Lewis EDC and Craft3 announce new partnership to invest in small business in Lewis, Thurston and Cowlitz Counties

By: Jennifer Janda - Feb 23, 2016
Source: Press Release

Under agreement, Craft3 will assume resources of a Chehalis-based loan fund to allow for continued regional investment

Today, Lewis EDC announced new financial resources for businesses through regional nonprofit lender Craft3, which recently assumed management of assets for Chehalis-based loan fund The Lending Network. The new partnership between Lewis EDC and Craft3 will ensure small businesses in Lewis, Thurston and Cowlitz Counties have improved options when seeking capital to sustain or grow their business including providing entrepreneurs access to larger loans than were previously offered by The Lending Network.

“Craft3 has a proven track record in Washington, with a portfolio of over $167 million,” said Matt Matayoshi, the executive director of Lewis EDC. “They excel at serving rural areas and, under this agreement, will continue to serve businesses in Lewis County, including those unable to access conventional bank financing. Capital is critical for small businesses in our community to grow and create jobs – and I’m pleased Craft3 is willing to work with our community to offer capital and build a stronger economy.”

Founded in 1994 at the mouth of the Columbia River, Craft3 is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) with seven offices throughout Oregon and Washington. It makes loans that strengthen businesses, families and the environment – and specializes in financing entrepreneurs without access to traditional bank financing. Craft3 loans can cover all stages of a business lifecycle, from start-up to expansion, and range in complexity and size from $25,000 to $5 million.

“Craft3 understands the importance of capital for entrepreneurs – and works in partnership with its borrowers to understand their business, make an investment and see them graduate to a more-traditional lending relationship after a few years,” explained Walt Postlewait, the chief lending officer at Craft3. “We take great pride in being a lending partner that can bring our expertise to bear and support small businesses in our communities.”

Under the partnership, Craft3 will base Business Lender Alex Nelson, a Southwest Washington resident and loan officer with 12 years of experience, part-time at the Lewis EDC office.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with the EDC and engage businesses in the greater Lewis County area. Craft3 is uniquely positioned to help a wide variety of companies with their financing needs – everything from manufacturers and natural resource industries to businesses on Main Street,” shared Nelson.

Additional information about Craft3 and Lewis EDC’s partnership will be discussed at the EDC Banquet on Thursday, February 25 at the Hotel Washington in Chehalis. Craft3’s Chief Lending Officer, Walt Postlewait, will be in attendance and available to answer questions from businesses and the community about how businesses can access financing under the new partnership between the nonprofit and Lewis EDC. 

Businesses are encouraged to visit www.Craft3.org for more information or to apply. For more information please contact Jennifer Janda at JJanda@Craft3.org.

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About Lewis EDC

The Lewis County Economic Development Council is actively involved in working to ensure the success of local business. Since its inception, the EDC has worked with over eighty firms that have located here. The companies are responsible for providing over 2,300 jobs to our community. In addition, we have worked with over 250 local firms, helping them to expand or strengthen their operations. Finally, the EDC has worked with our many partners on helping to solve transportation, utility, and regulatory problems. EDC partners include over 100 business members plus local government, education, and other community based groups.

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