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Thursday, April 29, 2021               

Hi local partners, 

Thanks for reading. We value our community partnerships so much.

The "Power of Travel" is something we believe in with all our hearts, and May 2 - 8 is National Travel and Tourism Week focused on just that theme. You can find elements to share below, as well as comprehensive links to current recovery resources you don't want to miss!

Read on for the latest traveler sentiment studies, local initiatives, and promotional opportunities.

Sandy Ward, CEO

We're here to help. Visit us at  
Industry Data and News

Traveler Sentiment Update; April 27, 2021

"Vaccinated Travelers"

Join Moderators Myha Gallagher & Erin Francis-Cummings as they share some recent questions answered from the Coronavirus Travel Sentiment Index Report. This week’s event featured a a timely conversation with vaccinated travelers. Hear directly from them about how they’re feeling about travel right now, what they have planned ahead for this summer season and the marketing and messaging that will most resonate with them.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund
Registration Starts April 30, Submit Applications May 3

What: The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open.

Note: Funding is allocated "first-come, first-served," with a 21-day priority processing period for small business owned by women, veterans, or socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. After the first 21 days, other applications will be processed in the order they were received, so everyone should apply at the start.

Not a loan: This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

When: Registration for the SBA application portal will begin on Friday, April 30, 2021, at 9 am ET (Noon PST). Applications will open on Monday, May 3, 2021, at noon ET (3PM PST). 

It is recommended you pre-register on the 30th so you're set to go.

Who: Restaurants, food trucks, snack bars, or any food or beverage production that does at least 33% in gross receipts to onsite public sales . . . help is available across a wide range of offerings!

Help With Applying:

  • Check out a sample form
  • Watch the SBA help webinars from Tues & Wed HERE
  • Join in a Washington Hospitality webinar on Friday, April 30 from 10-11 am to learn about eligibility, covered expenses, documentation, and best practices for using an RRF grant. REGISTER HERE
  • View the SBA’s cross-eligibility chart here to understand how RRF works with other funding
  • Join the WWU SBDC team on Monday, May 3rd at 2pm for a brief overview of the RRF and extended Q&A to help you claim your revitalization funds (the portal opens at 3pm). Bring your questions, and be there to get your share! 

Stay Up-to-Date on Covid Recovery Resources

  • The Small Business Administration (SBA) page with links to major programs can be found HERE
  • US Travel has a resources page HERE
  • WA State Department of Commerce resource page HERE
  • WA Department of Revenue on property tax relief HERE (file by April 30!)

National Travel and Tourism Week is May 2 - 8

National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), the annual celebration of the contributions of the U.S. travel industry, will spotlight the critical role that travel will play in driving economic recovery efforts and building the path forward through the theme Power of Travel.

Find the Toolkit HERE
Local Updates and Opportunities

12-month Payment Plans Available
for 2020 Property Taxes—Due April 30!

How: Form is HERE, must go to Whatcom County Treasurer. Completed applications can preferably be submitted by email to the Whatcom County Treasurer’s Office at, mailed to the office, or placed in any of the payment drop boxes at the County Courthouse on or before April 30, 2021.

What: House Bill 1332 passed on April 16, 2021, providing property tax relief to businesses ahead of the April 30 deadline. The bill requires counties to offer payment plans to businesses for 2020 tax obligations. Counties will be prohibited from charging penalties or interest and the 12-month payment plans will begin April 2021. 

Businesses are only eligible for relief if the owner or person responsible for payment of the tax on real property demonstrates a loss of at least 25% of its revenue for the calendar year 2020 compared to 2019.

Help: For questions and additional information, please email the Whatcom County Treasurer’s Office at or call at 360-778-5160.

Fairs, Parades, Festivals
and Special Events COVID-19 Requirements

Fairs, parades, festivals, and special events are only permitted in counties in Phase 3 of the Governor’s Healthy Washington, Roadmap to Recovery. Fairs and special events have a number of operational aspects and service offerings governed by other COVID-19 requirement documents.

Operators must review these documents and apply the appropriate protocols to all aspects of their operations. Such operations may include:

Go to Fairs, Parades, Festivals and Special Events COVID-19 Requirements for general instructions.

Employer Vaccine Resources
from the Whatcom County Health Department

We all share a desire to end the COVID-19 pandemic and return to a healthy economy and community. The COVID-19 vaccine is one of the best strategies we have, so we all need to roll up our sleeves and do our part to get vaccinated and address the concerns of those who are hesitant about vaccination. Many residents may look to their employer in making decisions about whether to be vaccinated, so leaders of businesses and organizations can play an important role in encouraging employees to get vaccinated.

A question that has been raised frequently is whether employers can require that employees get vaccinated for COVID-19. To date, federal, state, and local authorities have not issued laws or regulations regarding employer implementation of mandatory vaccination policies for COVID-19 vaccines, which are currently under emergency use authorizations by the FDA. Employers should therefore look to existing laws and regulations that impact employer-based vaccination requirements and consult with legal counsel about options and policy decisions related to this question.

For full employer vaccine resources toolkit, go here

Current Campaigns and Outreach

Share Our Campaigns, Support Our Local Economy!

Follow Bellingham Experience on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for daily updates and content to share.


Top Mother’s Day Activities
in Bellingham and Whatcom County

This year Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 9 2021 and it’s sneaking up on us quickly! Celebrate safely this year with our round-up on how to make this Mother’s Day special. If you have something special planned, ADD YOUR EVENT to our calendar so we can add you to our blog and help spread the word! 

Build Your Own Campaign! 

Use our itineraries, like our Top 10 Things To Do In Bellingham itinerary, to invite folks to spend two to three days exploring Whatcom. They can check out Washington State’s annual Tulip Festival before heading up scenic Chuckanut Drive to us—where they can make world-class memories with small town easy.

All of our itineraries can be used to create your own one-of-kind social media posts telling folks why they should add YOUR organization as a part of their trip!

Be sure to tag us @BellinghamExperience and #BellinghamExperience too! 🚗🧳

Visit Bellingham | Whatcom County Photo Contest

LAST CALL! Let visitors (and locals) know they need to submit their photos before May for a chance to win big. Voting will start May 1st and the top three photographers will win a Camber gift card or a sweet treat from Edaleen Dairy to enjoy on their next trip to Whatcom. Check out our site for more! 

CALLING ALL SHOTS! Let your guests know they can share their trip at! Here’s some text to help you share: "The Visit Bellingham | Whatcom County photo contest is about to close!! 📸Submit your shots now for a chance to win local prizes. Voting will start May 1st so don't wait! #BellinghamExperience"

Copyright © 2021 Visit Bellingham | Whatcom County, All rights reserved.

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