Think Bellingham:
Bellingham is the largest city in Northwest region of Washington state and the 13th largest city in the state overall. If you own a business in British Columbia, and you’re thinking about expanding into the United States, Bellingham is a great place to start.
Business Community:
Bellingham has a vibrant business community, and the talent resources of a much larger city. Local business leader Jim Pettinger, President of International Market Access, Inc in Ferndale says the area is rich with what he describes as “lifestyle transplants.” The area is full of talented business professionals who have chosen to locate in and around Bellingham due to the affordable housing, lack of traffic, outdoor recreational opportunities and cultural resources that make Bellingham a “best of both worlds” community, having all the benefits of the city with none of the downsides. Examples of people at the top of their field choosing to locate in the area abound.

Peace Arch
Immigration Attorney Greg Boos at Cascadia Cross-Border Law has been named one of the world’s leading practitioners of U.S. Immigration Law by the International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers. Boos is also licensed as a Practitioner of Foreign Law by the Law Society of British Columbia. Additionally, he is one of only 300 lawyers on the List of Counsel approved to practice before the International Criminal Court.

Another local attorney who excels in his field is Gene Moses at the Law Office of Gene Moses, P.S., Barkley Law Group. Gene is certified by the Law Society of British Columbia as Foreign Legal Consultant, in addition to being a Bar-Certified practitioner by the Washington State Bar Association. Gene is an expert on government and regulatory compliance, as well as corporation formation. Gene’s office serves as the Resident Agent and Registered Office for approximately 300 domestic and foreign corporations.

Bellingham has an abundance of talented accountants experienced in cross-border business accounting including VSH Certified Public Accountants and Moss Adams, LLP Bellingham.

The Bellingham area is also home to International Market Access, Inc, a leader in providing USA market access solutions to British Columbia Businesses for almost 30 years. From their Ferndale location (North Bellingham), IMA provides warehouse services, pick and pack fulfillment and a full slate of US Import services. IMA also has experience helping Canadian businesses import directly from China to USA markets.
Transportation:
Bellingham is the jumping-off point to Alaska, as southern terminus of the Alaska Marine Highway system, with ferry service to “The Last Frontier.” Commercial airline service reaches the community at Bellingham International Airport, boasting flights to 11 destinations, including multiple daily flights to Hawaii. Other destinations include, Portland and Denver (Seasonal), Seattle, Palm Springs, Phoenix-Mesa, Oakland, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Diego. The city is also served by the Amtrak Cascades train, with twice daily service to Seattle and Vancouver, BC (two trains daily in each direction).

Bellingham is served at Fairhaven Station on the south side of town by traditional Greyhound bus. Additionally, the innovative new Bolt Bus by Greyhound offers rock-bottom prices on tickets to Portland, Seattle and Vancouver with service to Bellingham’s north-end Cordata Station.
Arts:
Bellingham has a lively arts community. Village Books in Fairhaven frequently offers readings from US and Canadian authors in their cozy downstairs auditorium. The best known musical act to come out of Bellingham is Death Cab for Cutie, formed at Western Washington University. Bellingham’s arts and music community benefits from geography: often big-name acts will stop in the city to do a show in between playing larger venues in Seattle and Vancouver. The Wild Buffalo House of Music in downtown Bellingham is renowned around the area for intimate concerts featuring a variety of talented musical acts. The historic 1,509 seat Mt. Baker Theater also offers a plethora of plays, jazz concerts and comedy shows.
Real Estate:
Real estate prices in Bellingham and Whatcom County are significantly lower than the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. The Port-of-Bellingham-run website Whatcom Prospector.com offers handy search tools for business owners searching for commercial properties in the greater Bellingham area. Real Estate Agent Mike Kent also has extensive knowledge of the Whatcom County real estate market, and has helpful guides and search features on his website.
Location:
Located a mere 80 kilometers from Vancouver, BC and only 20 minutes from the Peace Arch Border Crossing on Interstate 5, the Bellingham area is the ideal location for British Columbia businesses expanding into the United States. With the big-city resources, talented business professionals, convenient transportation options, a thriving arts community and the low cost of living and doing business, Bellingham truly is a “Best of Both Worlds” community. If you own a business in British Columbia, and you’re thinking of expanding across the border: Think Bellingham!