Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

What is a CEDS?

The CEDS stands for Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. It is a long-term planning document that is intended to guide economic development throughout a region. Having an up to date CEDS is a requirement to be eligible to compete for EDA and other federal funding opportunities. It is also a requirement to be eligible for many Washington State funding opportunities. The CEDS also provides a long-term vision and plan for economic development in the region, making development more programmatic and efficient.

When was the most recent update?

The 2022-2026 report update was led by the Port’s economic development staff, overseen by the CEDS External Review Committee, and informed by broad stakeholder engagement within the community throughout the entire process. The CEDS External Review Committee includes a representative from each jurisdiction (Whatcom County, Bellingham, Blaine, Everson, Ferndale, Lynden, Nooksack, and Sumas) both sovereign tribes (the Lummi Nation and the Nooksack Indian Tribe) as well as PUD #1 and WCOG. All four staff members from the Port of Bellingham’s economic development team were also on the committee. 

In November 2021, Whatcom County Council approved the CEDS report. In December 2021, County Council approved an amendment for the CEDS to be for 2022-2026 rather than 2021-2025 due as the document was completed and approved in late 2021. The EDA accepted and approved the 2022-2026 CEDS on April 1, 2022.

Where can I find the most recent report? 

The most up to date copy of the report will regularly be posted on this webpage. Here is the most recent update for the 2022-2026 CEDS report

For the first time, we have also created a Whatcom County CEDS website. This site lays out the SWOT analyses, the resulting CEDS goals, and provides additional data visualizations on many topics, such a demographics, infrastructure, workforce and industry, the US-Canada border, diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as resiliency and recovery. The data and images are freely accessible and do not require a sign in. They can also be customized and are downloadable and shareable.

Why did the Port's economic development team update the 2022 report?

The Port of Bellingham is the associate development organization (ADO) for Whatcom County, which is a Washington State Department of Commerce designation. In 2019 the responsibility for updating the CEDS Project List and five-year report was transferred from WCOG to the Port. The economic development team at the Port will administrate the Action Plan outlined in Section III.1-3. It is the basis of the team’s internal work plan.

Questions, comments, or feedback on the report or CEDS website?

Email Jennifer Noveck at jennifern@portofbellingham.com.