Happy New Year to our Members and Colleagues!
We would like to thank our members, partners, collaborators and leaders for your continued support of the Bend Chamber. Together we navigated a year of increasing costs, labor challenges, and a variety of changes to how we all do business and thrive in our community.
We are honored by the opportunity to continue serving you and are grateful for your ongoing support.
What is the Chamber’s Focus in 2024?
One of our most significant challenges continues to be unaffordable housing. Last year, the Chamber, along with Providence Health Plan and other private investors worked with RootedHomes, a nonprofit land trust that builds net-zero attainable housing for people earning 80% of Area Mean Income (AMI), or less. They constructed seven homes that were put into a lottery where local employees were given a chance to purchase their first home. Employers were direct contributors to making these homes affordable, and with the success of this pilot, we hope other employers will consider investments in housing.
This year the Chamber is exploring a low-interest revolving loan program to reduce construction costs for builders who want to create mid-market housing. This will be a great opportunity for employers to contribute to a program that will provide housing to local employees for many years to come.
Solving our housing shortage will take efforts like this. The Bend Chamber is resolved to lead and advocate for policies that support the ability to add housing and provide information and support to those seeking ways to construct mid-market housing. If you are interested in learning more or contributing to the housing cause, please contact us at email@example.com.
The Chamber will engage in the 2024 legislative short session to support legislation that provides infrastructure funding for urban redevelopment to increase housing and commercial construction. We will also be watching the advancement of legislation to address street drug use and increase access to treatment to combat health and safety issues that have devastated so many people and businesses.
This year we will support businesses experiencing continuing changes due to remote work, new technology, and rising costs. We will continue to provide programming to businesses wanting employee skills development and access to experts and peers through our leadership development programs. This will include a focus on emerging leaders who are early in their career path. This year the Chamber’s BendNEXT Foundation will unveil its updated program to grow and retain our community’s future business leaders.
Collaboration Brings Results
The Chamber’s bottom line for 2024—stay focused on foundational elements of business—workforce and costs. We will work hard to create more workforce housing to ensure a stable labor supply, continue to grow future leaders and collaborate to attract more economic investment in our community. We can only do this with member and partner support because together, we thrive.