How Zenger Farm connects Portlanders with healthier, and local, food

By: Andy Giegerich - Aug 02, 2016
Source: Portland Business Journal

It remains, to say the least, difficult for small businesses to get traditional financing.

Say, for instance, getting a bank loan.

In his PBJ cover story that runs in print on Friday, the PBJ's Matthew Kish notes that while small business lending in Oregon may not have returned to pre-crash levels, many entrepreneurs are turning to new methods to get businesses off the ground.

While some are succeeding, critics worry that pitfalls await as online lenders fill some of the void. They also say lack of capital for small businesses remains a headwind on the Oregon economy.

One such group that's used such programs to its advantage is Zenger Farm, the nonprofit that collected a small loan from the financing arm Craft3 to help back a $2.3 million real estate project.

That project is a grange that will offer spots for tour groups, as well as a commercial kitchen, classrooms, community meeting spaces and offices.

“Without the loan from Craft3 we wouldn’t have had the cash to pay the builders,” said executive director Mike Wenrick said. “It bought us time.”