Happy New Year from the WBA!
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January 2017

Dear WBA Supporters,

As we begin 2017, I wanted to thank you all for your continued support of the Whatcom Business Alliance. Because of your support, this past year has been our most active year since founding. The WBA recognized businesses of all sizes at the annual Business Person of the Year awards dinner and hosted several other successful events like the Economic Forecast Breakfast, the Northwest Business Expo and Conference and a number of symposiums on key business issues. We planned and hosted educational events, industry tours, and the Whatcom Business Academy, and we began the expansion of our communications engagement through the WBA newsletter and social media.

The WBA also developed a Strategic Advocacy Plan to support local business and launched the Step Up for Business Advocacy Campaign in September. Through our advocacy efforts, we were able to roll back harmful policy in the Critical Areas Regulations of the County Comprehensive Plan that would have limited the ability of local businesses to expand in “Lahar Inundation Zones”. We have developed a coalition of Cherry Point stakeholders and have been actively pushing back on moves to de-industrialize our most important industrial area. The WBA has been active on Water Rights and filed appeals with both Whatcom County and the Growth Management Hearings Board on issues that would limit future economic activity in Whatcom County.

In 2017, with your support, we will continue all these activities. We also have plans to launch a program focused on outreach and education with young people on business and economics. Ensuring that our next generation has a solid understanding of the value of business success is critical to the long-term viability of our community.

We know how much time and energy is required in growing a successful business.  You can rest assured that with your support, the WBA will continue to pay attention to issues on your behalf. For those of you who are already members, I thank you again.  If you are interested in becoming a member of the WBA, getting involved with our Step Up Campaign, or have any issues you would like to discuss, please contact our office at 360-746-0418 or send us an email at  Thanks again for your continued support.

Tony Larson

Planning Commission, Advocacy
& Social Media

At their meeting on January 12th, the Planning Commission closed their work on the Comp Plan amendment impacting Cherry Point and sent their version back to the County Council for its next review. The WBA Coalition spent many hours engaging with the Commission and staff in order to explain the WBA Collaborative Amendment and try to get more of the proposed language included in the final version. Ultimately, the Commission version retained the language calling for a study of ways the county could legally limit crude oil, coal and natural gas exports from Cherry Point which is a strong point of contention with the WBA Coalition.

The Coalition work continues now with the County Council and with supporters of Cherry Point. The WBA has created a Twitter account @WBAStepUp and a hashtag #CherryPointWA in order to keep supporters informed about events and activities of the Cherry Point Coalition - and more generally about economic development activities in Whatcom County. Please follow us for the latest information.

If you would like to join the Step Up for Business Advocacy campaign to help support these advocacy efforts, please click the Join Step Up button below or email Jon Strong for more details and information.

Join Step Up

Business Person of the Year Awards Dinner

Join us for an evening of celebration as we honor the nominees and winners of the Business Person of the Year awards! 

Whatcom Business Person of the Year Awards Dinner
March 22, 2017 at 6 p.m.  
Four Points Sheraton Bellingham

Sponsored Tables of 8 - $700
Tickets for WBA members - $75, non-members $90

Register Now

WBA Member Event
Industry Tour at Superfeet

Get ready for a great season of WBA Industry Tours starting with Superfeet! Come and get a tour of this amazing 100% employee owned Ferndale headquartered company and walk away with a new pair of Superfeet! Lunch will be provided by Haggen's Market Place Catering. Space is limited to 30, so sign up now!

About Superfeet: Superfeet is the leader in innovative over-the-counter insoles for the active lifestyle and outdoor industries. Originally the sports medicine division of Northwest Podiatric Laboratory, Superfeet was established in 1977 to make the first professional-grade over-the-counter insoles. Since then Superfeet has focused on training, education and exceptional customer care to sustain more than 80% market share in the ski, outdoor and specialty run insole category. An ESOP company, Superfeet is 100% employee-owned, and donates 1% of sales to get people back on their feet.  For more information, visit:


Register Now
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