As a local government, the Port of Bellingham is eligible for grants and low-interest loans for facilities to assist business location and expansion. The port can pursue funding for projects on port property, and also provide expertise to local jurisdictions within Whatcom County for economic development projects.
Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB)
The Community Economic Revitalization Board is a unique state program that provides low-cost financing for public facility improvements to foster private development. Loans and occasional grants are available to local jurisdictions to offset infrastructure costs and assist the attraction and expansion of jobs. Eligible projects include access roads, sewer and water extensions, as well as other public improvements required to make specific sites attractive for private sector development.
Economic Development Investment (EDI) Program
Whatcom County administers the countywide EDI program using state sales tax funds returned to the county to finance public facilities through loans and grants. Public facilities include roads, water facilities, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, utilities, buildings, telecommunications and port facilities.
Bank Loan Programs and Financing Options
New and expanding businesses can find capital sources through a variety of private lenders in the county and through non-traditional loan programs and equity sources. Western Washington University's Small Business Development Center is a source for business planning needs to help determine finance requirements. The SBDC produces a Guide to Loan Programs for Whatcom County providing a thorough list of current finance programs.
Port Finance Programs
Tax-exempt financing issued through the Port of Bellingham’s Industrial Development Corporation is available to qualifying companies through industrial revenue bonds. The Port also uniquely provides a revolving loan fund to provide gap financing to manufacturers.