Business & Economic Development

There are several excellent organizations that serve businesses in Whatcom County and businesses looking to relocate or expand in the area. The organizations described below not only have outstanding track records for helping businesses succeed, but they also work together in an integrated way to save owners time and money. We encourage you to explore the services offered by these outstanding programs.

Rural Economic Development Revolving Loan Program

The Rural Economic Development Revolving Loan Program (RED) was established in Blaine to offer loans at below market interest rates to existing businesses and to encourage new business start-ups in the City of Blaine. To apply, fill out the R.E.D. Loan Application (PDF). For further information, contact Jeffrey Lazenby.

Port of Bellingham

1801 Roeder Avenue
P.O. Box 1677
Bellingham, WA 98227-1677
Phone: 360-676-2500
Port of Bellingham Website

About the Port

The Port of Bellingham’s mission is to fulfill the essential transportation and economic development needs of the region. As the county’s lead agency for job creation, the port is responsible for serving companies that would like to operate anywhere in the county, and promote Whatcom County as a place to do business.

The port encourages existing industrial and commercial businesses to expand and work to attract new industrial and commercial businesses to Whatcom County that can provide quality employment and augment the county’s economic base.

Northwest Workforce Development Council

101 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 2009
Bellingham, WA 98227
Phone: 360-676-3206
Northwest Workforce Development Council Website

The Northwest Workforce Development Council assists employers prepare a skilled, successful workforce that is aligned with specific needs of a business or industry. A primary goal is to be a One-Stop career center system which integrates and streamlines education, employment and graining services for youth and adults.

Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

1616 Cornwall Avenue, Suite #119
Bellingham, WA 98225
SBDC Website

The SBDC Program is designed to provide high quality business and economic development assistance to small businesses and nascent entrepreneurs (pre-venture) in order to promote growth, expansion, innovation, increased productivity and management improvement.

SBDC works collaboratively with assistance from SBA to coordinate and fully utilize the resources of other federal, state and local government, academic and private sector programs concerned with aiding small businesses in order to provide seamless but not duplicate business development assistance at every stage of their growth.

SCORE: Counselors to America’s Small Business

SCORE Chapter 591
101 E. Holly St.
Bellingham, WA 98225

SCORE, the Service Corp of Retired Executives Association, is a volunteer program sponsored by the U.S. Small business Administration (SBA). SCORE volunteer counselors are members of locally organized and self administered chapters. They work in their home community to provide management counseling and training to small businesses or to those thinking about going into business. Counseling is confidential and person-to-person.

Other Useful Links

Center for Economics and Business Research

Western Washington University
College of Business and Economics
Dr. Hart Hodges
Phone: 360-650-3909
Center for Economics and Business Research Website

Bellingham Technical College

3028 Lindbergh Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225
Bellingham Technical College Website

Whatcom Community College

237 West Kellogg Road
Bellingham, WA 98226
Phone: 360-676-2170
Whatcom Community College Website