Ruffwear Expands Operations in Bend, Oregon
According to Business Oregon, Along with additional capacity for the company's use, Ruffwear will add a new co-working space available to entrepreneurs and start-ups seeking working and collaborative space.
Governor Kate Brown and Business Oregon are supporting the expansion and new collaborative space with a $250,000 forgivable loan from the Governor's Strategic Reserve Fund.
"We're grateful for the support of the Governor and Business Oregon for this project," said Will Blount, President of Ruffwear. "We see this co-working space as an opportunity to help up-and-coming companies, cultivate creativity, and build community."
“Oregon has cultivated vibrant and rapidly growing entrepreneurial outdoor gear and apparel communities," said Governor Brown. "Visionary companies like Ruffwear see the advantages of supporting the entire industry to grow its talent pool and introduce new ideas and new products. This is the kind of public-private partnership we love to be a part of."
Ruffwear sells its performance dog gear products in 53 countries. Business Oregon began working with Ruffwear in 2003, with a direct loan to help purchase its first location in Bend, and subsequent assistance to grow their business through export assistance grants and website optimization for global markets.
In 2012, the company applied for another loan to purchase a larger facility that accommodates growth. Ruffwear has outgrown its current space once again, and proposed to remodel its 19,000-sq.-ft. unused warehouse space to accommodate expansion and the co-working facility.
The facility will provide much-needed space to early-stage outdoor gear companies. In addition to physical work space, the facility will allow access to shared services such as product design and prototyping resources, internet and IT infrastructure, and administrative functions. It will create a hub for different entrepreneurs to share and collaborate on ideas and products. The space could also provide a home for educational talks, Oregon Outdoor Alliance meetings, Bend Outdoor Worx workshops, and others.
This latest expansion is anticipated to create 13 new jobs at Ruffwear. The facility is still under design and is expected to be completed in 2019.
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