- Economic Development
Regional Economic Partnership
The goal of REP is to retain and attract livable wage jobs and to assist businesses, entrepreneurs, and local organizations to thrive. We aim to work with our partners to create a resilient community and economy for all. We have expertise in financing, planning, research, real estate, and technology to help businesses start, develop, and grow throughout Whatcom County, Washington.
Visit our CEDS page for more details on our mission, goals, strategies and action plan for economic development in Whatcom County.
What We Do
- Promote Whatcom County as a great place to live, work and do business.
- Connect businesses with economic development services and skilled workforce resources.
- Assist businesses with the creation of Federal Trade Zones (FTZ), site identification and selection.
- Work with our partners in Canada to help enhance and grow cross border trade opportunities.
- Work collaboratively with our local and regional partners to create a vibrant community of higher education learning, prosperous agricultural lands, high tech businesses, marine manufacturing, and local food processing.
Want to learn more? Check out the Whatcom County profile page. Contact our Team and visit our Choose Whatcom page to see how we can help your business start, grow, or expand. Sign up for our quarterly newsletter here!
Small Business Disaster Grant Program
WA State Dept of Commerce has $9.7 available for grants to small businesses with annual gross receipts of $5 million or less that have sustained a reduction in business income or activity as the result of a natural disaster such as flood, earthquake, or a human-caused disaster such as a major utility disruption resulting in property damage or prolonged outages. Please note this is separate application and grant program from the NW Disaster Grant program and is not specific to the Nov 2021 Nooksack River flood. Those who were awarded funds from the NW Disaster Grant program are ineligible for this program.
Grant limit is $75,000 per business. Funds may be used to reimburse the following eligible expenses: Payroll, Utilities and rent, Marketing and advertising, Building improvements and repairs, Replacing damaged inventory and equipment, and Other operational and business expenses related to a qualifying disaster.
You will need the name of your local ADO and a representative's name and contact information to complete the online grant application.
If your business is located in Whatcom County:
- Your ADO is: The Port of Bellingham
- ADO Contact Name: Gina Stark
- ADO Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Applications are due March 31, 2023
Application Portal: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/8698ad97ca7942018235b2a6800d0285
Nooksack River Floods of 2021 Resources
The Northwest Disaster Grant Program for businesses impacted by the November 2021 floods closed March 1, 2023.
If your business has been impacted by the November 2021 flooding in Whatcom County, please visit the following pages for resources:
- WWU SBDC's flood resources for businesses
- Whatcom County's Flood Response Information (link to report damages)
- WSU Extension Flood Support for Agriculture
- Buy flood insurance and protect yourself in the future: see this FEMA flier in English and Spanish for more info!
If you or your business would like to donate funds, in-kind gifts, or to volunteer time for flood recovery please visit:
Washington Hospitality Grants - application portal opens March 2023!
This program will award one-time grants to eligible restaurants, hotels, motels, and other small hospitality businesses in Washington State that were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Please go to our COVID-19 Economic Impact & Resources page for information and updates.
Check out our amazing community and browse the brochure below!