Business & Industry

WCC Courtyard 2

Photo: Whatcom Community College courtyard. Photo provided courtesy of the Whatcom Community College.

Whatcom County’s industries are well-diversified, and there’s room for just about any new business or business extension to open.

The largest industry as of 2017 was government, including public education like Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College, Bellingham Technical College and each primary school.

Health care makes up the second largest industry, thanks to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center, Unity Care NW, Family Care Network, private practices, alternative medicine and the assisted living facilities in the area.

Dr. Sloane Winkes examines baby. Photo provided courtesy of the Family Care Network.

Retail is booming in Whatcom County, thanks in part to the influx of Canadian shoppers. Bellis Fair Mall alone employs 2,300 full-time and 700 part-time employees annually.

Manufacturing companies have also found success in the county, where large pieces of land are available for new plants. The BP Cherry Point Refinery accounts for nearly 800 employees, and Cascade DAFO accounts for 275.

Information technologies accounts for approximately 1,200 jobs in the county. 420 of those employees work for Faithlife, a publisher of bible study software and one of Bellingham’s largest private employers.

The construction industry is strong in Whatcom County, with ongoing projects including Barkley Village, Bellingham International Airport, several new hotels and additions at the Silver Reef Hotel Casino Resort. As the Bellingham Waterfront District redevelopment begins, construction will continue to play a large part in shaping Bellingham and the county.

Agriculture, forestry and fishing are traditional industries in the county, with fertile farms in the north, forests to the east and sea to the west.

Farm Fresh, Lauren McClanahan. Photo provided courtesy of the City of Bellingham.

Other industries like finance and insurance, arts and entertainment, and real estate are also successful. Whatcom County is popular among young professionals, families and retired individuals, who all keep the area well-populated and thriving.

If you’re interested in opening or relocating a business to Whatcom County, call the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce at (360) 734-1330 and we’d be happy to provide resources and referrals to get you started!

*Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce members are denoted with an asterisk
Source – Data collected by the Western Washington University Center for Economics & Business Research study entitled “Whatcom County 2017 Top Employers.”