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Peoples Bank Announces Commercial Lending Practice for Craft Breweries and Distilleries

December 12, 2017

Lending team offers a broad range of financing options for craft beverage customers at every stage.

Bellingham, WA – December 12, 2017 – Recognizing the unique financing needs of local craft breweries and distilleries, Peoples Bank today announced the launch of a dedicated commercial lending practice for this market. Scott Montgomery, Vice President and Commercial Banking Officer at the Peoples Bank Ballard Financial Center, will lead the practice. Montgomery has over ten years of experience in commercial lending. He is a craft beverage enthusiast, and is drawn to the craft spirit and level of passion it takes to create innovative, quality offerings.
 
The new lending practice at Peoples Bank offers a full suite of services and loans that fit the needs of this specialized industry, including working capital, financing new or used equipment, growth and expansion financing, construction financing, commercial real estate purchase and refinancing, and small business loans. More information about products and services can be found at https://www.peoplesbank-wa.com/breweries-and-distilleries.
 
“The craft beverage industry is having a major economic impact in this country, but because many local businesses have not reached a certain level of production and distribution, they’re not attractive targets for financing from the big national banks,” said Montgomery. “As a family-owned institution, we understand our customers’ passion for their craft are well positioned to be a trusted advisor in the early stages and as the business grows. We see tremendous value in supporting local customers that are providing a local service, using local-sourced ingredients and suppliers.”
 

“When we were ready to expand our operations in Bellingham, we turned to Peoples Bank,” said Dave Vitt, owner of the Kulshan Brewing Company. “We knew that the market was here, and Peoples Bank stepped in and said, ‘Yes, we can help.’ I get a lot of confidence from our relationship with Peoples Bank. I like to say they’re 80 percent banker and 20 percent business partner.”
 
Addressing a Burgeoning Market
According to the national Brewers Association, the craft brewers brewing industry contributed $67.8 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016. In Washington state, this amounts to a nearly $2 billion-dollar economic impact produced by just over 300 craft breweries.
 
Washington also has more than 100 licensed distilleries dedicated to producing spirits for retail sale in the state, the highest number in the country, according to the Washington Distillers Guild’s 2014 data. At that time, Seattle had more distilleries than any city in the country, with 17 licensed distilleries within its city limits. And King County, with 26 distilleries, had more distilleries than any county in the U.S.
 
About Peoples Bank
Peoples Bank is a locally owned and operated, independent full-service community bank with over $1.6 billion in assets. Headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, the Bank was founded in 1921 and operates 25 branches located throughout Washington. In its most recent rating, Bauer Financial, a leading independent bank rating firm, awarded Peoples Bank its highest five-star superior rating. This rating recognizes Peoples Bank’s strong financial management practices, dedicated employees and long-standing customer relationships. It is a member of the Washington Brewers Guild and Washington Distillers Guild.
 
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Samara Villasenor
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samara@greatworkcommunications.com