Economic Development and Business Resources

Bellingham and the Whatcom County area are great places to do business. Businesses have access to an educated workforce and the proximity to Canada and major shipping lanes provides easier import/export.

The Associate Development Organization (ADO) at the Port of Bellingham offers recruitment assistance. As the economic development agency in Whatcom County, the Port works closely with state and local agencies to help new businesses open or relocate in Whatcom County.

In addition, Bellingham Technical College (BTC) works with local employers to ensure they have qualified employees. BTC is responsive to the needs of local businesses and works to ensure they provide classes and training relevant to those jobs.

The Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit membership organization that primarily functions as a business advocate. The chamber provides benefits that help member businesses grow and thrive while also focusing on legislation that keeps Washington and Whatcom County a great place to do business.

The Chamber also offers a variety of programs including Leadership Whatcom, Whatcom Young Professionals and the Networking Breakfast which is the largest monthly networking event in NW Washington.

There are a variety of programs and organizations designed to help you. Contact the appropriate organization below for information or call the Chamber at (360) 734-1330 for the referral!

Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce 
119 N. Commercial Street, Suite 110 Bellingham, WA | (360)734-1330 |
The Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit membership organization that represents the interests of business with government and provides programs to help businesses.

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA | (360) 671-3990 |
Bellingham & Whatcom County Tourism is the county’s official tourism agency. It is a nonprofit organization with over 700 members representing a variety of tourism and community-related businesses.

Bellingham SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives)
1313 E. Maple St. #591 Bellingham, WA | (360) 685-4259 |
Bellingham SCORE is a national nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small business start, grow and succeed nationwide; through face-to-face, confidential business counseling services at no charge.

Downtown Bellingham Partnership
1310 Commercial St. Bellingham, WA | (360) 527-8710 |
The Downtown Bellingham Partnership works closely with the City of Bellingham to provide leadership in the development of public policy that affects downtown, and they generate solutions to ensure downtown retains its vibrancy, life, and culture.

Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC)
119 N. Commercial Street, Suite 110, Bellingham, WA | (360) 593-4744 |
Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC) provides northwest Washington farmers with the skills and the resources required to profitably and efficiently supply their products to consumers, retailers, wholesalers, foodservice operators and food manufacturers.

Northwest Workforce Council
217 Prospect Street, Bellingham, WA | (360) 715-1501 |
The Northwest Workforce Council is responsible for governance and oversight of the workforce development system in Whatcom, Skagit, Island and San Juan counties. The council identifies current and future workforce trends, needs and priorities, and works with stakeholders and constituencies to execute priority initiatives.  The council is the regional advocate for efforts to identify sector-specific strategies that better align education, economic and workforce development initiatives.

Port of Bellingham
1801 Roeder Ave, Bellingham, WA | (360) 676-2500 |
The Port of Bellingham’s mission is to fulfill the essential transportation and economic development needs of the region while providing leadership in maintaining greater Whatcom County’s overall economic vitality through the development of comprehensive facilities, programs and services.

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
1616 Cornwall Ave. Bellingham, WA | (360) 778-1762 |
Western Washington University’s SBDC provides assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs in developing a business plan, obtaining financing, managing cash flow and handling HR concerns at no cost.

Sustainable Connections
1701 Ellis St., Suite 221 Bellingham, WA | (360) 647-7093 |
Sustainable Connections is Bellingham’s forum where businesses come together to transform and model a vibrant local economy built on sustainable practices through multiple programs including Sustainable Business Development, Green Building & Smart Growth and Energy Efficiency – encouraging green power purchasing and increased local renewable energy infrastructure.

Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington (TAGNW)
114 W. Magnolia Street, Suite 505 Bellingham, WA | (360) 318-7710 |
The Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington is a regional trade association that supports the technology industry. TAG supports local economic development by connecting, highlighting and promoting the growth of technology companies.

Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center (WDRC)
13 Prospect St., Suite 201, Bellingham WA | (360) 676-0122 |
The WDRC offers conflict prevention and intervention services for businesses, organizations, individuals, and families. Recognizing that conflict is a normal and natural part of life, and sometimes people and organizations need impartial assistance, the WDRC also provides mediation, facilitation, and coaching services.

WorkSource Washington
101 Prospect Street, Bellingham, WA | (360) 676-1521 |
WorkSource is Washington’s one-stop career center system, a part of the American Job Center Network. This comprehensive career center in downtown Bellingham offers no-cost, professional employment-related services to businesses and job candidate alike. A full menu of opportunities ranges from introductions to work for young adults, occupational training support, mid-career change either by choice or layoff, to strategies for workers 55 and Better.

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