Community Business Resources

Our community offers a variety of business resources and organizations that offer guidance, networking and mentorship.

Don't know where to start? Go to Choose Whatcom for county-wide business resources.

 

Choose Whatcom

Contact: econdev@portofbellingham.org  

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Co-funded by the City of Bellingham, Port of Bellingham and Whatcom County, Choose Whatcom offers a one-stop-shop for county-wide business resources. Learn about our community's key industries, success stories, lifestyle and more. You can also get in touch with mentors and organizations who offer business guidance at no cost. Visit ChooseWhatcom.com if you're interested in starting, growing or relocating your business in Whatcom County, or if you want to learn more about our free community business resources.

 

Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Contact: 360-734-1330 / Guy@bellingham.com

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Serving the local business community since 1911, the Chamber is a business resource for new and existing businesses looking to make Bellingham and Whatcom County their home. Chamber staff will guide you to the resources you need as you explore real estate options, permitting, employment, marketing, vendor referrals et al. As "the voice of business in Whatcom County," our goal is to create a strong business community, planned economic growth and a sustained quality of life.

 

Bellingham/Whatcom Tourism

Contact: 360-671-3990 / tourism@bellingham.org

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As the county's official tourism agency, this non-profit organization provides maps, marketing, business education workshops, community information and tourism research and statistics. Contact Bellingham/Whatcom Tourism to learn about Whatcom County's quality of life, exploring outdoor activities, arts and entertainment and more.

 

Bellingham Technical College (BTC)

Contact: 360-752-7200 / btc@btc.edu

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With about 4,000 students, BTC is the only two-year technical college in northwest Washington. BTC has an 82% job placement rate for recent graduates and offers 35 associate degree, and 43 certificate programs that prepare students for careers in a variety of industries, including advanced manufacturing, accounting, process technology, registered nursing, radiologic technology and many others. Contact BTC if you're interested in local technical programs, recruiting, job postings, internships or professional training.

 

Downtown Bellingham Partnership (DBP)

Contact 360-527-8710 / info@downtownbellingham.com

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The Partnership is a strong voice for downtown and an effective liaison between downtown stakeholders and local decision makers. They offer cooperative advertising campaigns and networking opportunities for businesses downtown. Programs include: "Downtown Dollars," Downtown Art Walks, and the marketing and beautification of downtown streets and sidewalks. Contact DBP if you're interested in doing business downtown, sponsoring an event, getting a tour or learning about Bellingham's lifestyle.

 

Fairhaven Association

Contact: 360-738-1574

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The Association's purpose is to promote and support the historic Fairhaven district in south Bellingham. Programs include mutual exchange of discounts for employees, beautification projects, business directory and website and event planning. The Association also holds monthly merchant meetings. Contact them if you're interested in starting a business in Fairhaven.

 

Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC)

Contact 360-336-3727 / info@agbizcenter.org

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The NABC provides northwest Washington farmers with the skills and resources required to profitably and efficiently supply their products to consumers, retailers, wholesalers, foodservice operators and food manufacturers. Its main office is located in Mt. Vernon in the heart of Washington's Skagit Valley farm region. The NABC provides business development services to farm clients connects Farm to Market to increase farm sales, and identifies and creates regional agriculture infrastructure. Contact them if  you're interested in starting, growing or relocating your agricultural business.

 

Northwest Innovation Resource Center

Contact: 360-255-7870 / info@nwirc.org

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The NWIRC works with early stage innovators - entrepreneurs and inventors - to bring their ideas to life. Through the creation of personalized strategies that fit the unique situation and goals of each innovator, the NWIRC process prepares them with the right tools and resources to navigate the pitfalls incurred while developing and launching their new idea. Contact the NWIRC if you're interested in developing/launching a new idea or technology, creating a business and marketing plan or getting guidance and mentorship.

 

Port of Bellingham

Contact: 360-676-2500 / dodds@portofbellingham.org

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The Port serves existing businesses countywide, on and off Port property, with retention and expansion support. Staff also manage inbound investment leads and work to attract new business to Whatcom County. We stay current on development opportunities and resources through our expansive partnerships. Contact the Port of Bellingham if you're interested in relocating to Whatcom County, starting a business on Port property or obtaining financing.

 

SCORE

Contact: 360-685-4259

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Get expert advice from retired professionals who've lived and breathed small business. Sponsored by the Small Business Administration, SCORE offers free business counseling and publications that cover initial capital requirements, operating capital, business and marketing plans, pricing, advertising, cash flow, profit/loss and other business fundamentals.

 

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Contact: 360-778-1762 / sbdc@wwu.edu

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The SBDC is your go-to team for small business help. They'll connect you with a Certified Business Advisor, who will help you create a business plan, develop financial forecasts, provide secondary market research, obtain financing, handle human resources concerns and more.

 

Sustainable Connections

Contact: 360-647-7093 / derekl@sustainableconnections.org

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Get real, practical advice on growing your business in a smart and sustainable way. Sustainable Connections is a non-profit that offers advice and workshops for entrepreneurs and business professionals. They offer a local forum where businesses come together to transform and model an economy built on sustainable practices. Contact Sustainable Connections if you're interested in green building, farming, food and beverage or sustainable business practices.

Technology Alliance Group (TAG)

Contact: 360-647-4220 / meg@tagnw.org

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TAG connects technology businesses to resources by offering education programs, networking opportunities and other business services to the technology sector and its service providers. Their mission is to promote, educate and advocate for technology businesses in the area. Contact TAG if you're interested in connecting with the local tech community, recruiting or getting involved with local tech events.

 

Whatcom Business Alliance

Contact: 360-746-0418 / tony@whatcombusinessalliance.com

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The WBA leadership network provides a strong voice for the private sector of business throughout Whatcom County - small or large, private or public, in any industry or niche market; they encourage economic development and advocacy.

The WBA membership roll call continues to grow rapidly with a unifying mission: supporting and celebrating a positive business environment and providing a vast communications network to address issues concerning businesses. Contact the WBA if you're interested in professional networking, business events and workshops or marketing.

 

Whatcom Council of Governments (WCOG)

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Contact: 360-676-6974 / wcog@wcog.org

WCOG provides a variety of services and administers programs that contribute to the outstanding quality of life, which Whatcom County's more than 200,000 residents have come to expect. WCOG provides a forum through which mutual cooperation is facilitated among its members, which include the County's seven cities, Whatcom County Government, the Port of Bellingham and other regional entities. Like most other councils of governments throughout Washington and the US, WCOG has neither taxing authority nor the ability to regulate land use.

 

Whatcom Community College (WCC)

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Contact: 360-383-3000

WCC serves 11,000 students annually; 79% of graduates will earn transfer degrees to continue their educations at four-year colleges or universities. The remaining 21% of graduates will earn professional-technical degrees in high-demand fields. The Aspen Institute lists WCC among the top 150 community colleges in the nation. WCC also offers basic education, job skills, and Community & Continuing Education classes. Contact WCC if you're interested in recruiting, or training and workshops.

 

Whatcom WorkSource

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Contact: 360-676-1521

WorkSource Centers provide one-stop hiring and training assistance to businesses and job-seekers. Services for businesses include computer job matching, online job postings and resume bank, customized training and consultation. WorkSource Centers are a joint venture of numerous workforce, education and training agencies.

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