Flood Relief Resources for Businesses

January 23, 2023 Update: 

Businesses impacted by the November 2021 floods can now apply for grant funds

The Northwest Washington Disaster Grant program will distribute up to $10 million, funded through the Washington State Department of Commerce. The grants are for businesses affected by the floods in Whatcom, Skagit, and Clallum counties in the Lummi Nation, Nooksack Indian Tribe, and Quileute Tribe. 

Grant funds can be used for payroll, rent, utilities, marketing, advertising, building improvement or repairs, replacing damaged inventory and equipment, and other operational and business expenses. Award amounts will vary based on multiple factors including the degree of damage. Applicants must attest that grant funds will not be used to pay for costs already covered by a different government program or privately funded grant or loan.

Documents that you’ll need to upload for the grant application:

  • Proof of valid UBI (A copy of your current Business License)
  • Federal Tax ID number - EIN/TIN/SSN (You’ll need to submit a W-9. Click here to be taken to a blank W-9 form)
  • Proof of UEI or attestation that a UEI application is in process (Get a Unique Entity ID at SAM.gov)
  • 2021 Tax return
  • Proof of operation in flood affected area. Examples include a current lease; utility bill; current business bank statement; current business mortgage statement; business credit card statement; professional insurance bill; etc.

For questions or assistance with the application, call the grant portal helpline 1-855-582-3973 or reach out to the WWU SBDC at (360) 650-7232, email sbdc@wwu.edu

Updates from our leaders

Updated March 16th, 2022


Local Disaster Relief Efforts Bring State Funds

The Business Recovery Task Force, co-led by Port of Bellingham Economic Development Director Don Goldberg and other leaders, shared data on local business losses with Washington State Rep. Alicia Rule of Blaine, whose HB 1957 proposed a small business disaster recovery financial assistance program that has been funded! 

Read the full report here


Washington State Emergency Management

Be Alert to Fraud After a Disaster

After a disaster, con artists and criminals may try to obtain money or steal personal information through fraud or identity theft. In some cases, thieves try to apply for FEMA assistance using names, addresses and Social Security numbers they have stolen from survivors.

If a FEMA Inspector comes to your home and you did not submit a FEMA application, your information might have been used without your knowledge to create a FEMA application. If so, please inform the inspector that you did not apply for FEMA assistance so they can submit a request to stop further processing of the application.

If you did not apply for assistance but receive a call, letter or visit from FEMA, please call the FEMA Helpline at 
800-621-3362. The helpline will submit a request to stop any further processing of that application.

Read the full release to learn more.

Logo of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee

Inslee statement on federal disaster declaration
Gov. Jay Inslee today commended the Biden Administration, which approved Inslee’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration and agreed to provide federal assistance to help those impacted by last November’s historic floods.

See the full press release here

Whatcom County Sheriff's office

Whatcom County Sheriff's Office

We have two attachments, first the Whatcom County Situation Report for December 17, 2021 and second, Governor Inslee's request to President Biden requesting him to declare a "Major Disaster for the State of Washington as a result of damages incurred by a continuous series of severe winter storms, high winds, flooding, landslides and mudslides beginning November 5 through December 2, 2021."

Logo of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee

Inslee letter to FEMA requests swift consideration for flood aid

Gov. Jay Inslee sent a letter to FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell on Friday requesting the federal agency's swift action on providing aid to Washington's flood-damaged regions once the state's damage assessment is complete, which is expected soon.

Read the full letter here


Drone image of Sumas flood 2021

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Governor Inslee recognizes local efforts

During a press conference Thursday, Governor Jay Inslee expressed his respect for the community and the local leaders. Inslee also called out the leadership of two mayors in some of the hardest hit cities, Everson and Sumas.

 (Published 12/3/21, mynorthwest.com)

County seal

Whatcom County Waives Emergency Repair Permit Fee

In response to the extraordinary needs of County residents resulting from recent flooding, the County permit fee for emergency building repairs has been waived per an executive order signed by County Executive Satpal Sidhu on November 24, 2021.

