The Portland Development Commission and Craft3, a nonprofit community development financial institution, will partner on a $1.5 million loan fund that prioritizes small businesses within Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI) Districts and East Portland.
Mayor Sam Adams, who announced the partnership in his March 2, 2012 State of the City address, said, "These focused investments will help people. Our goal is to strengthen the businesses that are already in these districts, attract new ones, and create jobs."
"This partnership is a logical evolution in our nearly 20-year history of providing capital to underinvested urban and rural communities in the Pacific Northwest," said John Berdes, Craft3 president and CEO. "We believe Portland neighborhoods represent promising growth markets for our institution."
PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton said, "Targeted investments in the NPI districts and East Portland are at the core of our Neighborhood Economic Development Strategy. The partnership with Craft3 will advance our work to create jobs and support community-driven economic development in the neighborhoods that need it most."
Craft3 will provide up to $1.5 million in financing to small businesses in the loan target areas, focusing principally on working capital. Craft3 will use its underwriting criteria and will work closely with PDC to ensure that the loans further the equity objectives of Portland’s NED Strategy. The partners will share administrative costs and will cross-train PDC and Craft3 staff to better identify and serve prospective small business loan clients in the priority neighborhoods.
Created by Portland voters in 1958, PDC plays a major role in making Portland one of America's most livable cities. As Portland’s economic development and urban renewal agency, PDC is pursuing an aggressive strategy to create one of the world’s most desirable and equitable cities by investing in job creation, innovation and economic opportunity throughout Portland.