Starting a business is no easy task. From finding the right location to hiring skilled workers to securing financing, many puzzle pieces must fit together to achieve business success. A variety of local economic development organizations work on that puzzle.
But most of these organizations operate independently. That’s why Whatcom County, the Port of Bellingham, and City of Bellingham joined forces to fund a new, one-stop website designed to help boost local economic development by consolidating existing resources into a digital hub for county-wide economic resources.
The website represents the collective efforts of 16 local economic practitioner groups, referred to as “Team Whatcom,” who meet regularly to discuss local economic development. These groups, including the Whatcom Business Alliance (WBA), wanted to create an easy way for people to find and contact them.
ChooseWhatcom.com offers a central location for business professionals looking to start, grow, or relocate their businesses in Whatcom County. The site helps connect them with the specific organizations and experts best suited to provide business assistance.
“In all my years at the Port, this is the first project we’ve seen that offers such a positive and unique approach to showcasing a community’s business resources,” said Dodd Snodgrass, a Port of Bellingham economic development specialist. “All the different economic groups came together to help promote Whatcom County as a business-friendly place.”
The website offers a wealth of information, including information on key industries, local incentives, infrastructure, recruiting, life style, and more. ChooseWhatcom.com is the first business website to represent all of the business-boosting organizations within Whatcom County as a united front. It welcomes and encourages business all the way from Sumas to Bellingham, from Cherry Point to Barkley Village, from the waterfront to the Canadian border.
The tri-funders (the Port, City, and County) kicked-off the website with a launch party that included about 150 local elected officials, business professionals, and others from the community. Red Rokk, a WBA member whose owner, Tyler Byrd, serves on its board of directors, created the website and branding.
The site features video profiles of successful local businesses, such as Erin Baker’s, Aslan Brewing, Transition Bikes, All American Marine, Twin Brook Creamery, and others.
“Whatcom County has firmly established itself as a great place to do business,” said Rob Fix, Executive Director of the Port of Bellingham. “The Choose Whatcom website conveys a positive message while providing a tremendous resource for business professionals to find success in Whatcom County.”