Physical presence improves access to capital for small business in Oregon and Washington
Regional community lender Craft3 announced today that it has opened a new office in Walla Walla, Washington to serve the Mid-Columbia Basin region of Washington and Oregon. As a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI), Craft3 works with businesses unable to get traditional bank financing – often because they are start-ups or have insufficient collateral and poor credit.
“Opening in the Mid-Columbia Basin was a natural next step for Craft3’s regional expansion. It gives us a physical presence in a part of the region that we feel is very important,” said Adam Zimmerman, Craft3 President & CEO. “Craft3 has expertise in lending for agriculture, value-added food processing and manufacturing, as well as retail and tourism – so we feel like the Mid-Columbia Basin will be a great home for us.”
The new office will serve Umatilla, Morrow, Wallowa, Union and Baker Counties in Oregon, and Walla Walla, Columbia, Benton, Franklin, Yakima and Klickitat Counties in Washington.
“During my time on the Washington coast, I had the opportunity to work with Craft3 and witness the positive impact they had on small, family businesses and rural coastal communities. Beyond providing traditional financial services, Craft3 separated itself from the traditional finance industry by extending loans to unique entrepreneurial enterprises that would not typically qualify for credit,” said Nabiel Shawa, City Manager of Walla Walla. “Craft3’s mission is to build a small business ecosystem that improves the entire Pacific Northwest’s economy and environment – and they’re a superb fit for our special place, the Walla Walla Valley.”
“Craft3 is a proven alternative lender investing in businesses that impact their communities. I encourage all businesses interested in capacity-building to research Craft3. Their staff is willing to listen to your ideas and provide suggestions for the financing needed to make your project successful,” said Randy Grant, Executive Director of the Milton-Freewater Downtown Alliance.
The Mid-Columbia Basin Office, which is now open, is located at 103 E Main in Walla Walla and initially staffed by Phil Serjeant, a business lender and ten-year resident of the greater Walla Walla area. Most recently, Serjeant worked for Community Bank.
Craft3 also has offices in Ilwaco (opened in 1994), Port Angeles (2005), Seattle (2007) and Spokane (2015), Washington, and Astoria (2007), Portland (2007) and Bend (2013), Oregon.
Craft3 plans to host an open-house for the community on October 20th. Details will be made available on http://www.craft3.org/our-places/mid-columbia-basin.