Since opening with the help of a Craft3 business loan, the Medford Cowork Collective, now with over 65 members, has quickly become an essential part of downtown Medford and an invaluable resource for the entrepreneurs, freelancers and others who use it. Nimbly adapting to COVID-19, the Collective has robust health and safety measures. Coworking spaces, like this one, provide flexible office and meeting space for small businesses, start-ups, consultants and anyone else looking for a place to work, a community, and free coffee!
When Abigail Schilling moved to Medford from Los Angeles, where among other ventures she managed a coworking space, she noticed a lack of flexible working spaces for entrepreneurs, telecommuters and small businesses. She got to work, developing a business place, raising money, and connecting with Southern Oregon Regional Development, Inc. (SOREDI). SOREDI referred Abigail to Craft3, a regional lender with a mission to strengthen economic, ecological and family resilience across Oregon and Washington.
Abigail worked with Stephanie Hirche, a Southern Oregon business lender with Craft3, to explore financing options. Abigail needed a loan to cover improvements to her rented space and to purchase furniture and other equipment. Craft3 was able to fund Medford Cowork Collective’s tenant improvements and start-up expenses, even though the loan was not backed up by real estate and the value of the loan exceeded the value of the company’s assets. We were able to do this because Abigail had a solid business plan, relevant experience, demonstrated income from other work, and her careful financial projections showed a likely ability to repay the loan and grow her business.
The Medford Cowork Collective was also a great fit with Craft3’s mission. A woman-owned start up, it promised to help revitalize main street and also provide benefits to the many other entrepreneurs and businesspeople who would use it. Abigail was terrific to work with and reports, “Craft3 literally invested in my success!”
With the Medford Cowork Collective a success, Abigail is now looking, with Craft3’s help, to refinance her loan with a traditional bank.
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