Team Whatcom

Get guidance and advice, and connect with the local business community.

Every good business story has an awesome team behind it. In Whatcom County, you’ll find a myriad of business support organizations that offer powerful and applicable business advice, at no cost. Get started by contacting one of these organizations today.

Regional Economic Partnership brochure

The brochure is best viewed in full screen (click the icon on the bottom right corner). View/Download Full PDF of Brochure

The brochure is best viewed in full screen (click the icon on the bottom right corner).

View/Download Full PDF of Brochure


Lummi Indian Business Council

Since time immemorial, the Lummi Nation has been a fishing community.  We built a subsistence-based culture and economy by following the resources of the land and sea, which have sustained us for thousands of years.  Our Anthem, Che Shesh Whe Wheleq, “survivors of the flood,” tells us that our ancestors survived the Great Flood and… [ Read More ]

Since time immemorial, the Lummi Nation has been a fishing community.  We built a subsistence-based culture and economy by following the resources of the land and sea, which have sustained us for thousands of years.  Our Anthem, Che Shesh Whe Wheleq, “survivors of the flood,” tells us that our ancestors survived the Great Flood and that the Lummi People have adapted over thousands of years to prosper and evolve with the times.  Today, we manage 13,000 acres of tideland on the Lummi Reservation, operating aquaculture, business and programs that benefit 5242 Lummi Tribal Members, our neighbors, and northwest Washington.

The Lummi Nation is one of the largest employers in Whatcom County.  We are working locally, regionally, and nationally to create a more favorable climate for environmentally sustainable businesses.

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Doing business with Lummi Nation
  • Getting a business license
  • Zoning and Permitting
  • Tribal Government

For more information contact Teresa Taylor


Port of Bellingham

The Port serves existing businesses countywide, on and off Port property, with retention and expansion support. Staff also manage inbound investment leads and work to attract new business to Whatcom County. We stay current on development opportunities and resources through our expansive partnerships.

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Relocating to Whatcom County
  • Growing a business in Whatcom County
  • Obtaining financing
  • Getting in touch with the right business organization


Contact John Michener and Gina Stark, economic development specialists, today.


Whatcom County

Whatcom County has a long history of helping local businesses find success. Their permitting center is a 1-stop location, where staff is readily available to coordinate and assist with questions regarding structural development, county land use regulations, the permitting process, natural resource regulations, encroachment questions, and any other land use or building questions.

Whatcom County also offers a myriad of online resources, including a business directory, code enforcement resources, building inspection information, and more.

Learn more about how Whatcom County can help your business, by visiting their website today.


City of Bellingham

The City of Bellingham has a long and successful history of collaborating with professionals to help grow, start, or relocate their business. Get help with permitting, zoning, getting a business license, and more.

Staff is available to assist you with business-related questions and provide community resources and city services to support your business.

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Doing business in Bellingham
  • Zoning and permitting
  • Getting a business license

Get business help from the City of Bellingham by emailing or calling 360-778-8105.


Sumas Chamber of Commerce

Sumas is a Canadian-border town nestled in the foothills of Mt. Baker in the fertile Nooksack Valley of Washington State. Today, Sumas’ growing economy has a strong industrial, agricultural and tourism base backed by a thriving international railroad and trucking center. Get involved with the Sumas business community by becoming a member today!

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Doing business in Sumas
  • Relocating to Sumas
  • Networking and marketing
  • Community involvement

Lynden Chamber of Commerce

Since the early 1920s, the Lynden Chamber of Commerce has existed to influence, develop, and maintain a prosperous business climate for Lynden. The Chamber is the community’s primary protector of business and professional interests. It is the collective voice for over 350 firms to cohesive work with city government, network to share common concerns and provide civic information and event promotion.

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Doing business in Lynden
  • Relocating to Lynden
  • Networking and marketing
  • Community involvement

Ferndale Chamber of Commerce

Established in 1955, the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce is devoted to fostering a healthy business environment that will promote a great quality of life for our community. Ferndale offers a great many opportunities for entrepreneurs and businesses. Just over an hour north of Seattle and one hour south of Vancouver, BC, our town is conveniently located off I-5, just minutes from the county seat of Bellingham, Washington.

Ferndale is Whatcom County’s fastest growing community and is expected to evolve into a major business arena. If you are looking for a growing community that cares, then Ferndale is the place for you!


Perfect for people interested in:

  • Doing business in Ferndale
  • Relocating to Ferndale
  • Networking and marketing
  • Community involvement

Everson/Nooksack Chamber of Commerce

The Everson Nooksack Chamber of Commerce accomplishes great things for our businesses and our community. We hold a general membership meeting Quarterly: 3rd Tuesday of January, April, July, and October. The Board meets the Friday before to set the agenda.

Our Chamber’s main activities include our summer and winter festivals, flowers for our downtown business districts, and providing a social media platform with our website and Facebook page. These endeavors are designed to promote and advertise our local businesses.

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Doing business in Everson or Nooksack
  • Relocating to Everson or Nooksack
  • Networking and marketing
  • Community involvement

Blaine Chamber of Commerce

The Blaine Community Chamber of Commerce meets the first Wednesday of every month at a local restaurant. Our meetings cover general business and usually include a guest speaker. We look forward to seeing you there and to working with you for the betterment of our community.

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Doing business in Blaine
  • Relocating to Blaine
  • Networking and marketing
  • Community involvement

Bellingham Technical College (BTC)

With about 4,000 students, Bellingham Technical College is the only two-year technical college in northwest Washington. BTC has an 82% job placement rate for recent graduates.

BTC offers 35 associate degrees and 43 certificate programs that prepare students for careers in a myriad of industries, including advanced manufacturing, accounting, process technology, registered nursing, radiologic technology, and many others.

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Technical programs in Whatcom County
  • Recruiting and posting jobs
  • Internships and training programs
  • Industry partnerships
  • Professional development workshops and classes

Email BTC at


Bellingham/Whatcom of Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Serving the local business community since 1911, the Chamber is a business resource for new and existing businesses looking to make Bellingham and Whatcom County their home.

The professional guidance and acumen of the Chamber staff will guide you to the resources you need as you explore real estate options, permitting, employment, marketing, vendor referrals et al. As “the voice of business in Whatcom County,” our goal is to create a strong business community, planned economic growth and a sustained quality of life.

The Chamber offers programs and events that benefit our members including:

  • Professional development and educational seminars
  • Government Affairs Committee
  • Cross Border Committee
  • Leadership Whatcom program that works to develop the next generation of active leaders
  • Networking opportunities with local business leaders

Contact President/CEO Guy Occhiogrosso for more information on how the Chamber can assist you in Choosing Whatcom.


Bellingham-Whatcom Tourism

The county’s official tourism agency, this non-profit organization provides maps, marketing, business education workshops, community information, and tourism research and statistics.

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Learning about Whatcom County’s quality of life
  • Getting familiar with the local culture
  • Exploring local outdoor activities

Contact our tourism agency today.


Downtown Bellingham Partnership

The Partnership is a strong voice for Downtown and an effective liaison between downtown stakeholders and local decision makers. They offer cooperative advertising campaigns and networking opportunities for businesses downtown. Programs include Downtown Sounds, Downtown Art Walks, and marketing and beautification of downtown streets and sidewalks.

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Familiarizing themselves with local restaurants, events, shopping, and activities
  • Understanding local culture
  • Getting a tour of downtown
  • Sponsoring and/or getting involved with local events

Get in touch with the Downtown Bellingham Partnership today.


Northwest Agricultural Business Center (NABC)

Established in 2006, Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC) provides northwest Washington farmers with the skills and the resources required to profitably and efficiently supply their products to consumers, retailers, wholesalers, foodservice operators, and food manufacturers. Its main office is located in Mt Vernon in the heart of Washington’s Skagit Valley farm region.

The NABC Provides business development services to farm clients, connects Farm to Market to increase farm sales, and Identifies and creates regional agriculture infrastructure.

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Getting help and guidance with their farming and/or agricultural business
  • Food and beverage business professionals
  • Agricultural classes and workshops

Contact the NABC today at


Northwest Innovation Resource Center (NWIRC)

The NWIRC works with early stage innovators–entrepreneurs and inventors–to bring their ideas to life. Through the creation of personalized strategies that fit the unique situation and goals of each innovator, the NWIRC process prepares them with the right tools and resources to navigate the pitfalls incurred while developing and launching their new idea.

The NWIRC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to creating economic opportunities through innovative communities that support entrepreneurial activity.

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Developing/launching a new idea or technology
  • Creating a business and marketing plan
  • Obtaining financing
  • Getting guidance and mentorship

Get in touch with the NWIRC today.



Get expert advice from retired professionals who’ve lived and breathed small business. Sponsored by the Small Business Administration, SCORE offers free business counseling and publications that cover initial capital requirements, operating capital, business and marketing plans, pricing, advertising, cash flow, profit/loss, and other business fundamentals.

Perfect for people interested in:

    • Learning from retired business professionals
    • Getting business advice from a mentor
    • Getting help with a business plan, cash flow, advertising, etc.

Schedule an appointment with a SCORE mentor today.


Sustainable Connections

Get real, practical advice on growing your business in a smart and sustainable way. Sustainable Connections is a non-profit that offers advice and workshops for entrepreneurs and business professionals. They offer a local forum where businesses come together to transform and model an economy built on sustainable practices.

Perfect for people interested in:

    • Farming, food, and beverage
    • Local markets and local sourcing of products and services
    • Green building, energy and other environmental services

Contact Derek Long, the Executive Director of Sustainable Connections today.


Technology Alliance Group (TAG)

TAG connects technology businesses to resources by offering education programs, networking opportunities and other business services to the technology sector and its service providers. Their mission is to promote, educate and advocate for technology businesses in the area.

TAG provides technology-based economic development services to local government and the business community.


Perfect for people interested in:

  • Connecting with the local tech community
  • Recruiting/looking for tech jobs
  • Sponsoring or getting involved with tech events

Get in touch with TAG’s Board’s Vice President, Michael Gan, today.


Whatcom Business Alliance (WBA)

The WBA leadership network provides a strong voice for the private sector of business throughout Whatcom County—small or large, private or public, in any industry or niche market; they encourage economic development and advocacy.

The WBA membership roll call continues to grow rapidly with a unifying mission: supporting and celebrating a positive business environment, and providing a vast communications network to address issues concerning businesses.


Perfect for people interested in:

  • Connecting and networking with local business professionals
  • Attending business events and workshops
  • Marketing their business

Contact WBA’s executive director, Barbara Chase, today.


Whatcom Community College

Whatcom Community College serves 11,000 students annually; 79 percent of graduates will earn transfer degrees to continue their educations at four-year colleges or universities. The remaining 21 percent of graduates will earn professional-technical degrees in high-demand fields.

Beginning fall 2017, WCC will offer a bachelor of applied science in IT Networking; students may begin prerequisites now. WCC is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Aspen Institute lists Whatcom among the top 150 community colleges in the nation. WCC also offers basic education, job skills, and Community & Continuing Education classes.

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Recruiting
  • Starting internships
  • Learning more about our educational institutions

Whatcom Council of Governments (WCOG)

The Whatcom Council of Governments (WCOG) provides a variety of services and administers programs that contribute to the outstanding quality of life which the more than 200,000 residents of Whatcom County have come to expect.

Established in 1966 pursuant to Chapter 36.64.080 of the Revised Code of Washington, WCOG provides a forum through which mutual cooperation is facilitated among its members, which include the County’s seven cities, Whatcom County Government, the Port of Bellingham and other regional entities. Like most other councils of governments throughout Washington and the United States, WCOG has neither taxing authority nor the ability to regulate land use.

Contact WCOG today at


Whatcom WorkSource

WorkSource Centers provide one-stop hiring and training assistance to businesses and job-seekers. Services for businesses include computer job matching, online job postings and resume bank, customized training, and consultation. WorkSource Centers are a joint venture of numerous workforce, education, and training agencies.

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Recruiting
  • Training opportunities and workshops


Call the Whatcom County office at 360-676-1521 or visit their website


WWU Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The SBDC is your go-to team for small business help. They’ll connect you with a Certified Business Advisor, who will help you create a business plan, develop financial forecasts, provide secondary market research, obtain financing, handle human resources concerns, and much more.

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Developing a business plan
  • Obtaining financing
  • Managing your business
  • Starting or Growing your business

Email SBDC at


WWU Center for Economic and Business Research

WWU’s Center for Economic and Business Research works in partnership with businesses, non-profits, government entities, and tribal communities to bridge the resources of Western students, faculty, and staff, and creating solutions to challenges.

From answering questions to creating research that drives decisions–they are moving forward. Their work includes a variety of analysis documents, internship programs, class projects and faculty projects.

Perfect for people interested in:

  • Connecting with Western Washington University
  • Workshops and training
  • Business research
  • Internships

Email WWU’s Center for Economic and Business Research at


City of Sumas

Sumas is a small farming town located on the Canadian border, with a 24-hour border crossing into Abbotsford, BC. Sumas’ growing economy has a strong industrial and agricultural base, backed by a thriving international railroad and trucking center.

City of Blaine

Blaine, known as the “Peace Arch City,” is home to Whatcom County’s busiest Canadian border crossing and sits in between two of the most popular Pacific Northwest Cities: Vancouver, BC to the north and Seattle, WA to the south.

Blaine is situated on the banks of Drayton Harbor and the foothill of the cascade mountain range, with easy access to the Mt. Baker Wilderness and Mt. Baker Ski area just 25 miles to the east.


City of Everson

The City of Everson is home to about 2,500 residents. The City is surrounded by rich agricultural soils, snow covered peaks, and is located about 30 minutes northeast of Bellingham and 10 minutes south of the Canadian border.

Located on the banks of the Nooksack River, Everson has plenty of opportunities for small businesses; the City includes restaurants, a grocery store, pharmacy, auto-repair, agricultural supply stores, and a variety of parks.

City of Ferndale

Ferndale is a vibrant community of about 14,000 people, located on the Interstate 5 corridor, approximately 6 miles north of Bellingham and 13 miles south of the Canadian Border. There are many nearby attractions including Mount Baker, the San Juan Islands, numerous lakes, historic parks, and the Nooksack River.

Ferndale’s thriving economy includes industrial land at Cherry Point, a historic downtown, and available commercial real estate.


City of Lynden

The City of Lynden is the second largest city in Whatcom County and offers a border crossing into British Columbia. Lynden’s economy has a rich history in dairy farming, and is also home to the Raspberry Festival and Northwest Washington Fair, which draws about 200,000 visitors every year.

Lynden’s quaint downtown offers antique shops, book stores, authentic Dutch food and more; in 2016, Lynden won the title of “Best Main Street in America” through a national vote.