July 16, 2020
We are here for you!
Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism provides this Tourism Talk e-news to provide ongoing information to our local businesses. We have also added tourism industry resources to Bellingham.org for access anytime.
We are here to help all our members navigate these uncertain times.
Applications will be accepted July 16 – 31, 2020 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.

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 low-barrier drive-through testing site at the Civic Field Stadium parking lot in  Bellingham  will operate again on Friday and Saturday, July 17 and 18. The site will be open for COVID-19 testing from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm. Anyone can get tested for COVID-19 at the drive-through site. During this pilot, no appointments will be scheduled. To be tested, enter the Civic Athletic Complex on Puget Street via Fraser St. You will be instructed where to drive. Do not exit your vehicle, and follow all instructions at the site to ensure the safety of workers, volunteers, and others seeking testing. Please be prepared to wait in line. No public restrooms are available at the site.
Whatcom County Health Department
Safer, Stronger Together Forum, Friday July 17, 10 a.m.
Topic: My employee has symptoms. Now what?
Join fellow Whatcom County businesses Friday, July 17 at 10 a.m. for a discussion about what to do when an employee has symptoms, tests positive, or is exposed to COVID 19. How can you prepare? What should you expect in terms of notification, tracing, quarantines, cleaning, and timelines for returning to work? Members of the COVID Employer Support Task Force will share their experience, and Health Department Staff will be available to answer questions, as we learn to navigate this challenging terrain together.

Safety and Mask Signage
Whatcom County Health Department has created a new series of signage within the unified Safer Stronger Together campaign for businesses to download at whatcomtogether.org and utilize for free.

Pre-printed packets of signage are available for businesses to pick up on Monday, July 21, from 9 am - 3 pm at the Bellingham Visitor Information Center, 904 Potter Street. Please let us know if you would like a packet by emailing tourism@bellingham.org.

As an additional resource, Signs Plus in Bellingham has expanded its services to help businesses reopen safely during this pandemic. Their catalog offers social distance signage and floor decals, germ acrylic screens, and hands free foot operated hand sanitizing dispensers. Essential signage is important for any business to communicate to their customers that they are taking precautions against the virus. 
The Tourism crisis created by the pandemic, continues to defeat our small businesses. The Islander Store on Lummi Island is struggling to survive with the lack of visitors to Lummi Island this summer due to Covid-19 restrictions. Friends of the store, Tim and Cheri Hodgson, have created a Go Fund Me page for donations to help keep the store alive and preserve the sense of community and memories it has provided for generations. 
The Bellingham Bells , is doing its part to keep the public safe, and to assist those in need during the Covid-19 pandemic. Along with local transportation provider Lily Coaches and  Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism , the Bells are excited to announce they will co-sponsor a “Fill the Bus” food drive benefitting the  Bellingham Food Bank.
Bellair Airporter Shuttle  services to Anacortes and the San Juan Islands Ferry, via the Highway 20 corridor, resumed on Friday, July 10, 2020. Although service re-starts with a limited schedule, travelers have two round-trip options a day between Anacortes and Burlington. As travel continues to accelerate and demand for services increase, additional daily round-trips will be added.
The Community Boating Center (CBC)  is thrilled to be back on the water fulfilling its mission of fostering small-watercraft education, access, safe recreation, and marine stewardship, after putting in place careful COVID-19 safety protocols developed under state and  Whatcom County  health guidance. 
Chuckanut Brewery’s  sixth rendition of the Single Hop Lager is now available in bottles for the first time. This rendition of Single Hop uses Trident hops, a blend of 3 Pacific NW new hop varietals. The Trident special blend creates a hop forward punch of citrus, tropical and passion fruit hop flavor characteristics and aromas. Trident imparts a unique and potent profile to our Single Hop Lager in a very bold way! It will be available in bottles around the Northwest including Oregon and Washington. The Single Hop Lager Trident will also be on tap at both Chuckanut locations and in selected accounts in the area.
The Bellingham Festival of Music Board  of Directors and founding Artistic Director Michael Palmer have agreed to a plan that will restore the conductor to his position as Artistic Director through the 2022 season. Palmer will lead the Festival for the 2021 and 2022 seasons before leaving the post and assuming the title Conductor Laureate in 2023 with conducting engagements in that capacity in future years. The Board approved succession plan announced in April continues with the goal of introducing a new Artistic Director in 2024.
The  Port of Bellingham  is excited to re-open the  Marine Life Center  on July 20, 2020 with new procedures to minimize public interaction, increase sanitation, and protect the health of visitors and staff. Staff and critters have been saving your seat over the last few months and we look forward to welcoming you back! We ask for kindness and patience as we practice safely and successfully moving the community through this facility.
Sculpture Northwest  recently opened the David Marshall Sculpture Gallery, a permanent outdoor exhibit housed in the City of Bellingham’s  Big Rock Garden Park  above Lake Whatcom. Sculpture Northwest, a local nonprofit arts advocacy group, donated four pieces and five other previously owned pieces were relocated in the gallery. Sculpture Northwest also provided a new interpretive sign for the park listing Marshall’s works of art and two additional sculptures – including a bronze “Bust of David Marshall” (1985) by Jack Hardman.
by Lauren
As a creative solution to Washington State’s Phase 2 restrictions, the City of Bellingham is allowing temporary street closures in the Downtown and Fairhaven businesses districts to give restaurants expanded outdoor eating areas on sidewalks, parking stalls and roadways.

  • Beginning Wednesday, July 15, Holly Street in Downtown Bellingham will have a full-block closure of all driving lanes between Commercial Street and Bay Street.
  • On Thursday, July 16, 10th Street in Fairhaven will close the west driving lane and parking area for one block between Mill Street and Harris Avenue. 
  • Starting the week of July 20, Railroad Avenue in Downtown Bellingham will have several angled parking stalls converted to an expanded dining area between Holly Street and Champion Street.
by Brandon
Imagine sipping a cup of coffee while surrounded by some 30 cats — all napping, purring, and playing around you. It’s a cat-lover’s dream, and now it’s a reality in Bellingham. Next time you need your cat fix, look no further than Neko Cat Cafe. 
July 18
Modified Farmers Market

Time: 10 am - 2 pm
Free
July 19
Birchwood Farmers Market

Time: 9 am - 2 pm
Free
July 20

Time: 7 pm - 9 pm
Free
July 21

Time: 10 am - 10:30 am
Free
July & August 2020
Our region is full of beauty! Send us your scenic photos from all around the county and enter them in our latest contest for a chance at a prize! Yes, members can enter. Members can also donate prizes. Enter  here .
Questions? We are happy to answer them for you.
Give us a call at 360-671-3990,  email  us or visit our website at  bellingham.org .

Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism
904 Potter Street, Bellingham, WA 98229
360-671-3990|  bellingham.org