See here for more information...

Logo of Washington State Governor Jay Inslee

Inslee updates severe weather emergency proclamation as cleanup continues

Reported in mynorthwest.com - After major flooding last week in northern Washington counties, more financial assistance is expected to arrive from the state for those residents starting Monday.

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene

Congresswoman DelBene: The Recovery Ahead for Communities Devastated By Western WA Floods
November 22, 2021

Dear friends,

I am working closely with state and local officials to make sure we swiftly deliver federal assistance to our communities. 

Please visit my flood resources website


Get help for flood damaged businesses

Updated April 21st, 2022

The Whatcom Community Foundation is grateful to announce the Whatcom Small Business Disaster Recovery Fund (WSBDR Fund). The Fund will provide resources to support and invest in the recovery and resilience of Whatcom County’s flood affected small businesses to preserve community character and foster economic viability.

Recovery Grants are intended to help cover essential expenses, including rent, payroll, repairs, and mitigation measures to better face future disasters. The information you share in your application will help local partners better understand the impacts of the flooding as well as better support your recovery needs going forward.

Thank you for all you and your business do to contribute to the livelihoods and character of your community.

Grant Amount: Grants up to $5,000.

For more information, visit Whatcom Community Foundation Small Business Relief Fund | LiveStories

Distributable Flyer

Washington State Department of Commerce: announces legislative funding for small business.  Read the full Commerce press release here: https://tinyurl.com/WA-Commerce-Info

Get ready for Working Washington 5 grants here: https://commercegrants.com/

Help us collect flood impact information, please complete our Whatcom County Business Flood Disaster Recovery Questionnaire to help us support requests for further assistance.

Aid deadlines that have passed:

SBA Physical Damage Loan Application Deadline is March 7, 2022

Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) application deadline is March 9th

Business owners and managers are encouraged to call the WWU SBDC at (360) 778-1762 or email sbdc@wwu.edu to make an appointment to discuss business relief options.

Assistance available now that a disaster is declared

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

Loans for Flood Recovery from Local Banks

Financing to assist the recovery, local options: 

Urgent — Please Report Flood Damage Promptly

New Flood Damage Reporting Form

Whatcom County Home and Rental Damage Assessment Estimated Flood Damages Form - English

Para Español, haga clic aquí.

Damage to businesses can be reported by calling the Damage Assessment Line
• Call 360-788-5311

Those with ANY flood-damaged property are requested to report their damages to Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, Division of Emergency Management, flood response information page.

It is essential to report flood damage as part of the process to document damage countywide, in order to qualify for state and federal assistance.

Disaster Information and Assistance 

Whatcom County News and Resources:

State Resources

WA Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS)

  • On Nov. 22, 2021, DSHS’s Community Services Division began offering the Disaster Cash Assistance Program in response to the Severe Weather State of Emergency declaration and proclamation issued by the Governor. The original proclamation expires December 18, 2021, and has not been extended. See this stakeholder letter for more information

WA Employment Security Department


Employee Retention Tools


  • Shared Work – employees are at 50% work, 50% UI.  They are not required to job search but must be ready and able to go to work for their current employer.
  • Standby – employees are 100% on UI but there is a return-to-work date.   No job search is required but employee must be ready and able to work for current employer.

Financial Mitigation Resource


  • Relief of Benefit Charges – Employers can request “relief of benefit charges due to flooding” on all UI claims related to employees receiving UI due to flood.  This is not automatic, the employer requests them

Resources for employees that are separated from work

  • Unemployment Insurance


  • Worksource Re-employment Services


WA Department of Labor & Industries 

WA Department of Revenue 

Federal Relief

The Stafford Act states, in part that: "All requests for a declaration by the President that a major disaster exists shall be made by the Governor of the affected State." 

If and when a gubernatorial declaration occurs, and if that declaration rises to the Federal relief level, the US Small Business Administration (SBA), FEMA and additional Federal agencies will provide further resources.