The Downtown Bend Business Association is currently seeking volunteers for the Downtown Bend Ambassador program. Downtown Ambassadors help to create a safe and welcoming environment for everyone who lives, works in, or visits Downtown Bend.
A great program starts with great people. We are looking for Bendites who are willing to learn, have the ability to think on their feet, and who can provide a high level of customer service with a smile and a great attitude!
If you take pride in your community, want to work to make it better, and want a place to contribute your skills where no two days are alike, then you’ve come to the right place! If you are bright, cheerful, friendly, compassionate, and have a desire to make a difference, you have what it takes to be a part of the Downtown Bend Ambassador team!
We are proud to report that there are several areas of alignment between the 2019-21 Downtown Bend Business Association's Goals and the 2019-21 Council Goals and Strategies. One of these aligned goals is to address livability crimes in the Downtown area. A key step in this effort is increased patrols in the Downtown Economic Improvement District (EID) with Bend Police School Resource Officers during the busy summer season. Earlier this week Bend Police Department officers, City of Bend staff, and the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) took a walk through the Downtown Bend EID. You can expect to see these increased patrols within the EID in the coming week.
A common question we hear from business and building owners in Downtown Bend is when to report a crime, especially if it’s already happened or no one was there to witness it. Bend PD tracks crime data and has a team of officers that focuses on trouble spots. Even after the fact, you can log crime issues via the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 541-693-6911 or online by clicking here. Of course, if a crime is still in progress or there’s an emergency, please call 911!
"The Downtown Bend Business Association's number one priority is to assure the people feel safe and welcomed in Downtown Bend." says Aisling, Executive Director of the DBBA, "This year we were proud to be instrumental in getting the Downtown Bend Police Substation established, and this summer, in addition to working with the City of Bend, Bend Police Department, and Security Pros, we are also piloting our new Downtown Ambassador program. We anticipate great results, and we are grateful to be able to provide our community and visitors with an outstanding experience in Downtown Bend."
Downtown Bend remains year after year the number one tourist destination in Bend, it is also currently the largest employer in Bend, as well as the City's civic center and cultural core. With thousands upon thousands of people utilizing Downtown on a daily basis, providing a safe and welcoming culture is key to the vitality of our city.
Downtown Ambassadors have been added to the list of services provided by the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA).
The Downtown Ambassadors are a dedicated team of dynamic and responsive volunteers that keep Downtown friendly.
The Ambassador team is comprised of local citizens who share a common affinity for Downtown and an intimate understanding of what's happening around the neighborhood.
Please note: Across the nation, Downtown Ambassadors are changing the definition of hospitality.
These photos (below) are not our Bend Ambassador team, they are from a Downtown that has modeled this program for us to follow.
The Downtown Bend Ambassador Program will pilot the Summer of 2019. Volunteers will be stationed Fridays thru Sundays, 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm offering downtown patrons a positive, interactive, visitor-friendly experience.
Each volunteer would be scheduled for one, three-hour shift from 12:00-3:00 pm or 3:00- 6:00 pm. The program will run Friday, July 5 thru Sunday, Sept. 1, for a total of nine weekends.
Volunteers will be set up in a booth/tent where visitors can come by for materials and information.
Volunteers will engage Bend residents and visitors to downtown with information and suggestions on eating establishments, public restrooms, lodging, parking, entertainment, etc.
Downtown Ambassador duties include but are not limited to:
The Downtown Bend Ambassador program has been a vision of the DBBA's Executive Director, Mindy Aisling, since she began working in Downtown 4 years ago.
"In a world where people are becoming more and more disconnected, Downtown's across the nation represent community hubs where connection flourishes. My vision is for our Ambassador program to provide a level of hospitality and kindness that models to our community the welcoming and inclusive characteristics that Bend stands for."
After many discussions and brainstorming sessions, the Downtown Bend Business Association discovered key partners that could help bring the program's vision into fruition.
The Tower Theatre Foundation, the long-standing nonprofit that owns and operates the historic performing arts venue in the center of downtown Bend, proposed a partnership where the DBBA could test an Ambassador program this summer, harnessing the power of the theatre’s already established and thriving volunteer corps.
Joan Gallinger, the Tower’s volunteer coordinator, said: “The summer is a great time for several of our volunteers to help launch this much-needed effort downtown. Our ushers already answer lots of questions from patrons about places to go, see, park and eat downtown. Plus, they’re trained for emergencies and on giving top customer service. Putting those skills to work on behalf of the city we all love seemed like a very logical, and effective, solution.”
Starbucks in Downtown on Wall Street, who is deeply rooted and involved in the Downtown community, partnered with the program by providing the space for the information booth, and (of course) water for all our favorite dogs in Downtown Bend!
You will be able to find the Downtown Ambassador booth at the Courtyard between North Soles and Starbucks at 812 NW Wall Street. Make sure to save the date for our Ambassador Launch Party on July 5th from noon to 1pm.
