Bend has received state approval to triple the footprint of an existing Enterprise Zone. The city hopes the move will entice more employers to invest in the Central Oregon.
Oregon's Enterprise Zones are a way that municipalities can offer special tax incentives to businesses that are willing to invest in economically hard hit areas. The zone offers the business a break on property taxes for a period of three to five years. In exchange, the business has to create jobs that pay at a certain level - jobs which the state hopes will be around long after that tax break goes away.
"Right now, money's tight no matter where you go", says Nate Liabraate, Business Development Manager at Economic Development For Central Oregon.
"And so, if a company has some plans for expansion but they're looking at the numbers and they just are coming close to pencilling out but they might not make it. This helps tip the scales", he says.
Liabraaten says in the two years it's been in place, Bend's Enterprise zone has already helped to create 81 jobs in industries ranging from high-tech and bioscience to the brewing of beer.