Microloans offer funds to West Slope firms

Phil Castle, The Business Times

Patrick Vahey

An investment management firm is accepting applications for a microloan program offering Western Colorado businesses up to $50,000 at low interest rates.

The program is intended to assist businesses struggling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions, but also builds on broader efforts to provide capital to businesses and communities.

“We think it’s a natural fit,” said Patrick Vahey, president and co-founder of Greenline Ventures.

The Denver-based firm offers businesses  with 50 or fewer full-time employees loans of $10,000 to $50,000.

No principal or interest payments are required for the first six months. A 2 percent interest rate is assessed for the subsequent 54 months of the five-year loans.

Applicants submit financial statements, copies of driver’s licenses for anyone owning 20 percent or more of the business and a resume or brief biography of the owner or manager.

No collateral is required or fees charged. Applications are processed and loans funded quickly, Vahey said, in as little as four days from the receipt of a completed application package.

Loans provide working capital for rent, utilities or to keep employees on payrolls, he said.

The loans can be used in conjunction with funding from the Paycheck Protection Program as well as other state and local funding.

The objective, he said, is to keep businesses open and people working. “It’s a tough environment to survive as a business.”

Greenline Ventures launched an initial emergency microloan program in April. Working with the Zoma Foundation, the firm opted to provide additional funding for West Slope businesses with a focus on the Grand Junction area, he said. They coordinated the loan program rollout with the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.

Vahey encouraged business owners to apply for the loans to take advantage of below-market low interest rates. “It’s extremely inexpensive.”

While businesses don’t have to pay back grants, the microloans offer the next best thing, he said.

Since its inception in 2004, Greenline Ventures has raised more than $1.8 billion in capital and invested more than $2.5 billion in businesses and projects. The firm operates as both a Community Development Entity and Community Development Financial Institution in providing capital to low-income communities.

For applications and more information about the emergency microloan program, visit the Greenline Ventures website at www.greenlineventures.com.