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Membership Criteria

Who are our Members?

Our Members are independent, locally owned businesses, farms, organizations, and community leaders based in Whatcom County who are committed to this region and its quality of life. Businesses in the neighboring counties of Skagit, San Juan and Island are also encouraged to join.

How & why do Members participate?

Some of our Members spend a lot of time with us - volunteering hours to develop the organization - and some spend less - attending events to learn or share, or simply providing monetary support.  Each has their own reason for being a part of this network (see member benefits), but most relate to the following:

  • Ensuring that our place doesn't become any place.
  • A commitment to a strong community and thriving local economy with meaningful jobs, a diversity of business owners and involved citizens.
  • A desire for public awareness about the importance of supporting local products, services and retail outlets.
  • A commitment to decreasing negative impacts on our water, forests, and air.
  • A desire to know and do business with others in the community who share similar concerns and values.
  • A need for collaboration that helps reduce costs and increase convenience to make environmental and local business decisions.
  • An interest in modeling sustainable practices for the community.

Our members are truly local heroes, and we intend to help support them every way possible to ensure that their businesses and our community thrive.

Can I become a Member?

To be eligible for Business or Sustaining Membership, you need to be able to answer "yes" to the following questions:

  1. Is your business privately held (not publicly traded)? (intent)

  2. Do the business owners who have a controlling interest, totaling greater than 50% of the business ownership, live in Whatcom, Skagit, Island or San Juan County? (intent)

  3. Is your business registered in the state of Washington, with no corporate or national headquarters outside Whatcom, Skagit, Island or San Juan Counties? (intent)

  4. Do you have full autonomy to make your own independent decisions regarding your unique business and it’s purchasing, operations and distribution, as well as the name and look of your business? (intent)

  5. Do you pay all your own marketing, rent and other business expenses without assistance from, or payment to, a corporate headquarters? (intent)

If you met the criteria, please join us as a Business Member.  

If you answered "no" to any of the above questions, we encourage your involvement as a Partner or as an Individual Supporter of Sustainable Connections. 

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