Companies around the nation are in astonishment and shock after learning Silicon Valley Bank failed on Friday. It is the second-greatest bank failure in American history.
Kelly Oriard is the co-founder of Slumberkins, a Vancouver-based firm that distributes stuffed animals and mental health-related books for children.
“Facing the reality of what it entails is terrifying,” added Oriard. Since we have poured our hearts and souls into this firm for seven years, and the majority of our capital was in that bank.
When Oriard and her co-founder Callie Christensen received the news, they feared the bank’s demise would force them to close their business.
Hence, we were uncertain as to whether or not they would appear. Will they not appear? Did we get them out in time? Did we not?”
They are still awaiting a response.
Silicon Valley Bank primarily catered to technology startups. But, even tiny businesses such as Slumberkins and A Kids Co., a Portland-based children’s book publisher.
SVB also helped finance the operations of 10-20% of Washington vineyards and certain smaller Oregon growers.
“The wine business was rather astonished and surprised,” said Erik McLaughlin, CEO of Metis, a Pacific Northwest winery consulting firm.
The SVB shutdown occurs during a sluggish season for wineries. They are ready to employ summer help, purchase grapes, and pay their expenses. Yet, they now have restricted access to their cash as a result of the bank’s collapse.
“This is the available credit,” McLaughlin stated. It is accessible for them to spend on items that generate an inventory. Hence, things include purchasing grapes, paying for vineyards, packaging materials, bottling, and barreling.”
Jeff Shulman, a marketing professor at the University of Washington Foster School of Business, stated, “I believe the two most important factors are available to capital and the number of enterprises in the region.” “Secondly, there is uncertainty. Uncertainty over what the future holds. And uncertainty makes people risk-averse and resolute, which has consequences for everyone here.”