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This Alternative Lender Has Just Created a New $1 Million Fund for Small Businesses in Colorado

Alternative lenders are popping up all over the map, offering new lending opportunities for small businesses. Unlike banks who often say no due to strict lending rules, lenders like Colorado Enterprise Fund are saying YES!

New $1 million fund

Small businesses located in Adams County, which is part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado Metropolitan Statistical Area, can get a loan of up to $50,000 for up to five years if they have annual gross revenues under $2 million. The new Colorado Enterprise Microloan Fund (CEF) is targeting all kinds of businesses in the county. Loans can be used for capital, purchases of equipment and inventory, property improvements, business purchases and commercial real estate.

This is the first time a CEF microloan fund has started out with a million dollars, according to Colorado Enterprise Fund spokeswoman Alisa Zimmerman. Adams County is the fifth-most populous of the 64 counties in the state of Colorado, and Denver is the fastest growing major city in the United States. Adams county, in particular, is full of small businesses, with 75 percent of the businesses being startups and older who employ nine people or less.

Flexible lending

CEF uses the same criteria as banks when it comes to funding, but they are far more flexible in applying the rules. Zimmerman and others hope other lenders will partner with them to create more funds to support small business. Similar CEF funds have been created in Boulder, Arvada, Loveland, Longmont and Weld County. The non-profit lender was founded in 1976 and since its beginning has given more than $51 million in loans to more than 1,800 businesses.


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