Growth Brings Positives to Redmond Community | Redmond Economic Development Inc.
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Growth Brings Positives to Redmond Community

Growth Brings Positives to Redmond Community

Looking at photos and listening to stories about Redmond over 20 years ago, the changes to today are astounding. Redmond lives up to its “The Hub” moniker as more businesses, manufacturers and people are moving into the area.

Redmond Economic Development, Inc. Board member and local business owner Craig Hunt has watched the area change, grow, and move forward.

Craig is no stranger to economic development. He has served on the Prineville Economic Development Board since 2015 before deciding to join the local REDI board. “I wanted to join REDI to serve in a community where I work and live.”

No stranger to hard work, Craig is VP, Commercial Relationship Manager “SBA Specialist” for First Interstate Bank, and is also the owner of Polar Bear Gas and Wash. As the economy continues to change the fabric of the area, Craig believes the work REDI does has a direct impact on the growth and future of the community.

“I have really enjoyed learning and seeing the direct impact economic development has on our communities,” he says. “REDI matters to me as an investor because it is the backbone of our community. Everything REDI does impacts the entire community.”

Looking to the Future

Growth in Redmond has had its up and downs, but the word is out and more businesses and manufacturers are continuing to look at this area to either move their current business or start a brand new venture. Time and again people are amazed at how everyone works together for the greater good including REDI, the Chamber, and city officials.

“What excites me about Redmond is the growth and support from our local community leaders,” says Craig. “The growth is fast and strong.”

A fun fact about Craig is he actually worked at Polar Bear Gas and Wash at the age of 16. It was his first job until leaving for college where he earned a B.S. in Marketing and Advertising (Double Major), from Portland State University.  After purchasing the business in the last year, he says it is exciting to come full circle and now own his own business and offer services to the Redmond community.

Craig views the evolution of Redmond as a plus for local residents and citizens. How many people can remember what downtown Redmond looked like before the Hwy 97 re-route was done? What about how the Dry Canyon looked before all the park updates? Can you remember a summer without the fountain at Centennial Park? All these moving parts and pieces go towards the benefit of the community and continued advancement.

As the Central Oregon area continues its shift to attracting small mom and pop companies to mid-sized manufacturers, Craig says he hopes to see more highly skilled jobs come into the area. With his love for the outdoors, he is especially hopeful for more outdoor and sporting companies to join the community. 

As Redmond continues to grow, Craig says the local economy has impacted his business in a positive way. “We see direct impact with our fuel volumes, car wash sales, and U-Haul rentals,” he says. “More and more people are moving to and visiting Redmond. Our beautiful, walkable downtown, and friendly environments draws people to the area.”

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