DENVER -- The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced the launch of the new Colorado Microloans program, a special initiative of the Colorado Economic Development Commission designed to provide small loans to startups and entrepreneurial small businesses underserved by traditional debt markets.
"The Colorado Microloans is another example of the commitment Colorado has made to supporting economies of rural Colorado," said Stephanie Copeland, OEDIT executive director.
"This program will help fuel entrepreneurship and job growth for communities that need it most."
OEDIT said the Microloans program aims to provide capital to small businesses through small, character-based loans, particularly in rural Colorado regions.
"This program will infuse capital into markets that need it most and help businesses scale and create jobs," said Jeff Kraft, OEDIT’s director of Business Funding & Incentives.
"Local lenders will administer the loans since they are embedded in the communities and know the businesses best."
Eligible businesses must be a for-profit entity that meets the following conditions:
- The recipient business can have no more than 15 employees at the time the loan is made.
- The recipient business must be documented by the lender as an "underserved small business."
- The recipient business must be located in Colorado with a majority of employees working in Colorado.
- In the judgment of the lender, the recipient business has a substantial possibility to become a long-term viable business in Colorado that can grow to employ more than its owners.
- The recipient business does not meet underwriting standards for banks and other more traditional lenders.
Loans can range between $5,000 and $50,000, with a maximum interest rate of 2% plus the prime rate the day the loan is made. The loan term may be up to 8 years.
The loan program will be administered by the Colorado Lending Source, First Southwest Community Fund, and more than a dozen regional Rural Loan Funds spanning across rural Colorado counties.
Businesses interested in participating in CML should contact:
Colorado Lending Source
Mike O'Donnell, Executive Director
First Southwest Community Fund
Roxanne DeMarco, Director of Community Partnerships
Region 9 Economic Development District of SW Colorado
Laura Lewis Marchino, Executive Director
More information about the program can be found at www.choosecolorado.com/cml.