Job growth, regional resilience are key outcomes of Craft3 small business investments across region
Community-based nonprofit lender Craft3 has reached a milestone of $400 million invested in Oregon and Washington small businesses, nonprofits and homeowners. Month-end numbers indicate that the milestone was reached in July after a number of key deals closed.
Craft3 was founded in 1994 at the mouth of the Columbia River and now operates from offices in Ilwaco, Port Angeles, Seattle, Spokane and Walla Walla, Washington, and Astoria, Bend and Portland, Oregon. The organization is the largest U.S. Department of the Treasury-certified mission-focused Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in Oregon or Washington. It uses capital products, including business, nonprofit, conservation and consumer loans, to strengthen regional resilience. Over its history, Craft3 has helped create/support 11,457 jobs, assisted 1,036 businesses and loaned money to 4,047 individuals. More than 49 percent of Craft3 commercial borrowers are women, immigrants, veterans or entrepreneurs of color – an area of focus for the institution.
“Craft3 was founded on the belief that communities are strong when they have thriving small businesses, families and ecosystems. Twenty-two years later, we’ve thrilled to have now invested $400 million in Oregon and Washington,” said Craft3 President and CEO Adam Zimmerman. “We could never have gotten here without the support of many partners, funders, dedicated staff and of course, the thousands of entrepreneurs who have trusted us to finance their dreams. On behalf of everyone at Craft3, thank you for standing by us – and for helping inspire our course to deploy the next $400 million.”
Craft3 deploys its loans across Oregon and Washington with the support of more than 80 funders – a mix of traditional financial institutions, governments, foundations and accredited individual investors. As a non-regulated, non-depository institution, Craft3 relies on investors to access the capital it needs to loan out to businesses.
“The Northwest Area Foundation has a long history of supporting of Craft3 and its mission to build small businesses and regional resiliency,” said Northwest Area Foundation Program Director Karla Miller. “This mission leads them to pursue creative means for partnering with Native CDFIs, foundations, economic development corporations and other community-based enterprises seeking ways to use capital sources to foster asset building opportunities. Achieving this $400 million milestone speaks to Craft3’s commitment to provide equitable access to capital and locally-anchored solutions."