Program offers micro loans to Colorado businesses

A new program offers small loans to Colorado businesses underserved by traditional lending efforts.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade launched the microloan program as an initiative of the Colorado Economic Development Commission.

“The Colorado Microloans is another example of the commitment Colorado has made to supporting economies of rural Colorado,” said Stephanie Copeland, executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. “This program will help fuel entrepreneurship and job growth for communities that need it most.”

Microloans will provide financing to small businesses through small, character-based loans, particularly in rural areas, said Jeff Kraft, director of the business and finance division of Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. “This program will infuse capital into markets that need it most and help businesses scale and create jobs. Local lenders will administer the loans since they are embedded in the communities and know the businesses best.”

Eligible businesses can have no more than 15 employees and must be documented by a lender as an underserved small business that fails to meet underwriting standards for banks and other traditional lenders. Businesses also must demonstrate the ability to grow to employ more than its owners.

The loans can range between $5,000 and $50,000, with a maximum interest rate of 2 percent plus the prime rate the day the loan is made. The loan term may be up to eight years.

The program will be administered by Colorado Lending Source, First Southwest Community Fund and regional rural loan funds.

For more information about the program, visit the website located at www.ChooseColorado.com.