Small business is the lifeblood of Bend in more ways than one – there’s a good reason the city is one of the most popular spots for entrepreneurs in the country. But 2020 has brought a lot of unique challenges to the small businesses in Central Oregon, especially those that have been hardest hit by lockdowns and regulations. These holidays, we’re working to support local businesses as much as we can – and true to the Bend spirit, there are some truly innovative ideas on how to do it! Here are some of our favorites.

Put Together a Meal and Buy Only Local Ingredients

Plan a fun holiday meal – it doesn’t have to be the big turkey or Christmas Day ham – and make a list. Over the next few days, take trips around to the local shops in Bend and try to fill out your ingredients with only local providers. Newport Market is an excellent local stop for all kinds of basic ingredients, and Market of Choice is an Oregon-owned grocery store that has everything you need. The Spice Shop in Old Mill is ideal for every spice you might want, while Sparrow Bakery has the best fresh bread to complement your dishes. Put it all together, and you have an amazing family event that also supported businesses all around town.

Alternatively, Give Yourself a Break and Order Pickup at Local Food Trucks

The holidays can be busy, especially if you’re still getting settled into Bend. Pick a weekend or especially busy day and choose a food truck or two in Bend to take care of meals. All our food trucks are offering pickup services that make this especially easy, and most are centrally located for quick access, especially if you are doing other errands around town. Some favorites are Abe Capana’s Detroit-Style Pizza, Thailandia, Stone Pine Pizza, Fricken Faco, Baodown, and Earl-n-Mabel’s. Check out their websites or give them a call to get more details.

Take a Stroll Through Bend’s Small Businesses for Stocking Stuffers

We know that when it comes to the big presents under the tree, decisions are made early and most people just buy online to make things easier. But there’s a whole lot of room for creativity when it comes to stocking stuffers. Walking through Old Mill and Downtown Bend, as well as centers like The Forum or Cascade Village, can offer many different local shops with perfect items for smaller gifts, from natural skin care products made in Central Oregon to many unique clothing options, books (try Dudley’s Bookstore and Café downtown), merch from local brands (and bands), collectibles, candles, fishing supplies, and so much more.

Shop for Changing Times

Finally, if you’re having trouble figuring out what you can buy to support local businesses, think about the way our lives have changed in 2020, and what you can buy to support those changes.

For example, a lot more of us are doing remote work now: Do you and your loved ones have the right clothes, supplies, snacks, computer docks, and accessories for working from home, or could there be improvements? When you’re no longer picking up coffee at the café or office, do you and your friends have barista-like products at home to enjoy? Or maybe new self-care products like therapy lamps or weighted blankets are a perfect pick for new situations. You can find all these and much more around Bend!

For more options on how to get involved, check out our other relocation services in Bend and guides to work, charities, events, and more!