Craft3 expands Oregon presence

By: - Feb 28, 2013
Source: The Daily Astorian
BEND — Craft3 announced earlier this month that it will open an office in Bend to serve Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties in the central Oregon region.

Craft3 is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution lender with a mission to strengthen economic, ecological and family resilience in Pacific Northwest communities. The 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,” said John Berdes, Craft3 President. “Craft3 is becoming a regional institution serving all of Oregon and Washington. We look forward to building relationships in every community in the tri-county region.”

Craft3 was founded in 1995 in Ilwaco, Wash., and currently manages $175 million in total assets. The institution has invested more than $242 million from offices in Ilwaco, Port Angeles, Wash., Seattle, Astoria and Portland providing loans to businesses that create family wage jobs, nonprofits 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 of EDCO’s Venture Catalyst program. “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.”

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’s executive vice president. “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 nonbank 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.