The move is expected to bring new opportunity to small businesses in Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan counties and the Colville Reservation.
WENATCHEE, WA – Today, regional business lender Craft3 announced that it has agreed to an asset purchase with the North Central Washington Business Loan Fund (NCWBLF). The deal should preserve and expand non-bank financing opportunities for North Central Washington small businesses, and was unanimously supported by the Boards of both organizations.
“This deal with Craft3 will significantly increase the scale and scope of financial assistance available for rural communities in North Central Washington,” said Rich Watson, executive director of NCWBLF. “Our own loan fund has been very successful. But to be sustainable for the long-term and increase lending, our community needs access to significantly more capital. This transaction is the best way to accomplish that goal.”
Craft3 is led by President and CEO Adam Zimmerman. Watson will consult with Craft3 to provide a smooth transition of NCWBLF’s lending in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan Counties and the Colville Reservation. The transaction closed on August 24, 2017.
Since its founding in 1993, NCWBLF has invested over $7.5 million in entrepreneurs, helping to create or retain nearly 700 jobs. NCWBLF is a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
“Craft3 and North Central Washington Business Loan Fund have a shared mission to serve rural communities in need of capital,” said Adam Zimmerman, President and CEO of Craft3. “Our goal for this transaction is to create new financing opportunities for entrepreneurs in Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan Counties, as well as for those on the Colville Reservation. We’re excited to get to work investing in North Central Washington’s community projects, small businesses, and agricultural economy.”
Founded in 1994, Craft3 has grown from a three-room office in a former cannery building on the Washington coast to become the largest regional loan fund in Oregon and Washington.
Craft3 provides loans to businesses, nonprofits and individuals, including those without access to traditional financing. Typical transactions range from $50,000 to $3 million. In certain cases, Craft3 is able to make larger loans available. The organization has offices in Port Angeles, Seattle, Spokane and Walla Walla, Washington and Astoria, Bend and Portland, Oregon. Craft3 plans to open an eighth office in Klamath Falls, Oregon in 4Q 2017.
“The transition to Craft3 for our current clients should be nearly seamless, and with a better capitalized resource like Craft3, potential clients in the community will have many more options than NCWBLF has been able to offer – for instance, access to larger loan sizes and more robust technology. I look forward to celebrating Craft3’s success in our community,” continued Watson.
Since 1994, Craft3 has invested about $2.1 million on its own in Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan Counties – including in Winthrop’s North Cascades Mountain Hostel.
Craft3 is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) providing loans that strengthen businesses, families and the environment throughout Oregon and Washington. Since inception in 1994, Craft3 has invested more than $400 million in people and businesses from offices in Port Angeles, Seattle, Spokane and Walla Walla, Washington and Astoria, Bend and Portland, Oregon. Learn more at www.Craft3.org.
About North Central Washington Business Loan Fund
Since its inception in 1993, NCWBLF has funded over $7.5 million in loans and helped create or retain nearly 700 jobs in its service area of Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan Counties and the Colville Reservation.
(Submitted by Rich Watson, NCWBLF and Carl Seip, Craft3)