Craft3 announced today that it will open an office in Bend to serve the Central Oregon region (Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson Counties). Craft3 is a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) lender with a mission to strengthen economic, ecological and family resilience in Pacific Northwest communities. Today’s announcement came at a meeting on entrepreneurship held by the board of directors of Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO).
“Our expansion to Central Oregon is a major step in our efforts to put feet on the ground in key regional centers east of the Cascades. Craft3 is becoming a regional institution serving all of Oregon and Washington,” said John Berdes, Craft3 president. “We look forward to building relationships in every community in the tri-county region”.
Craft3 was founded in 1995 in Ilwaco, Washington and currently manages $175 million in total assets. The institution has invested over $242 million from offices in Ilwaco, Port Angeles, Seattle, Washington andAstoria and Portland, Oregon providing loans to businesses that create family wage jobs, non-profits that provide essential services to their communities and municipalities and Tribal governments for community facilities and economic development efforts.
“We at EDCO are very excited about Craft3 coming to Central Oregon,” said Jim Coonan, EDCO venture catalyst. “For entrepreneurs and small business owners who are not yet bankable, Craft3 fills an important funding gap. EDCO will be partnering closely with Craft3 to help them to better integrate into the business community, so more companies in Central Oregon can be successful in generating local jobs.”
“We tried local banks and a loan specialist. No other lender had the creative backing to lend money on a movie theater,” said Oniko Mehrabi, owner of Pine Theater in Prineville. “Craft3 gave us a loan to add a second screening room. We are now the only two-story two-screen movie theater in Oregon. Thank you Craft3.”
Craft3’s five year business plan calls for establishing offices in Central and Eastern Oregon and Washington by 2016.
“During our assessment process it became very clear to us that collaboration at a regional level has become standard practice in Central Oregon with a majority of organizations providing resources at a tri-county level” said Mike Dickerson, Craft3 EVP. “Our goal is to work within these established networks of economic, social, and conservation organizations, build trust over time, and do what we do well – deploying non-bank capital into businesses and communities that can move the needle on economic, ecological and family resilience.”
Businesses are encouraged to visit www.craft3.org for more information.