New non-profit Community Development Financial Institution lender coming to Central Oregon

By: Caitlin Richmond - Mar 06, 2013
Source: Oregon Legal Journal
Craft3 works with organizations that would typically have trouble getting a loan

Businesses in Central Oregon will soon have another financial resource, thanks to Craft3 coming to Central Oregon.

If you aren’t familiar with Craft3, it is a “non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) lender” according to their press release. Craft3 tries to work with organizations that would typically have a difficult time getting a loan, such as non-profits or individuals starting a business.

The headquarters are on the coast of Washington in Ilwaco, and the company has recently been expanding throughout the Pacific Northwest.

“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 in the press release. “We look forward to building relationships in every community in the tri-county region.”

Craft3 has already started working with some businesses in Central Oregon. Oniko Mehrabi, who owns Pine Theater in Prineville, got a loan through Craft3 and used it to add another story to the theater. Now Pine Theater has another screening room and they are the only two-story theater in Oregon.

Craft3 announced the expansion at an Economics Development of Central Oregon (EDCO) meeting last week.

“We at EDCO are very excited about Craft3 coming to Central Oregon,” said Jim Coonan, EDCO Venture Catalyst in the press release. “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.”

Anyone who has spent time in the Central Oregon area knows that residents value local– they try to support local businesses in a variety of ways including “Make Local Habit” bumper stickers that are seen on many cars. Having a lender like Craft3 will hopefully mean that more local businesses can either start up or get financial support they might need to become more successful.

“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 in the press release. “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.”

Business owners interested in working with Craft3 should visit www.craft3.org for more information.