New loan fund offers small business financing options

Pat Meyers
Jeff Kraft

A new loan fund offers new financing options for small business owners in Colorado looking to start, restart or restructure a business.

The Colorado Startup Loan Fund will focus on serving business owners who’ve historically encountered barriers to bank financing, including those who might not speak English, have never carried a loan, lack traditional assets to secure financing or previously been unable to obtain a loan.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) will partner with eight lenders to manage the fund and provide loans under $150,000 and micro loans. The fund will be managed as a revolving loan fund in which each dollar will provide for multiple loans over the course of many years. 

“Great business ideas can be found across Colorado in communities of all sizes and demographics. By making small business financing more widely available to owners who have experienced diminished access to funding, we can help the entire state thrive and strengthen our economy as a whole,” said Patrick Meyers, executive director of OEDIT.

Jeff Kraft, director of the OEDIT business funding and incentives division, said the fund will help the small businesses that add to the vibrancy of Colorado communities. “They bring us new options for eating out by starting food trucks, develop new lifestyle or gaming apps or start the salon that becomes a community favorite. The Colorado Startup Loan Fund will help under-resourced entrepreneurs obtain financing that they can use to launch their business and feel more financially stable as they establish and grow their revenue” 

The Colorado Startup Loan Fund was established by state legislation sponsored by State. Reps. Jennifer Bacon and Monica Duran and State Sen. James Coleman. The measure recognizes that many entrepreneurs who filed for bankruptcy or closed their businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic could be prevented from re-entering the market due to low credit scores or other pandemic-related financial impacts.

 “We know that 1.2 million Coloradans work for small businesses, which represents 48 percent of all Colorado employees,” Bacon said. “I am grateful to my colleagues for their support in passing such an important bill and establishing the Colorado Startup Loan Fund, which will help ensure that small businesses continue to be strong employers in our state.” 

Duran said the fund will support business owners who’ve experienced obstacles to financing, including women, veterans and minority entrepreneurs.

Coleman said he was pleased to sponsor the measure. “Small businesses employment growth in Colorado has outpaced the national growth rate. In some sectors, such as construction, health care and retail, small businesses also make up the majority of employers, proving once again that small businesses are at the heart of the Colorado economy.

For more information about the Colorado Startup Loan Fund, visit