BEND, OR -- There are only a couple more shopping days until Christmas. And in the time leading up to the holiday, downtown Bend businesses have been booming. Chuck Arnold with the Downtown Bend Business Association says the increase in traffic is encouraging. "We are seeing an uptick year over year because the economy is improving," Arnold says. "There's been a lot of celebration -- people wanting to support downtown and small businesses."
Arnold says downtown retail and dining establishments have formed some of the most appealing reasons for people to frequent the area. "It always comes down to customer service and offering a product that's unique," Arnold says. "You have a relationship with the business and know them, and I think that's what's really powerful about the brick and mortar experience." Occupancy in the downtown corridor remains in the high 90% range, and new businesses continue to move into the area. The Downtown Bend Business Association will announce several new additions after January 1st.