application by clicking here.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can be of any assistance.
Stay well & stay hopeful,
Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA)
Q: Does every business in the EID get a FREE online directory listing on the Kiosks?
A: Yes. Every business gets a free online listing that links to their website, as well as a map link that will pop up the GPS feature on the user's smartphone. This business listing can be accessed via the QR code or link on every kiosk facing. You can review your business listing here.
Q: How do the additional printed directory listings work?
A: If a business wants additional exposure, you can purchase (for $50/mo) a printed listing on the kiosks. Listings appear on all 8 facings of all 4 kiosks. A listing includes your business name next to a number and directional coordinates. This number corresponds to the number on the map at your business location. (For example: 1. Cowgirl Cash A7). Listings must be purchased for a minimum of 6 months ($300). If you would like your business listed, it's easy, just reply to this email with the message, "List me, please!"
Q: Why doesn't every business get a free printed listing on the directory kiosks?
A: For a few reasons. First and foremost, we couldn't possibly fit all the businesses printed with corresponding numbers on the map, there are just too many. For example, the building that the DBBA office is in holds 9 businesses alone. It would be impossible to fit 9 numbers on our location on the map. This is true for all of downtown. Second, we can update the online directory in real-time as businesses move or change location. Printed businesses understand that they are making a six-month commitment and know they will be in the same location for that duration. This way we don't end up with outdated information on the directories. Third, we raised funds to purchase these new directories so that we could increase our revenue to pay for much-needed downtown improvements & future development. Click here to see some of our ideas.
Q: How much does a printed directory listing cost?
A: A printed directory listing is $50/month with a six-month commitment. (Must be paid in full, $300)
Q: Are the ads on one kiosk facing or on all the kiosks?
A: When you purchase an ad it appears on one facing of one kiosk.
Q: If you purchase an ad, does it also include a directory listing on every kiosk?
A: Yes, all ads include a printed directory listing on every kiosk facing.
Q: How much do ads cost?
A: Ads cost $223 - $950 per month.
Q: If the size and/or location I want is already sold, can I put my name on a waiting list?
Q: Can I split an ad space with another business?
Q: If I purchase an ad now and wish to continue it when the contract is up, do I get "first dips" before it's sold to another party?
A: Yes. The business with the current ad placement always has the chance to renew before we open it up for sale again.
Q: What will the money raised with the new directory kiosks be used for?
A: We would like to use the funds we raise to further beautify downtown. This could include new benches, trash cans, art installments, and more. Funds are spent at the discretion of the DBBA board of directors. If you are interested in serving on the board, click here. You can take a peek at some of our ideas (dreams!) here.
Q: If I have ideas for how the kiosk could be better, who do I tell?
A: If you have ideas for the kiosks, please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will be replacing the kiosk inserts every three to six months, so we'll be able to make changes fairly quickly. If you have ideas - please share them with us!
When Mindy Aisling moved to Bend, Oregon she knew that she wanted to be a part of helping the Bend community grow and develop. From day one, she began volunteering and attending meetings to learn about, and give back to, the new community in which she was establishing herself. Now, 5 years later, as the Executive Director of the Downtown Bend Business Association (known as the DBBA or the Downtowners) she is ardently pursuing her passion to leave things better then she found them, and to expand and develop the historic core of the city that is Downtown Bend.
Working closely with building and business owners within the Economic Improvement District (EID), and the DBBA board of directors, Aisling quickly transformed the organization.
"I quickly realized that the DBBA needed to grow and change just like our city was growing and changing," says Aisling with a chuckle, "It wouldn't suffice for us to just to continue to sweep sidewalks and put up banners - we had to build the vision for Downtown's growth, advocate for it, and find a way to pay for it."
Upon being named Executive Director, one of Aisling's first orders of business was to develop a closer relationship with the City of Bend and City Council. She realized that much of their work was interconnected, and that both organizations could increase there efficiency and effectiveness by working together. In addition, it was important to gain a greater understanding of where the City of Bend was in regards to growth development and budget, and where Downtown Bend's development fit into that scope.
"Most people don't realize that it is the DBBA that funds daily cleaning, flower baskets, holiday decorating, web development, marketing, and more in Downtown Bend." says Aisling, "We are the organization that creates the look and feel of Downtown as you know it, and we are the backbone of downtown development. As such, we need to find a way to fund necessary Downtown growth."
In 2018, Aisling directed the most profitable Bend Oktoberfest fundraiser to date, and in 2019, Aisling added additional fundraisers, like the Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl, to help the DBBA meet their goals. Because of these fundraising efforts, the DBBA was able to purchase and install 4 Downtown Directory Kiosks. These kiosks will serve to help drive more traffic into Downtown businesses as well as create an additional stream of revenue for the DBBA.
Each kiosk guides the user to an online directory where that user can see a list of downtown businesses, go to each businesses website, or open a GPS map on their smartphone to that businesses location. In addition, the new directory kiosks provide a map of the entire EID, downtown parking locations, and for businesses that desire extra exposure, there is an opportunity to be listed in print on the map with a marker to their corresponding location. Each kiosk also features 4 ads spaces on each side. These ad spaces are open to any business in the Bend community, as long as that businesses doesn't compete directly with a current business in the EID. Ad rates are on the low end for print and display advertising, starting at (for the intro special) only $2.50 per square inch of full-color advertising space.
These kiosks are intended to grow and develop with Downtown Bend. The DBBA will be changing out the inserts every three to six months so that downtown developments and seasonal photos can be updated.
"We are excited to include downtown developments as they happen." says Aisling, "For example, we'll be able to show the new EV Charging stations on the directories as soon as they are installed."
The DBBA is a small nonprofit dedicated to the vitality of Downtown Bend. They are funded through the EID, advertising programs, and fundraising. The new directory kiosks could be the 'seed of change' for future downtown developments. Developing programs that can continue to feed the organization is key to meeting Downtown's needs as our city grows.
Did you know that a small nonprofit called the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA for short) is actively working to build and grow our vibrant downtown core?
Currently the DBBA is responsible for everything you think of as the 'downtown experience'... daily sidewalk cleaning, decorating, snow removal, branding, marketing, community events... and so much more. For a full list of DBBA responsibilities, click here.
The DBBA is earnestly raising funds to beautify our downtown. They recently purchased and installed new directories in the Downtown core. These directories will help downtown guests find the locations and experiences they are looking for as well as providing a stream of revenue to the DBBA to further downtown beautification. The DBBA also provides banners for downtown, and holds several fundraisers throughout the year, including Bend Oktoberfest & The Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl. In addition, the DBBA always gratefully accepts your tax-deductible donations.
What is your dream for our Downtown?
Interactive art? Reclaimed alleys? Trash cans and benches? Parklets? Murals? Covered bike parking? Holiday decorations? What is your dream for Downtown?
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) and Business for Bend Film hosted a Downtown Business Merchant Meeting at the Tin Pan Theatre this morning, Thursday Feb 6th, 2020. Today’s guest was Melissa King and Aaron Switzer with Lay it Out Events (LIOE). About 35 business owners attended the meeting to learn about changes to Fallfest, Summerfest and the Bite of Bend.
The informal presentation by Aaron Switzer and Q & A session that followed was positive, constructive, and was met with extreme gratitude from local merchants.
The meeting ended with a resounding applause.
“Lay it Out Event’s staff is here and they accept hugs,” joked Mindy Aisling, Executive Directory of the DBBA, in response to the overwhelming acknowledgement of the positive changes that LIOE had presented.
These changes include:
Questions from the engaged audience included, but were not limited to:
Q: Will you be able change the placement of vendors so that a competing vendor isn't right in front of my store?
Q: Is there a way that we can still get our deliveries during these events?
Q: Can I have my own booth in front of my business?
A: Yes, and we'll give you a discounted rate
Q: Is there a cost for all of the new integration tools your suggesting (scavenger hunts, art of song, full downtown page in the event guide)?
After asking half a dozen questions, one business manager exclaimed, "I can't believe it, you've solved all of the problems we've been having during these festivals. This is amazing."
The final comment of the meeting was from a long-time business owner in Downtown Bend, “I’ve been here for 20 years, and these festivals have always been a burden for my business. I’ve never experienced collaboration like this, and I’m incredibly pleased with this development.”
The Downtown Bend Business Association is a small nonprofit committed to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend. For a full scope of work, click here.
