Countywide partnership launches grant program for businesses impacted by COVID-19

Countywide partnership launches grant program for businesses impacted by COVID-19

CARES Act funds pooled by County and cities to boost economic recovery

Applications are being accepted beginning this week for a competitive grant program – called Whatcom ReStart – designed to support businesses and non-profits throughout Whatcom County that have been affected by COVID-19.

Whatcom ReStart will issue up to $2.6 million in general grants and another $800,000 for licensed childcare operators. For-profit and non-profit businesses and organizations impacted by COVID-19 are eligible to apply for general grants of up to $15,000 each. There is no cap on grants to support childcare.

Whatcom County and the cities of Bellingham, Lynden, Ferndale, Sumas, Everson, Nooksack and Blaine have teamed up and combined their federal CARES Act allocations to offer this competitive grant program to assist businesses that have experienced revenue losses and expenses due to COVID-19-related closures or impacts.

The purpose of this program is to collaborate in support of local businesses and drive economic recovery. More information, including eligibility guidelines, criteria, and applications can be found on the Whatcom ReStart page of the Port of Bellingham website. Grant applications will be accepted July 16 through July 31, 2020. Funding decisions are anticipated in August and funding is expected to be disbursed in September.

“By joining forces, combining County and cities’ CARES Act funding, we are able to increase the reach and efficiencies of our response effort,” said Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu. “I am very pleased with the level of cooperation and willingness of each jurisdiction to work collaboratively for the benefit of all our communities.”

The grant program, funded by $2.6 million of federal CARES Act allocations, provides up to $15,000 to businesses employing up to 25 people prior to the pandemic to cover expenses related to losses caused by COVID-19 related closures. A portion of these funds are set aside for ground-floor, front-facing businesses in the City Center and Fairhaven Districts of Bellingham. A separate pool of $800,000 is dedicated to grants for licensed childcare businesses.

“Economic recovery is a priority throughout our COVID-19 response,” Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood said. “These grants will help businesses stabilize as they work to recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic. We are working together to get more of our community members back to work and to revive local businesses affected by COVID-19 restrictions, so we can see our local economies thriving once again.”

“Many businesses are really struggling today, particularly our childcare industry, and need quick access to this aid,” said Ferndale Mayor Greg Hansen. “All partners recognized the time-

sensitive nature of the need and agreed that the grant application and administration should be as simple, inclusive and streamlined as possible.”

“Whatcom ReStart is designed to give a meaningful boost to local small businesses and their employees. We want these grants to have the greatest possible impact on our economy and community to foster resilience as we move forward. Both the eligibility requirements and the application scoring guidelines were developed with this in mind,” said Don Goldberg, Director of Regional Economic Partnership, which is playing a key role in the administration of the grant program.

In addition to these business and economic response efforts, CARES Act funding has also been dedicated to support the public emergency response, food and housing security, and services and facilities to those living unsheltered.

For more information about Whatcom ReStart, visit

Dept. of Revenue and Ferndale Streamline Business Applications

This June, the City of Ferndale will be partnering with the Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) to streamline our business license process. Resident and non-resident general business licenses will apply directly with the DOR allowing applicants to easily apply for licenses in multiple cities.

The city will still review individual business licenses for compliance with city code and regulations and retain the license fees but the application process will be handled by the DOR.

Co-located/space rental business licenses, manufacturing and industrial business licenses are not part of this transition and will still be handled by the City.

As this transition occurs, the City will not be accepting new applications after June 12, 2020 for general business licenses.

Following this transition, all applications will be applied for and reviewed through the Department of Revenue beginning June 25, 2020 with the exceptions that were stated above.

If you have any questions, please contact the Finance Department at (360) 685-2386. For details on the Business License portal with the Department of Revenue, access their website here.

Invitation to Bid For Nordic to Scout Water Main Extension

City of Ferndale Project No. WA2018-01

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by CITY OF FERNDALE that electronic .pdf copies of bid proposals will be received by the City of Ferndale via email to until May 14, 2020 at 2:00 pm. The opening and reading of the bids will then be live-streamed via Microsoft Teams for the Nordic to Scout Water Main Extension. Live stream information can be found on the City of Ferndale’s project website at Hard copies matching the electronically delivered bid proposals must be received via US mail attn: Ferndale Public Works Department, Nordic to Scout Water Main Bid, PO Box 936, Ferndale, Washington, 98248, (360) 384-4006, no later than May 21, 2020 at 5:00 pm.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: This contact provides for the construction of approximately 600 linear feet of 12-inch diameter water main. Work will include trench excavation, boring under BNSF Railroad Right-Of-Way, and other work in accordance with the Contract Plans, Special Provisions, the Standard Specifications, including the amendments thereto, and Standard Plans.

Bid Guaranty

All bid proposals shall be accompanied by a bid proposal deposit in cash, certified check, cashier’s check, or surety bond in an amount equal to five percent (5%) of the amount of such bid proposal.  Should the successful bidder fail to enter into such contract and furnish satisfactory performance bond and payment bond both in an amount of 100 percent (100%) of the contract price within the time stated in the specifications, the bid proposal deposit shall be forfeited to the City of Ferndale.  All bidders and subcontractors shall have a contractor’s license to work in the State of Washington and a City of Ferndale Business License before starting work. All work performed on this project will be subject to prevailing state wage rates.

Project Documents 

Maps, plans, and specifications may be obtained electronically from the Ferndale Public Works Department, via download on the City of Ferndale website at  If you download the bid documents, you are required to contact the City via email at to be added to the plan holders’ list.

The City of Ferndale in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 Stat. 252, 42 USC 2000d to 2000d-4 and Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Department of Transportation, Subtitle A, Office of the Secretary, Part 21, Nondiscrimination in Federally-Assisted Programs of the Department of Transportation issued pursuant to such Act, hereby notifies all bidders that it will affirmatively ensure that in any contract entered into pursuant to this advertisement, disadvantaged business enterprises as defined at 49 CFR Part 26 will be afforded full opportunity to submit bids in response to this invitation and will not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, color, national origin, or sex in consideration for an award.

The City of Ferndale is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.  Minority and Women-Owned firms are encouraged to submit bids.

Susan Duncan

City Clerk – City of Ferndale

City Facilities to Remain Open

At this time, City Hall, the Police Station and Municipal Court will all remain open as normal. City Council will be held on March 16th, 2020. However, for the protection of the community and the employees of the city, members of the public are strongly encouraged to conduct their business online or over the phone rather than enter public facilities.

City staff is available via email (see directory here) or phone at (360) 384-4302.

For those experiencing flu-like symptoms or at high risk for infection from COVID-19, please do not enter public facilities. For more information on the City of Ferndale’s response to COVID-19, check out our information page here.

City Solicits Feedback on Stormwater Management Plan

The City of Ferndale updates the Stormwater Management Plan as a response to specific special conditions within the “Western Washington Phase II Municipal Stormwater Permit” that authorizes the City of Ferndale to discharge stormwater to the waters of the State of Washington.

Per the Permit, this program summary will be updated each year and will be available to the public. Participation and comments are welcome and may be directed to City of Ferndale Stormwater staff Comment period begins March 1st, 2020 and ends March 31, 2020.

The draft plan can be found by clicking here or on our “What is Stormwater” page.

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