Craft3 teams with Goldman Sachs to help rural businesses

By: Christina Williams - Feb 21, 2013
Source: Sustainable Business Oregon
Craft3 announced Thursday it will work with Goldman Sachs to put $5.5 million to work in small business loans made in rural and underserved areas of Oregon and Washington.

The partnership is part of Goldman Sachs' "10,000 Small Businesses" program. Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation have pledged $5.5 million most of which will go directly into a small business loan fund operated by Craft3. The remaining $500,000 will be used to fund Craft3’s loan loss reserve and support operating costs associated with Craft3’s expansion into central and eastern Oregon and Washington.

Craft3, a nonprofit community development financial organization that used to be ShoreBank Enterprise, has offices in Washington (Seattle, Ilwaco and Port Angeles) and Oregon (Astoria, Portland and a new office in Bend). The organization has plans to expand to center and eastern Oregon and elsewhere in Washington by 2016.

“We are thrilled that Goldman Sachs has recognized our work in supporting economic, ecological, and family resilience in our region,” said John Berdes, Craft3 president and CEO, in a press release. “This award will increase our capacity to meet the significant and growing capital needs of for-profit and non-profit small businesses, particularly those in rural communities that have traditionally struggled with access to credit and isolation from markets."

Craft3 was named last year to a list of top impact investment organizations, the ImpactAssets 50.

Craft3's Adam Zimmerman won honors as a Portland Business Journal Forty Under 40 winner last week.

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