Many business leaders say they are optimistic about the local economy

Survey respondents say Bellingham is a good place to do business and our economy is improving

March 20, 2014 - by Janice Keller

​A recent survey of Bellingham
business leaders indicates many are optimistic about the economy, and most
rate Bellingham as a good place to do business.

In November of 2013, the City of Bellingham conducted a survey of
randomly selected businesses located within the City. Three hundred business
owners, managers, CEOs and presidents participated in a 40-question
telephone interview, designed to help City officials better understand and
support businesses in Bellingham.

This research follows similar surveys completed in 2007 and 2010. The
results inform day-to-day decision making as well as contribute to
measurement of the City’s progress in achieving long-term goals.

Survey questions were related to economic outlook for businesses and the
City, experience doing business in Bellingham, and satisfaction with city
services that support business.

Business outlook improving

  • 79% rated Bellingham as a good place to do business.
  • 47% said the economy is improving.
  • 51% said they expected their company’s revenues to grow in 2014.
  • 30% said they expect to add employees in 2014, while 59% said it can
    be difficult to find qualified employees to work in their business.
  • 41% said their companies are well prepared to handle a natural

While many of these ratings show significant improvement since 2010,
which was the heart of the recession, none have recovered to the level of
2007 ratings.

Rating City services

Businesses also were asked to rate how well City government does in
providing various services. Most of these ratings have remained stable since
past surveys.

  •  80% said the City does well providing public safety services
    (including police, fire, and emergency medical services).
  •  Utility services garnered positive ratings from 64% of
  •  In the areas of land use planning and planning for growth, 21%
    said the City was doing well.
  •  77% said the City does well providing cultural and
    recreational programs and facilities.
  •  48% said the City does well providing transportation services.

For more information, contact the
Mayor’s Office.

More information


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