Business support is available to address the COVID-19 outbreak​

Business

​​​​​​​Our hearts go out to the many individuals and businesses in Whatcom County impacted by the outbreak of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Employers of all sizes and sectors should ca​refully monitor the situation and take steps to protect the health of their workers, their clients, and their businesses. Please remember, it is important to document business impacts as the situation is unfolding, both for insurance purposes and for future relief efforts by state and federal agencies. There are a growing number of resources for our business community to stay informed and prepared (some of which are listed below).​

  • Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood signed an order on March 19, 2020 extending payment deadlines for City utility, B & O tax, and lease payments, and waiving corresponding late penalties.
  • Port of Bellingham Economic Development Recovery webpage


Whatcom County COVID-19 Economic Impact Survey

Help Whatcom County understand the economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak by completing the Economic Impact Survey​ by Wednesday, April 8, 2020.  If you're a business owner, freelancer, gig worker, performer, etc., this survey provides the opportunity for you to inform public agencies and local nonprofits about how we can help and support you "get back to business" as quickly as possible.  The report will not include any individual responses; the report will combine your answers with all other responses.​​

City of Bellingham economic relief​​

​​On March 20, Mayor Fleetwood ordered the following relief measures​ take effect immediately to help ease financial pressure created by COVID-19 response:

  • Offering payment plans, waiving late payment penalties and suspending water shutoffs for approximately 27,000 utility customers, ensuring no customers face having their water and sewer services disrupted due to financial hardship caused by COVID-19.
  • Waiving rent for small businesses and nonprofits leasing City properties, including leased space in the downtown parking structure, at Boulevard Park, the Sportsplex, and other City properties.  The waiver is for April and May rent.  It applies to tenants whose ability to pay rent is negatively impacted by the reduced economic activity levels associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Allowing businesses that file quarterly to defer first and second quarter business and occupation (B&O) tax returns and payments until October 31, 2020.

Other relief resources

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Essential Business Inquiries