COVID-19 Economic Impact & Resources

Whatcom County moves into Phase 2 of Re-opening

On Thursday, June 4, 2020 Whatcom County was approved to move into Phase 2 of re-opening. The Stay Home Stay Healthy order remains in place.

Phase 2 allows these activities, according to the Whatcom Health Department:

  • Social gatherings — inside or outside — with no more than five people from outside your household.
  • More manufacturing and construction, domestic services, retail stores, real estate. services, professional services, nail salons and barbers, with some restrictions.
  • Restaurants can open at 50% capacity but without bar seating.

Practices that must continue in Phase 2, according to the Whatcom Health Department:

  • Stay 6 feet away from non-household members while you are outside.
  • Cover your face when you are in public, especially indoors.
  • Wash your hands frequently, and use hand sanitizer. 
  • Limit your social interactions with people who don’t live with you. Keep a list of those with whom you’ve been in contact. This reduces the risk of infection and helps our contact investigators more easily trace cases and close contacts. 
  • Know the risks of gathering with people who do not live in your household.

According to the Health Department, Whatcom County will need to wait a minimum of three weeks before we are eligible to apply for Phase 3. There’s a chance we will need to turn the dial back to Phase 1 restrictions if we have an increase in cases. 

It’s up to all of us to maintain our healthy habits to move on to the next phase. 


REP and WHD issue Joint Framework on Re-Opening Whatcom County’s Economy

With the highest goal always being public safety and health, Whatcom County Health Department and the Regional Economic Partnership at the Port of Bellingham intend to work side-by-side to ensure a safe, healthy re-opening of our local economy. The WHD and REP have issued a Joint Framework that includes details on the process and timeline for re-opening, which can be read here. The appendix can be found here..

  1. Local gov
  2. State gov
  3. Federal gov
  4. Local orgs
  5. Sovereign Tribal Nations
  6. Canada/Border Crossing

Western Washington University Small Business Development Center

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC), led by CJ Seitz, will take the lead on technical assistance, including but not limited to: identifying financial tools, understanding new tools and resources made available by local, state, and federal authorities, and coordinating with local lenders to relay the needs of clients. Any issues related to technical assistance should be coordinating via the SBDC. Their office is closed and they will be doing web-based small business consulting until further notice. You can also visit their website (https://sbdc.wwu.edu/business-continuity-resources) for additional information and business resources as tools are identified and developed by local, state, and federal authorities.

If you are interested in setting up an appointment, please complete your client profile here (http://wsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/ClientPresignup.action?centerID=0). Upon completion, the SBDC will contact you to coordinate an appointment that works well for your schedule.

Whatcom Unified Command on COVID-19

Please visit Unified Command’s COVID-19 website for regular updates and see their Businesses and Restaurants page for business specific information.