Happy New Year Bend Business Community,
My name is Cyrus Mooney and I have the pleasure of serving as your new Business Advocate at the City of Bend. This position serves as your liaison between businesses and the City on issues related to our regulatory processes, including permitting. I’m also here to provide connections, information and resources that will help support your business’ success whether you’re long established or just getting started.
I’m happy to meet with you to learn more about your business’ challenges and opportunities. Please let me know if you would like to setup a time to do just that by hitting reply to this message. I wanted to let you know about a few things we have going on at the City that may be helpful and of interest to you.
Storm Business Impacts
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is seeking information on damages to local businesses due to the recent winter storms including impacts to property or because of business closures, etc. to determine if the economic harm qualifies for a SBA disaster declaration that could trigger loan/funding opportunities. Please complete this Economic Injury Worksheet by February 2, 2024.
New Permit Tracking Tool
One of the topics we hear a lot about are Building Permits that are working through the approval process. The City has recently launched a new tool for people to reference that could be helpful to you called the Life of a Building Permit Application. Here you can learn more about the various stages of the building permit process or get an update on where your Building Permit Application is in the review process. If you ever have more in-depth questions about a building permit application, please get in touch.
Transportation Fee Updates
Another hot topic right now involves the implementation of a Transportation Fee being discussed by City Council. Specific to the business community is how the non-residential rates will be assessed based on criteria such as square footage, usage and other variables.
We have collected feedback via a survey, hosted community roundtables and received perspective from the Bend Economic Development Advisory Board (BEDAB). If you provided feedback already, thank you. All this information was shared with Council earlier this month. In response to survey results and BEDAB feedback, it appears Council is interested in pursuing a three-phase approach to implementing the Transportation Fee with Phase 1 beginning this July.
Here are some key things to know as the Transportation Fee continues to be scoped out, you can expect more in depth updates as these conversations continue:
- In Phase 1, assessments for the non-residential fee, for most businesses not based out of a home, will likely be based on the square footage of their building. The estimated expense would be $5 to$6 per 1,000 square feet of indoor space.
- The second phase of implementation would assess businesses on both their square footage and the intensity of their use, i.e. a high traffic but small square footage business would pay a higher per square foot rate than a larger building generating less traffic. The goal would be to usher in Phase 2 no later than July, 2025.
- There will likely be “Special Unit Categories” to account for different types of non-residential uses including schools, parks, hotels, and others. Council has not yet weighed in on how to calculate Transportation Fees for these groups, or which groups will fall into this category.
If you would like to provide feedback on the Transportation Fee, here are some dates for you to be aware of:
- February 5 — Bend Economic Development Advisory Board (BEDAB) Meeting at 12pm, Bend City Hall
- February 7 — Bend City Council Meeting at 7pm, Bend City Hall
- February 26 — Transportation Fee Listening Session at 4:30pm, Bend City Hall
- February 29 — Transportation Fee Listening Session at 9:30am, Bend City Hall
Wishing you a prosperous year ahead!