March is National Women's Month, and we are celebrating all of our female-owned businesses in Downtown Bend. For our final post, we are featuring the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA). The Downtown Bend Business Association is run by a female Executive Director, Mindy Aisling, a female Board of Directors President, Jen Steigman and Board Vice President, Sarah Jordan.
Mindy Aisling is a 3rd generation entrepreneur, both parents and both sets of grandparents all owned and operated small businesses. Mindy grew up working at her mom's photo lab and her dad's auto repair and auto body shops. As an adult, Mindy has owned and operated 3 different successful small businesses. Mindy is passionate about entrepreneurship, creativity and communication. Her values also include a strong belief in volunteerism and giving back to the community. She previous served as a volunteer mediator at the Deschutes Court House and Community Soulutions of Central Oregon.
Mindy brings decades of expertise in leadership and small business management to the Downtown Bend Business Association, where she's been in service to the Downtown Bend community since 2015. In her free time, Mindy loves long backpacking adventures, challenging mountaineering trips, playing board games with friends, listening to live music, competing in bar trivia, and like any good Bendite - drinking craft beer.
At last night City Council meeting, Downtown Bend Business Association's Executive Director, Mindy Aisling, urged City Councilors to collaborate for the good of Downtown Bend business and building owners.
"I'm looking for that next level of communication and care for Downtown Bend." said Aisling. "I think that by working together we can really improve what we do for the next snow event in Downtown Bend."
Aisling submitted a letter to Councilors on Monday outlining the Downtown Bend Business Association's response to the record snow storm, and sharing challenges that Downtown Bend businesses experienced due to the City's response to the snow. She also shared data gathered from businesses on the lost revenue due to the COB's snow maintenance conditions for a two week window beginning 48 hours after the storm.
Aisling's letter stated, "One of the interesting things about Downtown Bend is that it competes with other shopping districts for local and tourist dollars, but unlike other shopping districts, it is public as opposed to private. This distinction means that we rely on the City to care for Downtown at a standard that allows us to remain competitive with other shopping districts. With almost 400 businesses and 4,000 employees, Downtown Bend remains one of the largest employers in Bend, representing a significant tax base and revenue generator in our city"
The Downtown Bend Business Association's mission is to increase the economic vitality of Downtown Bend. They are located at 916 NW Wall Street in Downtown Bend. You can learn more about how they fulfill their mission at www.downtownbend.org/the-dbba.
To view Aisling's letter, download the document below. To view Aisling's comments, view the video below.
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA), a small local nonprofit, is responsible for removing snow from the sidewalks within the entire Economic Improvement District (EID). You can see the boundaries of this district on the map here. During the recent record snowfall in Bend, the DBBA staff worked around the clock to ensure that all businesses were accessible in Downtown Bend.
"It is of utmost importance to us that during a storm like this, our businesses remain accessible to our community members and Bend visitors." said Mindy Aisling, Executive Director at the DBBA, "We had 2 snow blowers, an ATV with a snow plow attached, and a staff of 7 with snow shovels working around the clock to make sure our businesses were taken care of. This is difficult, cold work and I am so proud of our team and the incredible job that they did serving our local community."
March is National Women's Month, and we are celebrating all of our female-owned businesses in Downtown Bend. Follow our blog and social media all month to learn about all of the amazing female entrepreneurs in Downtown Bend!
Tangerine Salon has blossomed with new life since owner Rosa Shea took over in late 2017. Rosa brought high energy and new life to Tangerine from the moment she stepped inside, and has converted it into a welcoming, bright space where women (and men!) of all ages come when they want to look their best. Located on the corner of Lava and Minnesota next to the Oxford Hotel, Tangerine fits into its' busy location and stays true to the nature of downtown Bend, constantly growing and evolving.
Rosa Shea focuses on modern technique and expertise, and believes in continuing education; her salon standing as a venue after hours for stylists to come and learn about the newest techniques to stay with current industry trends. Tangerine's family of stylists keep their focus on offering clients the most up-to-date services possible, and making sure every individual leaves feeling better than they did upon entry. Rosa and her team offer elevated services including haircuts, hair color, balayage, extensions, facial waxing, bridal and special event hair and make-up and blow-outs. Carrying some of the best products in the industry, such as Kerastase, Davines and Nutrafol; Tangerine serves as a hub for clients and stylists who truly care about maintaining the integrity and beauty of their hair. From the moment you step foot in Tangerine, you will be warmly greeted and feel as though you're a part of the family, which goes to show their customer service is absolutely unparalleled. An experience at Tangerine Salon is not one you'll easily forget - schedule an appointment and see for yourself!
Downtown Bend is Vying for $25K Cash Prize in National Contest Recognizing America’s Main Streets
Vote now to advance DOWNTOWN BEND to the next round!
BEND, OR – On February 25, Independent We Stand, a national small business movement, kicked-off its fourth annual America’s Main Streets contest to help consumers, small business owners and Main Street organizations reward a deserving Main Street with $25,000 in cash and sponsor-related prizes. Downtown Bend in Bend, Oregon is among this year’s nominees.
“Our Independent We Stand America’s Main Streets contest shines a light on the pride business owners and communities take in their Main Streets,” says Independent We Stand co-founder Bill Brunelle. “We know small businesses on these Main Streets help them thrive and have a measurable economic impact. This contest is a chance to share those stories with people from coast-to-coast.”
Downtown Bend, established in 1903, is the heart of the Bend, Oregon community. The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) has revitalized the Downtown district to become one of the leading tourist destinations in Central Oregon. Our Downtown area plays an important and unique role in the economic and social development of Central Oregon. Downtown Bend is where commercial, cultural, and civic pursuits are concentrated. This concentration facilitates business, learning, and cultural exchange. The DBBA is dedicated to creating a space where all members of our community are welcome, where entrepreneurial dreams can be pursued, where we can connect to our history, and where our community members and visitors alike can create memorable moments. We understand that a healthy downtown is key to a strong community.
We are looking to develop our Downtown as a Holiday destination where people from all over would make it their family tradition to come ski at Mt. Bachelor, Bend, stay at one of our local hotels, and walk the streets of Downtown enjoying the festive atmosphere. If we were to win this award, all of the funds would go directly to creating this Holiday experience. Receiving this award would help us be able to offer a Central Oregon destination for families and friends to create meaningful holiday traditions.
The first round of voting in the contest began as soon as Downtown Bend was nominated and runs through April 21. All nominations and voting take place on MainStreetContest.com.
Additional contest prizes include:
For more information on Downtown Bend visit: www.downtownbend.org
STIHL Inc., America’s number-one selling brand of gasoline-powered handheld outdoor power equipment, is the founding sponsor of Independent We Stand and the presenting sponsor of America’s Main Streets contest. The company follows a unique distribution strategy in the handheld outdoor power equipment industry, choosing never to sell products at big box stores, but instead remaining loyal to its 9,000+ authorized local STIHL dealers nationwide.
About Downtown Bend
The Downtown Bend Business Association cultivates the rich culture of Downtown Bend. Their mission is to promote the economic vitality by enhancing the experience, image, and lifestyle of Downtown Bend.
About Independent We Stand
Independent We Stand is a nationwide movement of independent small business owners whose mission is to inspire other small business owners to better understand and celebrate their locally-owned status while educating consumers about the importance and strong economic benefits of supporting them. The Independent We Stand movement is sponsored by STIHL Inc. STIHL products are sold through more than 9,000 authorized local STIHL dealers from coast to coast – not big box stores. Associate sponsors include Nationwide Marketing Group, PPG and Do it Best Corp.
As I walked around Downtown Bend this morning checking on the icy conditions within the Downtown Economic Improvement District (EID), I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for all of the love-in-action I saw for our community.
The City of Bend, Oregon had already sanded the streets of Downtown, multiple building and business owners were out making sure the sidewalks and alcoves of their stores were ready for customers. I arrived in my own office (predawn) to find my staff already out spreading ice-melt on all of the sidewalks in Downtown Bend.
I am continuously proud of the work that the Downtown Bend Business Association does. From snow and ice removal to advocacy at City Council - and everything in between, it feels good to be part of an organization that is committed to the success of the community.
This morning was a good example of just what makes our community so special. Regular, everyday citizens working together to insure our community is safe and ready for commerce.
Written by Mindy Aisling, Executive Director, Downtown Bend Business Association
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) partners with local artist, photographer, Miguel Edwards
Downtown Bend is growing and so is the Downtown Bend Business Association. As part of this growth, the vision and branding for Downtown are transforming. The DBBA is excited to announce Miguel Edwards as the new Downtown Bend photographer. Edwards is helping the non-profit showcase the history, vibrancy, shops, restaurants, and services in Downtown Bend to a larger community.
“We are incredibly lucky to live in a City with a thriving Downtown,” says Aisling, Executive Director of the DBBA, “Downtown Bend is the heart of our community – and it has been for over 100 years. Photos that document and celebrate our history, culture, and vitality are a great asset for not only Downtown Bend but for our entire Bend community.”
The decision to bring on Edwards comes from the request by Downtown Bend business and building owners. He has gained recognition recently from designing and building the cauldron for the Opening Ceremony of Special Olympics USA Games last summer in Seattle. The Cauldron “Hope Rising” will be featured at Oregon Winterfestin February. Miguel has worked with the Cities of Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Seattle, and Bellevue… to name a few. This December the book, Art in Seattle’s Public Spaces by Miguel Edwards and Jim Rupp with University of Washington Press hits the shelves (and Amazon). This month Edwards’ photograph is the cover image for Western Home Journal’s first Winter Book.
“I am thrilled to be spending time investing in the culture of Bend.” says Edwards, “Ever since I was in high school I wanted to live in a place like Bend. To be asked to help grow and illustrate this wonderful place in its’ best light is really a great honor”
The DBBA is a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the vitality of Downtown Bend. For more information,or to make a donation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Miguel Edwards: