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The Importance of Small Businesses

For years, Central Oregon has been known as the land of small business. In fact in 2016, Bend ranked #1 in Forbes’ annual look at the Best Small Places for Business and Careers.

In Oregon, small businesses account for 98% of all firms, employ over half the state’s workforce and play a vital role in our economy. That’s especially true for rural Oregon, which depends on small business for economic growth.

As this week is National Small Business Week, we thought we would recognize the importance of small businesses here in Central Oregon.

About National Small Business Week

From April 29th through May 5th, the Small Business Administration (SBA) recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners from across the U.S. Here’s what their website has to say about National Small Business Week:

“Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

“More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

“As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.”

Why Small Business is Important to Mid Oregon

Mid Oregon Credit Union’s membership is very reflective of the composition of Central Oregon residents. While our foundation is still with educators- being chartered by 8 Crook County School District Employees in 1957- our current account makeup has a large concentration of self-employed people. Our commercial services and business members are also growing at a fast pace. Today, the numbers are significant:

  • 1,415 of our 30,000+ accounts are business accounts
  • Of those, 582 are sole proprietors &  740 are partnerships, limited liability companies or corporations
  • Over 1,350 of those businesses use us for checking account services
  • Over 2,400 accounts are for self-employed people, which has increased over 25% in the last 2 years
  • Those self-employed members rely on us to enhance their financial well-being, with over $51 million in loans and deposits
  • Mid Oregon member businesses have over $37 million in commercial loans, financing a variety of Central Oregon business needs

Mike Testerman, Mid Oregon’s Commercial Services Director, noted one of our best kept secrets about our business services:

“People are quite surprised when they learn Mid Oregon Credit Union can provide a range of financing for small businesses that can include multi-million dollar projects.”

Our business accounts are representative of our Central Oregon focus, and the diversity of our communities. Bend-based businesses make up 44% of our accounts, followed by Redmond at 16%, Prineville (10%), La Pine (10%), Madras (9%), Terrebonne/Crooked River Ranch (4%), Sisters (3%), Sunriver and Culver (each 2%). We also have business members in Powell Butte, Mitchell, Crescent, Silver Lake, and other smaller towns.

Small Business Resources in Central Oregon

There are great resources for businesses in Central Oregon, which are necessary to their success. Beyond the Small Business Administration, local business people can turn to these great community partners: