Resources for Doing Business Downtown

Welcome to your online resource for Downtown Bellingham business support. Whether you’re opening a new business Downtown or you’re already established - we’re here for you!

 
 
 
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Business Resource Guide | Introduction

 
 

Welcome:
Downtown Business Resource Guide

The Downtown Bellingham Partnership Board and its partners are committed to assisting with the needs of businesses located within Downtown Bellingham. Our goal is to connect you with resources that encourage and assist your business development. As a resource for you, we have compiled this Business Resource Guide to identify key contacts and resources available to assist you. Our partners offer a wide variety of services such as business development, handling regulatory issues and identifying valuable tax credits. We hope you will find the Business Resource Guide to be a valuable tool in the development, growth and prosperity of your business. We welcome your comments and suggestions for how we can better serve you

Browse the guide by Section:

 
 
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About the DBP | The Basics

 
 

Your Primary Resource - The Basics:

Downtown Bellingham Partnership

The Downtown Bellingham Partnership is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering the vibrancy and growth of our downtown.  Everything we do is rooted in the idea that our community — Downtown Bellingham — is a place unlike anywhere else.  We work to enhance, promote, and advocate for a vibrant city center through development, promotion, support, and celebration.

OUR MISSION:

We champion the health and vitality of downtown Bellingham through the promotion of commerce, culture, and celebration. 

OUR VISION:

Bursting with creative vitality and authentic charm, Downtown Bellingham is a thriving, healthy community where people from all walks of life can experience a wealth of opportunities to work, shop, learn, and play.

Our Staff:

 
 
About Alice:   Downtown is truly the heart of the city to Alice. She is thrilled to support and be a part of and its emerging revitalization. Excited by the opportunities that city renewal presents, she is committed to ensuring the growth taking place now reflects the values of the community. She believes co-creating a city is not only possible — it's necessary.  Born and raised in St. Louis, Alice moved to Bellingham in 1980. She witnessed a variety of changes in the city, from the building of the Bellis Fair Mall to the closing of the G-P paper mill. Using her degree in Graphic Design from Western Washington University, she helped found the Pickford Film Center. Alice later lead the organization through a $3.25 million campaign and opening of the new PFC on Bay Street in 2012.  Attributed to years of working at the Pickford, as well as her service on a variety of community boards, Alice is familiar with the people, places, potential and concerns of Downtown Bellingham. Since joining DBP's board in 2016, Alice has been busy focusing on the community's desire for an increased focus on economic development and addressing the challenges that impact downtown's health and vitality.

About Alice:

Downtown is truly the heart of the city to Alice. She is thrilled to support and be a part of and its emerging revitalization. Excited by the opportunities that city renewal presents, she is committed to ensuring the growth taking place now reflects the values of the community. She believes co-creating a city is not only possible — it's necessary.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Alice moved to Bellingham in 1980. She witnessed a variety of changes in the city, from the building of the Bellis Fair Mall to the closing of the G-P paper mill. Using her degree in Graphic Design from Western Washington University, she helped found the Pickford Film Center. Alice later lead the organization through a $3.25 million campaign and opening of the new PFC on Bay Street in 2012.

Attributed to years of working at the Pickford, as well as her service on a variety of community boards, Alice is familiar with the people, places, potential and concerns of Downtown Bellingham. Since joining DBP's board in 2016, Alice has been busy focusing on the community's desire for an increased focus on economic development and addressing the challenges that impact downtown's health and vitality.

Alice Clark | Executive Director

About Marissa:   Marissa McGrath moved to Bellingham from the strip-mall-abundant Midwest in 2006. She served as an AmeriCorps volunteer and stuck with local non-profit work for a few years before moving to Vancouver, BC where she worked in development at the Vancouver Art Gallery. She got to see one of the princes there one time (but not one of the young ones and not Prince, The Artist, or anything) and another time she embarrassed herself in front of Joshua Jackson.  When not hobnobbing with the elite and the handsome, she gained a great deal of knowledge about fundraising and community relations. Soon though, she ached for her new-found home and returned to Bellingham to start a small historical walking tour company, The Good Time Girls, and eventually opened a small shop known as The Bureau.  As our Operations Manager, Marissa provides administrative support for the exciting programs and events that the Downtown Bellingham Partnership brings to her favorite place in the world. It’s the least she can do.

About Marissa:

Marissa McGrath moved to Bellingham from the strip-mall-abundant Midwest in 2006. She served as an AmeriCorps volunteer and stuck with local non-profit work for a few years before moving to Vancouver, BC where she worked in development at the Vancouver Art Gallery. She got to see one of the princes there one time (but not one of the young ones and not Prince, The Artist, or anything) and another time she embarrassed herself in front of Joshua Jackson.

When not hobnobbing with the elite and the handsome, she gained a great deal of knowledge about fundraising and community relations. Soon though, she ached for her new-found home and returned to Bellingham to start a small historical walking tour company, The Good Time Girls, and eventually opened a small shop known as The Bureau.

As our Operations Manager, Marissa provides administrative support for the exciting programs and events that the Downtown Bellingham Partnership brings to her favorite place in the world. It’s the least she can do.

Marissa McGrath | Assistant Director

About Melissa:   She’s new! Coming soon…

About Melissa:

She’s new! Coming soon…

Melissa Sorinsin | Office Coordinator

About Jennifer:   Jennifer is a PNW native, born in Seattle with Bellingham roots dating back to the 1930’s.  She left Bellingham in 93’ to seek new adventures & experiences in some of the most beautiful places west of the Mississippi. A few places she called home over the years…. Jackson Hole, Santa Fe, Bend, Boise, Palm Springs & Austin. She came full circle and moved back to Bellingham in the fall of 2017.  Originally, Jennifer returned to Bellingham with plans to open a botanical boutique in Downtown. But once she discovered the ‘Retail Advocate’ position open at the time, that was it - she knew THAT is what she was meant to do. Jennifer is passionate about economic development for downtown Bellingham while preserving its uniqueness, history and authenticity.  Jennifer’s professional background is jam-packed with all aspects of the retail and wholesale world; décor and design, floral and events, and even private aviation. Fabulous side note: she worked with Harrison Ford, just to name drop one of the many celebrities from her life. She says he was very “SWOON worthy.”  Across all, Jennifer believes in embracing change, constant learning and growth, both as individuals, partnerships, and community.

About Jennifer:

Jennifer is a PNW native, born in Seattle with Bellingham roots dating back to the 1930’s.

She left Bellingham in 93’ to seek new adventures & experiences in some of the most beautiful places west of the Mississippi. A few places she called home over the years…. Jackson Hole, Santa Fe, Bend, Boise, Palm Springs & Austin. She came full circle and moved back to Bellingham in the fall of 2017.

Originally, Jennifer returned to Bellingham with plans to open a botanical boutique in Downtown. But once she discovered the ‘Retail Advocate’ position open at the time, that was it - she knew THAT is what she was meant to do. Jennifer is passionate about economic development for downtown Bellingham while preserving its uniqueness, history and authenticity.

Jennifer’s professional background is jam-packed with all aspects of the retail and wholesale world; décor and design, floral and events, and even private aviation. Fabulous side note: she worked with Harrison Ford, just to name drop one of the many celebrities from her life. She says he was very “SWOON worthy.”

Across all, Jennifer believes in embracing change, constant learning and growth, both as individuals, partnerships, and community.

Jennifer Walters | Retail Advocate

About Lindsey:   The year 2008 was big for Lindsey and Downtown Bellingham's story. Not only did she graduate from Western Washington University, having spent her last quarter as an intern for the Partnership, she also started as our Events Director and a bartender at Bayou on Bay.   Lindsey's love for the downtown community and its unique identity fuels her passion for our events, as she believes they help to maintain Bellingham's culture. When asked what her favorite part of her job is, Lindsey responded "engaging our community by throwing huge parties!" When not working, you can find Lindsey spending time with her family and friends celebrating music, wine, and popcorn.

About Lindsey:

The year 2008 was big for Lindsey and Downtown Bellingham's story. Not only did she graduate from Western Washington University, having spent her last quarter as an intern for the Partnership, she also started as our Events Director and a bartender at Bayou on Bay.

Lindsey's love for the downtown community and its unique identity fuels her passion for our events, as she believes they help to maintain Bellingham's culture. When asked what her favorite part of her job is, Lindsey responded "engaging our community by throwing huge parties!" When not working, you can find Lindsey spending time with her family and friends celebrating music, wine, and popcorn.

Lindsey Payne Johnstone | Events Director

About Dan:   He’s new! Coming soon…

About Dan:

He’s new! Coming soon…

Dan Gifford | Landscaping Lead

About Mason:   Mason's philosophy is simple; look from the ground-up, the inside-out and outside-in. That's why he manages all communications and branding for the Partnership, and serves as a key liaison between the City of Bellingham, Tourism, local businesses and organizations. IE: he thinks Bellingham is awesome and that more people need to think that too.  Professionally, Mason has worked for communications-centered agencies on both the east and west coasts, and served as a communications director in higher education. Beyond downtown, Mason sits on the Bellingham International Airport advisory board and is the communications co-chair for the Western Washington University Alumni Board of Directors.  Mason calls Bellingham home, but when he's not in the Northwest, you might find him exploring a rustbelt city, searching for a great article or cooking with friends in his adopted home-city of Philadelphia.

About Mason:

Mason's philosophy is simple; look from the ground-up, the inside-out and outside-in. That's why he manages all communications and branding for the Partnership, and serves as a key liaison between the City of Bellingham, Tourism, local businesses and organizations. IE: he thinks Bellingham is awesome and that more people need to think that too.

Professionally, Mason has worked for communications-centered agencies on both the east and west coasts, and served as a communications director in higher education. Beyond downtown, Mason sits on the Bellingham International Airport advisory board and is the communications co-chair for the Western Washington University Alumni Board of Directors.

Mason calls Bellingham home, but when he's not in the Northwest, you might find him exploring a rustbelt city, searching for a great article or cooking with friends in his adopted home-city of Philadelphia.

Mason Luvera | Communications Director

About Calista:   She’s new! Coming soon…

About Calista:

She’s new! Coming soon…

Calista Klein | Events & Promotions Coordinator

 
 

What we do

Our day-to-day efforts span a wide range and we channel our mission and vision in everything we do. Our primary focus areas include:

  • Advocating for Downtown Businesses
    Through our quarterly Downtown Neighborhood Association meetings to our routine one on one interactions with downtown stakeholders, we are always listening to the collective voice of the downtown community. Our goal is to ensure that any concern and input regarding downtown are heard within our own organization and the City of Bellingham.

  • Connect People to Downtown Through Promotions & Events
    At the heart of our work is building community, which we promote through our signature award-winning events and downtown promotions. We believe that downtown should be everyone’s neighborhood and we strive to create the kinds of events and promotions that draw people into the downtown core.

  • Develop Strategy for a Stronger, Sustainable Downtown
    At the core of our economic development strategy are two guiding principles - supporting entrepreneurship and encouraging residential density. More residents downtown make for a more vibrant and thriving city center and healthy and sustainable businesses offer services and other options for residents, employees and visitors alike.

get involved

There are many ways to get involved in the work making Downtown Bellingham the best place ever! As a non-profit, we always welcome a few extra hands on deck. Whether that be helping with our many events and programs, helping to weed in the spring or being a part of one of our committees, we value your participation! Here are just a few of the ways to help out:

  • Volunteer at Our Events
    We can always use some extra support on event days with set-up and breakdown. For some of our events, like Downtown Sounds, you can volunteer during the event and meet the community at the same time!

  • Join a Committee
    If you have ideas or skills that you feel can help benefit downtown, consider joining one of our committees!  Our different committees meet to discuss and implement plans to help make downtown a more vibrant and joyful place. Our committees include: Design (all things public realm from Storefront Improvement Grants to alley activation), Economic Vitality (involved in supporting the business community and enhancing downtown’s economic landscape), Retail (a great place for small business owners to connect and help give input to promotions and other initiatives), HRA (get info from Lindsey if appropriate for here).

  • Board of Directors
    As a nonprofit organization, our work is overseen by a board of directors comprised of a wide variety of stakeholders that represent downtown - from residents to retail owners. The board meets monthly and is involved in strategic planning, fundraising and advocacy for the Partnership.

  • Other Volunteer Opportunities
    Throughout the year, other volunteer opportunities may arise. In the past, we’ve had gardening parties and other outdoor spring volunteer gatherings. Follow us on Facebook to find out more about volunteer opportunities throughout the year, or if you e-mail us at info@downtownbellingham.com, we will put you on the list of being a interested volunteer and e-mail you when we have an opportunity for you!


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About the DBP | Downtown Events

 
 

We Celebrate the City:

Downtown Events

Our events draw thousands into the district year-round. From Downtown Sounds (our five-week-long free outdoor concert series) to First Friday Art Walks - our events have become major attractions drawing attendees from the city, region and beyond. Find out about our different events below or email us at info@downtownbellingham.com to get involved.

 

Regularly Scheduled Events:

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Downtown Sounds
July & August

Downtown Sounds started as a small gathering hosted in an alley. Now the outdoor festival spans two entire city blocks on Bay and Prospect Streets. This beloved, award-winning, urban music festival, it is firmly cemented as Downtown Bellingham's hottest summer attraction.

Downtown Art Walk
First Friday of Every Month

On the first Friday of every month from 6:00pm - 10:00 pm Downtown's Art Walk features galleries, studios, museums, shops, and restaurants showcasing the creative talent found in Bellingham's growing art scene. Sign up as a venue here!

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Downtown Trick-or-Treat
October

Join us for the annual Downtown Trick-or-Treat on October 31 from 3:00pm - 5:00pm. Hundreds of families come downtown for a fun and safe alternative to neighborhood trick-or-treating.

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Wine Walk (Spring & Fall)
May & November

Meander around downtown shops as they host pop-up tasting rooms featuring a variety of regional wines. Attendees receive tasting tickets to redeem for the wines of their choice while retailers offer special deals.

Holidays Downtown
November & December

The holidays in downtown Bellingham is a magical time and the perfect place for all of your holiday shopping. Events include Shop Small Saturday, a special Tree Lighting Ceremony + Winter Night Market and other festivities all throughout downtown.

 
 

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About the DBP | Programs & Promotions

 
 

Showcasing our businesses and our district:

Programs & Promotions

From helping drive people into businesses to celebrating the things that make our district unique, our programs and promotions help instill vibrancy into the district while supporting local businesses.

 

Downtown Neighborhood Association Meetings
Quarterly

Hear updates and celebrate successes at our Downtown Neighborhood Association meetings happening quarterly. These meetings are open to all and are a great opportunity to get to know your downtown community. Details and meeting dates are announced on Facebook.

Happy Hour Thursdays
Every Thursday in March

Every Thursday in March, we promote a district-wide happy hour celebration with participating bars and restaurants! This promotion helps drive traffic during a traditionally slow time of year while celebration our community’s love for happy hour.

Summer Sale
Last weekend of July

Retailers clear out their stock and shoppers get a deal! Our Summer Sale is a bargain hunters dream and an ideal way for our retailers to create a district-wide shopping promotion that draws customers in.

Shop Small Saturday
November

In the madness of Black Friday, we welcome Shop Small Saturday. We promote our great local businesses as the perfect place to holiday shop for gifts, clothing and more, then grab a bite and relax with a drink.

Storefront Improvement Grant
Annually

Downtown Businesses are invited to apply for our Storefront Improvement Grant to help fund creative initiatives that brighten a storefront and create a better sense of place. More information can be found by clicking here: Storefront Improvement Grant

 
 

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About the DBP | District Marketing

 
 

WE Make everyone our champion:

District MarkeTing

Our district is full of tremendous vibrancy, ingenuity and excitement. Our marketing and promotional tactics help share the story of Downtown Bellingham through social media, advertising, the press and meetings and advocacy. Find out more about our channels, our brand and how we market the district.

 

Social Media:

We embarked on a mission: to create the personality and presence behind the district. Follow “Downtown Bellingham” on Facebook and Instagram for gorgeous content celebrating the people, places and businesses that make our neighborhood vibrant. Find out how you can be featured in our social media in the Downtown Marketing & Event Opportunities section below.

Press & PR

We regularly pursue media coverage locally, regionally and nationally to highlight the accomplishments of our district, businesses and stakeholders. Through collaborations with Bellingham/Whatcom County Tourism, the City of Bellingham and other stakeholder groups, we work to secure Downtown Bellingham in the press. Take a look at a selection of recent coverage highlighting the district and our city.

Featured Media Coverage:

Email BlaSts:

From sending reminders to announcing new events, we send out marketing emails to a growing list of residents, visitors, business owners and constituents. Want to stay informed? Use this form to sign up for our emails!

 
 

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About the DBP | Placemaking & Landscaping

 
 

Creating Vitality, Ensuring Beauty:

Placemaking & Landscaping

Bellingham is situated within a gorgeous landscape of natural beauty. Downtown, as the heart of our city, can reflect our inspiring surroundings if we extend our respect and admiration of our city’s natural resources to our our urban environment. Through the addition of color and lighting, placemaking activities in our streets and alleyways and on our buildings, foster a sense of civic pride and echo our artistic values as a community. The Downtown Bellingham Partnership works with City departments and the non-profit vocational services organization Cascade Connections to provide landscaping support services to Downtown. In order to have a vital and vibrant city center, we must all respect it as a shared resource with businesses removing litter surrounding their storefronts, providing stewardship of any planted areas provided by the city and keeping their sidewalks clean.

 
Hanging baskets and street-level planters are maintained by DBP landscaping programs.

Hanging baskets and street-level planters are maintained by DBP landscaping programs.

Bright, colorful chairs placed in the Commercial Street Plaza transformed an underutilized public space into a perfect lunch spot. This project was made possible by a generous donation from Faithlife.

Bright, colorful chairs placed in the Commercial Street Plaza transformed an underutilized public space into a perfect lunch spot. This project was made possible by a generous donation from Faithlife.

Landscaping & Beautification

The City of Bellingham contracts the DBP to provide Landscaping support to Downtown. Parking revenues from Downtown metered street parking and the Commercial Street Parking garage are utilized to fund one year-round and two seasonal employees who work to plant and maintain flower beds and above ground planters with a focus on our neighborhood’s retail core. Further funding through donations to the DBP are used to purchase seasonal flower baskets — like the one pictured above — to bring color to the delight of visitors and locals.

Residents and businesses can help keep Downtown’s Landscaping vibrant:

  • Share your insight! Take our Downtown Landscaping Survey

  • Volunteer to garden or steward a flower bed and help Downtown grow!

  • See a problem or have a question? Email us at landscaping@downtownbellingham.com



Placemaking

From alleyway transformation to murals and pop-up events, we help create vibrant spaces downtown and transform our public realm.

Example placemaking projects include:

  • “Rain Works” hydro-phobic paint art that appears when wet

  • Edison bulb lighting throughout the alley between Cornwall and Commercial

  • Mobile interactive chalk boards

  • Murals and other public art installations

  • Commercial Street Plaza Activation

    • Edison bulb lighting

    • Bright bistro seating

    • Food & coffee cart pop-ups

    • Afternoon busking from local musicians

    • Events

    • Landscaping

    • Temporary Art installation

 
 
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City Information | Key Services & Contacts

 
 

Downtown Bellingham:

Your City Services

A key partner of the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, the City of Bellingham has a long history of supporting downtown businesses - from walking you through the permitting process to offering valuable tax incentives - connect with the City and help your businesses flourish.


Permits

Many things require permits and approval. Check with the City of Bellingham Permitting Department to ensure you’re compliant and on track.

Electrical, mechanical, plumbing, water heater replacement, re-roof and sign & awning permits need to be applied for through the TRAKiT portal https://www.cob.org/epermits/

The guidelines for specific buildings can be found here with the permit application not listed above https:// www.cob.org/services/permits/pages/forms-building.aspx

Contact:
City of Bellingham Permit Center
permits@cob.org | 360-778-8300

Hours:
8:30am - 4:30pm Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri & 9:30am -4:30pm on Wed


Parking Information

Parking downtown is convenient and offers easy-to-use pay stations and meters. Street parking is $0.75 per hour and requires U.S. coins. Most meters have a 2-hour limit (check the time restrictions, which are posted on each meter). Street parking is free after 5:00 pm, and on weekends and holidays.

Downtown is also home to several City-owned parking lots and garages as well as private parking areas. Downtown employees and business owners may find a garage permit to be the most convenient and inexpensive option.

For more information, see our Parking page or visit the City of Bellingham’s Parking Services page.

Contact:
Parking Services | City of Bellingham
parksmart@cob.org | 360-778-8800

Hours:
8:00am - 5:00pm Mon - Fri


Utilities

The City of Bellingham’s utility bill includes four services:

  • Water: Rates include a base fee plus the consumption amount of the customer. The fees pay for the treatment, maintenance and replacement of water and its infrastructures to ensure the drinking water of Bellingham stays safe and reliable.

  • Lake Whatcom Watershed: Rates include a base fee plus a consumption rate. This goes towards the fund set up by the city to protect the drinking water source now by acquiring property to protect the water and purchasing property for stormwater projects.

  • Sewer: Rates include a base rate and a consumption rate when applicable based on water usage measured at the water meter. This fee pays the Sewer Utility to collect and treat wastewater, as well as maintenance of the sewer systems as well as paying for mandatory improvements needed to keep maintaining wastewater regulations.

  • Stormwater: Rates based on the stormwater footprint of the property, small-med footprints pay a flat fee, large footprints pay fees based on the total amount of impervious surface they have

Contact:
Finance Department
finance@cob.org | (360) 778-8010

Hours: 
Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm


 
 

Police Department

The City of Bellingham Police Department is your resource for most security issues - from theft to other criminal behaviors. They are dedicated to making downtown a safe place to do business and stand ready to address your concerns as a business owner.

Downtown has two dedicated community officers:

  • Officer Alexander: 360-778-8639

  • Officer Osterkamp: 360-778-8785

Contacts:
Emergencies: 9-1-1

For all other non-emergencies, use the following:

  • To report a crime in progress with a suspect: 360-676-6911

  • To report a crime in progress without a suspect: 360-778-8804

Police Department Main Location:
505 Grand Ave
Bellingham WA 98225

 

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City Information | Social Services & Issues

 
 

Homelessness, Vagrancy, Public Assistance:

Social Services & Issues

Like many thriving communities around the country, Downtown Bellingham also has challenges related to the current social conditions impacting city centers. These include housing availability and affordability, wage discrepancy and lack of funding for mental health, among others. Thankfully, our city also has many professionals working in the fields that provide assistance to those who are less fortunate. Below are some of the community partners who are working with us to improve the lives of all of downtown’s residents.


opportunity council

The Opportunity Council is a non-profit agency serving homeless and low-income families and individuals. They also are the host agency for the Whatcom Homeless Service Center and the Homeless Outreach Team (HOT), which provides outreach to homeless individuals offering support and resources.

The HOT team is who you should contact if you have any concerns regarding homeless individuals and your business.

Contact:
www.whatcomhsc.org
1111 Cornwall Ave
Bellingham, WA 98225

Office: (360) 255-2091
Homeless Outreach Team: (360) 312-3717


the LIGHTHOUSE MISSION

Lighthouse Mission works throughout Whatcom County to break the cycle of homelessness in the lives of people experiencing it. Their services include:

  • The Drop In Center, located at 1013 W. Holly Street, open 24/7 the center provides meals, homeless assessment and a motivational environment that encourages life-change.

  • Temporary housing through The Mission for men and the Agape Home for women and children.

Contact:
www.thelighthousemission.org
910 W. Holly Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
(360) 733-5120

(360) 671-1562
M-F, 9am - 4pm
email@thelighthousemission.org


 
 

Contacts:
Any emergencies, including medical emergencies or illegal behavior should be reported to 9-1-1

Non-emergent situations then you can call:
Neighborhood Police Officer Program
Officer Knutsen 360-778-8691
Non-Emergency Police Line 360-676-6911


Community Paramedic: A non-emergent medical needs service, connects citizens to medical and social services that fit their needs while leaving the fire department open for true emergencies 360-778-8401

 
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Business Resources | Tax Incentives, Best Practices & Important Info

 
 

Doing Business Downtown:

Tax Incentives, Business Best practices & Important Info

Whether you are just getting started in considering whether opening a business in Downtown Bellingham is the next move for you - or you’ve been open for a while and not 100% sure of your responsibilities - this section is for you. We’ve also added some best practices for business owners that we have come across that can help elevate your storefront exterior.


business incentives

Bellingham's tax incentives package offers more reductions and discounts than any other incentives program in Washington State. The program covers city-wide development incentives for affordable housing, sustainable development and historic preservation, along with urban village incentives. Each of these offers a variety of benefits, like expedited permitting, tax and fee reduction and more.

CITY Business Incentives
Check out the City of Bellingham’s incentive page for details.


DOWNTOWN Bellingham opportunity zone

The Opportunity Zone program is a federal statute within the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act that enables investors facing capital gain liabilities to receive favorable tax treatment when investing in these designated areas. Downtown Bellingham is a designated Opportunity Zone, so there are advantages for investment in this rapidly growing Urban Village.

Opportunity Zone Info:
For more information, visit the Washington State Department of Commerce Opportunity Zone webpage. You can also check out a recent presentation on the topic here.


 
 

Partner OrganIZATIOns

Port of Bellingham
www.portofbellingham.com
(360)676-2500
1801 Roeder Ave.
Bellingham, WA 98225

The Port of Bellingham’s mission is to ensure essential transportation needs, county-wide. Working with other entities helps the Port and your business meet its goals.


Chamber of Commerce
www.bellingham.com
guy@bellingham.com
(360)734-1330
119 N. Commercial St. Ste 110
Bellingham, WA 98225

The Chamber of Commerce advocates for a strong business community with Bellingham and Whatcom County. They offer a wide variety of programs, such as networking opportunities and educational events to help ensure success.

 

Small Business Development Center
www.sbdc.wwu.edu
sbdc@wwu.edu
(360)778-1762
1616 Cornwall Ave. #119
Bellingham, WA 98225

The Small Business Development Center is a program to help entrepreneurs grow their business in the local economy. Get hands-on advice from experienced professionals and get extra help from Western students in the beginning phases of your business. Regardless if you have a few questions or need some guidance, the SBDC is a great start.

Sustainable Connections
www.sustainableconnections.org
nfo@sustainableconnections.org
(360)647-7093
1701 Ellis St. Ste 221
Bellingham, WA 98225

Sustainable Connections is a resource to learn how to create more sustainable and environmentally friendly business practices. Through creative solutions and building connections, they will continuesly provide you with resources on how to best create a sustainable business.

 
WorkSource
www.seeker.worksourcewa.com
gsmith@workforcenorthwest.org
(360)575-1521
101 Prospect St.
Bellingham, WA 98225

WorkSource offers hiring and training for new businesses. You can also use their website to post job openings and start the hiring process.


Choose Whatcom
www.choosewhatcom.com
econdev@portofbellingham.com
(360)676-2500
1801 Roeder Ave.
Bellingham, WA 98225
Choose Whatcom is a good resource for getting information about your industry in Whatcom County. Contact Choose Whatcom, if you want to meet with a mentor and ask questions about your upcoming business.

Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center
www.whatcomdrc.org
wdrc@whatcomdrc.org
(360)676-0122
13 Prospect St. Ste 21
Bellingham, WA 98225

The Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center offers conflict prevention and intervention. They help community members better manage conflict as it arises and learn ways to minimize the possibility of it occurring again the in future.

SCORE
www.bellingham.score.org
score.0591@scorevolunteer.org
(360) 685-4259
1336 Cornwall Ave. 2nd Floor
Bellingham, WA 98225

Meet with retired professionals from your field. Get advice and tips from someone who has had first-hand experience.


Technology Alliance Group
www.tagnw.org
athena@tagnw.org
(360)647-4220
103 E. Holly St #214
Bellingham, WA 98225

TAG connects technology businesses to resources, such as education programs, networking opportunities and other business services to the technology sector. Contact TAG if you’re interested in being a part of the local tech community.

 

 

 

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Business Resources | Downtown Marketing Opportunities

 
 

Reach everyone:

Downtown Marketing & Event opportunities

Exciting things are happening every day both for Downtown and within Downtown. We help spread the word about events, business news, community issues and more. We also reach tens of thousands of locals and visitors alike through our events. Find out how you can help us spread the word about your store opening, business update, creative project, or how you can participate or sponsor one of our events.


Social Media Promotion

Whether you’re a new business or a long-time staple of Downtown, we want to know what you’re up to! The purpose of our social media presence is to be the voice of Downtown Bellingham, and we love to share exciting content with our audience. Our social media channels aren’t advertising opportunities, however we love to help promote Downtown businesses and events that are both compelling for our audience and fit our brand.

Want to have your business or event featured? Simply fill out our Social Media Promotion Request form. A few notes from our Communications Director:

  • We look for content from you that is relevant to a wide variety of people and shows something unique about Downtown. For example, a social media request from a bar showing a unique cocktail is VERY likely to be featured, whereas a social media request for a fringe band playing somewhere in Bellingham is not.

  • We have strict imagery standards and ensure our marketing is top-notch quality. We usually shoot our own content, however, if you include high-quality images with your social media request, it makes it very easy for us to share you out when we get busy!

Want to be featured? Here’s how:

  1. Identify whether the content you want us to share fits.

    • Make sure what you’re submitting to us is compelling to a wide variety of people, isn’t “sales-y” and fits our brand!

  2. Reference the Social Media Request Form.

    • This form, which is linked in this section, can always be found in the footer of our website. It includes more information about what kind of content we look for.

  3. Gather high-quality imagery or video we can use and include it in your submission.

    • The form includes a file URL field where you can leave us a download link to any images or video that goes with your submission. Including this dramatically ups your chances of being featured!

  4. Submit your form!

    • Once completed, your form will be reviewed by our social media staff. And voila, we’ll be in touch if it fits!


Event Sponsorship

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Interested about sponsoring or supporting one of our events? Contact our Assistant Director:


Marissa McGrath
Assistant Director, DBP | Fundraising and Sponsorships
marissa@downtownbellingham.com
(360) 527-8710

 
 

Our Mission?
Make Downtown Amazing.

Our Plan:

Help You Make It Happen.

The Downtown Bellingham Partnership is here to support new and existing businesses that form the foundations of what make our city a vibrant, diverse place.

 
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Why DO Business Downtown:

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— Business Person | Name of Biz
 
Downtown opens the doors to new customers. Each day the city gets bigger and better, bringing new faces and customers.
— Owner Name, Biz Name
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