Ten new businesses are starting up in downtown Bend. The head of the Downtown Bend Business Association, Chuck Arnold, says he's seen the most active quarter on record since he started tracking occupancy more than five years ago. Darren Powderly with Compass Commercial Real Estate Services says this bad economy really showcases the efforts of the Downtown Bend Business Association: “And they are keeping our downtown vibrant during probably the most horrendous economic downturn of our entire lives. My hats off to them, I thinks it’s a very valuable association for the downtown businesses to have. And people come to Bend’s downtown because its so quaint and so unique.” The occupancy rate is 92% for the first quarter of 2012; and year over year sales for existing businesses have edged up slightly.