Downtown Bend First Friday Art Walk has gone Green!
Let's face it - we all love our planet, so let's take care of it! By purchasing an Art Walk cup for $5, you can help Downtown Bend reduce the amount of single use cups that used and sent to the landfill every month. These cups are reusable every month!
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) extends a huge "THANK YOU" to Patagonia Bend for spearheading this project.
"It wonderful when we can all work together to create a better Bend!" says Mindy Aisling, Executive Director of the Downtown Bend Business Association, "We love it when our businesses bring us great ideas like this one!"
Patagonia’s mission statement says it best, “we’re in business to save our home planet”. Through their efforts to reduce waste during the Bend Artwalk, they hope to encourage participants to take further action for our planet. As a community of forward thinkers and environmental activists, the DBBA, Patagonia and other participating businesses hope that this action can spread to other events in the community.
We are asking you, Bend, to help reduce waste in our community! Pick up your Art Walk cup at one of the following locations:
If you're a Downtown Bend business and you'd like to sell these amazing Art Walk cups, contact us.
Parking in Downtown Bend is an important discussion in our community. In 2017, the City of Bend invested in a Downtown Strategic Parking Management Plan (to view the full plan, click here). In 2018, the Downtown Bend Parking Advisory Committee (DPAC), and the DPAC Work Committee was formed. This committee achieved several successes:
"We are really excited about the parking changes being developed for Downtown Bend," says Mindy Aisling, Executive Director of the DBBA, "and we are excited to work closely with the new parking manager and the City of Bend to assure that the needs our our businesses and customers are met throughout this process."
The full list of strategies from the Downtown Strategic Parking Management Plan are as follows:
For more information, please feel free to reach out to the DBBA at email@example.com
The DBBA is a small nonprofit with a mission is to grow the vitality of Downtown Bend by enhancing the experience, image, and lifestyle of the Economic Improvement District (EID). For more information about the DBBA, visit www.downtownbend.org.
BendTel is a locally owned and operated telecommunications company with a mission to provide Central Oregon customers with the highest quality communication services at affordable prices. They are a full service, facilities based, Competitive Local Exchange Company (CLEC), that has been focused on providing voice, long distance, data, Gigabit Internet and hosting services to businesses in the Central Oregon area since 2003.
BendTel is constantly working on expanding their Gigabit Fiber Internet footprint throughout downtown and adjacent areas. Their use of Gigabit Bandwidth Internet and the latest cutting-edge technology recently earned them an award at the 2019 Oregon Connections Telecommunications conference. They were awarded for their “Excellence in Telecommunications Projects and Regional/Local Strategies” for developing and implanting innovative projects that provide better access, reliability and affordability to telecommunication services.
BendTel is also the official sponsor of the annual Downtown Bend Celebration Night that happens every May and the WiFi sponsor of Bend Oktoberfest. Both of these events are fundraisers for the local nonprofit, The Downtown Bend Business Association. BendTel is a key asset to the health and vitality of Downtown Bend – and it’s not just about the direct services they provide. Because of BendTel’s support for Downtown Bend, we are able to have things like flower baskets and Holiday decorations!
Right now, BendTel is offering an exclusive deal for DBBA Members! This offer includes a Sangoma IP Phone –featuring Voicemail to Email & Find Me/Follow Me, gFiber Internet (50x10Mbps) with reliable service and guaranteed speeds on their multi-gigabit capable gFiber network and bHosted Managed Voice – backed by their local support team. Plus, when you sign up, you’ll get the first month for free!
Call BendTel today, and join the DBBA/BendTel Team! You’ll be glad that you did.
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) is a small nonprofit dedicated to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend.
In addition to our other services, we are the 100% responsible for the cleanliness and beautification of the Downtown Bend economic improvement district (EID).
Our scope of work includes, but is not limited to:
We would like to extend a huge “Thank you!” to our staff, board, volunteers, donors and community partners for helping us keep Downtown Bend beautiful! By being committed to positive communication, community support, and a shared love for Downtown Bend, we can continue to keep our Downtown vibrant and thriving!
We are excited about several new Downtown Bend beautification projects we have coming up, stay posted to learn about all the great stuff that we have in store for Downtown Bend!