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Colorado Enterprise Fund Launches Veteran Loan Program - VALOR

Monday, November 06, 2017

CEF Launches Small Business Loan Program for Veterans – VALOR

The Loveland Business Development Center (LBDC) has received notification that the Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) is launching a new small business loan program for veterans. The loan program, created to support U.S. military veterans and Gold Star Families (surviving spouses and children of veterans) in Colorado, will officially launch on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2017.

Veteran Access Loan Opportunity Resource (VALOR) will provide discounted loan rates and extended terms for military veterans who are unable to secure financing through traditional banks. The VALOR loan program offers loan amounts up to $500,000 for working capital, equipment, inventory, property improvements, business purchases and purchases of commercial real estate. The program offers a loan rate that is discounted 2% from standard CEF rates with loan terms of up to 10 years and interest-only periods of up to six months.

One in 10 businesses are veteran-owned businesses, and those businesses employ six million workers, generating $1.2 trillion in annual receipts, according to the Small Business Administration, or SBA.

Previously, the SBA offered two loan programs that were created specifically for veteran-owned businesses: the Patriot Express Loan (which expired in 2013) and the SBA Veterans Advantage Loan Program (which expired in October 2014). It is exciting to see that CEF is introducing this new program during National Veterans Small Business Week (Oct. 30 through Nov. 3). Although CEF has not previously offered a formal program for military veterans and their families, over the past two decades, CEF has provided 30 loans to veterans in Colorado totaling $1.2 million. These loans have created 200 jobs and allowed for the retention of nearly 100 jobs statewide.

Those interested in applying for the VALOR loan program can apply online via the CEF website and/or can contact Mike Jensen, CEF senior loan officer and U.S. Army veteran, at mike@coloradoenterprisefund.org. CEF is a community partner of the Loveland Business Development Center. LBDC clients can schedule an appointment with Lewis Hagler, CEF director of credit, at the LBDC office on Wednesday afternoons.

The Loveland Business Development Center offers free business counseling and low cost workshops to Loveland residents and businesses.

 

About Colorado Enterprise Fund
Founded in 1976, Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) provides loans up to $500,000 to finance small businesses and startups unable to obtain funding through traditional banks. With a mission to accelerate community prosperity by financing and supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses, CEF has provided over $64 million in loans to more than 2,000 businesses to help create or retain over 17,000 jobs in the state. A nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CEF is based in Denver with a satellite office in Fort Collins. CEF’s lending and consulting services are available statewide. For more information, visit: www.coloradoenterprisefund.org

The Warehouse Business Accelerator Announces New Executive Director

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
The Warehouse Business Accelerator Announces New Executive Director
August 14, 2017

LOVELAND, CO – The Warehouse Business Accelerator, a public-private regionally supported economic development engine, has appointed Bryan Pederson as leader and Executive Director for the organization.
Pederson began his new role in early July and brings to the Acceler
ator more than 10 years of regional business and community development experience that includes former leadership of Thrivent Financial’s community engagement initiatives in Central California and formation of the Safe at Home program with Rebuilding Together Peninsula.
“Bryan as the Executive Director is the perfect fit in our city’s economic eco system as his passions and purpose is driving business development and community engagement. His servant leadership, networking capabilities, and positive attitude make him ideal for the position,” reported Jay Dokter, founder of the Warehouse.
"The Warehouse program is distinctly different from other business incubator programs because of the maturity of the companies it serves," Dokter said. "Companies enabled by The Warehouse are typically graduates from the incubator phase. They have a tested product and are ready to "scale up" to bring their product to market, generate revenue and hire employees."
“I look forward to serving and partnering with the area’s stage II companies in this capacity” remarks Bryan. “I am dedicated to this sector because it is a primary driver of economic growth and creator of jobs in our communities. The Warehouse Business Accelerator plays a key role in supporting and developing company capacity to improve this region’s quality of life.”
The Warehouse's primary funding source comes from the Loveland Business Partnership (LBP) with collaboration and support from the City of Loveland and other organizations. The Warehouse provides select incubator graduates and Stage II companies access to an integrated regional ecosystem. This includes expert advice, capital, supply chain partners, research resources, market connections, and physical resources for the purpose of accelerating their revenue growth, scale-up, and growth of primary jobs.

LBP Board Member, Douglas Rutledge, said “The Warehouse's founders have been working alongside many of the existing entrepreneurial support entities to build out a missing piece of the regional ecosystem in Northern Colorado. Collaboration, a regional footprint, local, state, international sources of capital and tech industry cluster development are all ingredients to The Warehouse's success.”

The Warehouse is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and is eligible to receive funding through sponsorship, in-kind donations, grants and government sources.

The Loveland Business Partnership (LBP) is an organization comprised of Loveland business leaders interested in promoting and supporting business growth and opportunity within the city that provides high quality employment opportunities for current and future citizens.

Colorado Creates Grant Guidelines and Application Now Available

Monday, March 13, 2017
DENVER - March 1, 2017 - Guidelines are now available for Colorado Creative Industries' Colorado Creates grant program. The purpose of Colorado Creates, CCI's largest grant program, is to provide critical financial support that helps nonprofit cultural organizations and communities produce and present arts and cultural activities, bringing jobs to their communities and enhancing the quality of life. 
 
"These grants support the arts organizations and artists who are critical to Colorado's economy," said Margaret Hunt, Director of Colorado Creative Industries. "By investing in this sector's vitality, the state builds its reputation as a premier creative hub and reaps significant economic returns."
 
For the current fiscal year, a total of 180 grants were awarded in 47 counties across the state totaling $1.3M, an increase from the 162 grants awarded the prior year. The agency's grants benefit both small and large communities, and 47% of grant funds were awarded in towns and cities located outside the Denver metro area.
 
Colorado Creates has a two-year grant funding period for successful applicants. Organizations awarded in last year's cycle are eligible to submit a Mid-Cycle Report instead of a full application. Those reports are due by 4p.m. on Thurs., April 20, 2017. View a list of organizations eligible for the second year funding here.


All other applicants will complete the full Colorado Creates application, which is due by 4p.m. on Thurs., June 1, 2017 for programs and activities occurring during the two-year period between Oct. 1, 2017 and Sept. 30, 2019. Eligible applicants can review the guidelines and application instructions for the Colorado Creates full application here.


ELIGIBILITY

Grant applicants for Colorado Creates must be Colorado 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organizations or independent components of Colorado public colleges or universities, or government agencies. Applicants must have been providing public arts or cultural heritage programs in Colorado for at least three years by the application deadline and have a minimum cash operating budget of $25,000.  

GRANT AMOUNTS & REVIEW CRITERIA

Colorado Creates awards range from $4,000 to $10,000 and are awarded annually on a competitive basis. Proposals are reviewed by panels based on three review criteria:• Artistic excellence and merit of proposed activities
Community involvement and benefit from proposed activities
Implementation capacity, such as effective planning, management, and budgeting of the organization and the project.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Applicants seeking assistance are advised to contact Creative Industries Division counselors well in advance of the application deadline. Prior to contacting a grant counselor, applicants should read the guidelines thoroughly. Both returning and first-time grant applicants will be using an online grant system, and must be registered and approved for eligibility prior to starting the application process. Staff may be contacted at 303.892.3840 or at OEDIT_CreativeIndustries@state.co.us. 

APPLICATION TOOLS

Creative Industries staff has developed a resource handbook to assist with the application process. Online tutorials and staff assistance will also be available. Updates will be posted on www.coloradocreativeindustries.org.  
About Colorado Creative Industries
Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado's state arts agency, is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). Established to capitalize on the immense potential for our creative sector to enhance economic growth in Colorado, the mission of Colorado Creative Industries is to promote, support and expand the creative industries to drive Colorado's economy, grow jobs and enhance our quality of life.

Front Range Community College Hosts SBDC 30 Years!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017
The Colorado SBDC Network offers free and low-cost resources to small business owners throughout the state. Each SBDC center has a local host, who is also a significant financial supporter for that center. 2017 marks 30 years since Front Range Community College has hosted both the Larimer and North Metro Denver SBDCs. 

On March 7, 2017, the City of Fort Collins Mayor Wade Troxell recognized this contribution with a “Thank You” proclamation, presented to Dr. Jean Runyon, Vice President of the Front Range Community College Larimer Campus.


Thank you, Front Range Community College, for your support and prioritizing small business education in Northern Colorado!




City of Fort Collins Community Development Scholarship

Tuesday, October 18, 2016
By Stu Crair


The City of Fort Collins (CFC) and Digital Workshop Center (DWC) have announced a $10,000 partnered scholarship opportunity for the residents of Fort Collins.  Named the ‘Community Development Scholarship’, the goal of this scholarship is to “help individuals and professionals to close the technology skills gaps that may exist in the Fort Collins workplace.”

Awards for this scholarship will be primarily divided amongst several sections of the local workforce: non-profits, teachers/educators, job seekers/unemployed/under-employed, and business professionals seeking career transition.

The City of Fort Collins’ Economic Health Office has generously provided $5,000 of scholarship funds to be distributed.  In addition, Digital Workshop Center is matching this $5,000 amount for a total award of scholarship funds available set at $10,000.  Award amounts will range from $250 to $1000 per individual.

“As more educational and work opportunities require technology skills, the City and Digital Workshop Center are excited to partner to provide educational access to a broader segment of our community,” said Jacqueline Kozak-Thiel, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Fort Collins. “We want to ensure that we’re bridging the financial gap for those in our community who are seeking personal improvement and upward skills mobility.”
According to Stu Crair, owner of Digital Workshop Center, this scholarship “is designed to help as many people as possible within our local community who are seeking to improve their technology skills.  There is a serious skills gap between the local workforce and the companies hiring in Fort Collins.  We hope this scholarship will help improve the talent of the local applicant pool as our city continues to grow."

The application process will begin on November 1st and close on December 1st. Interested applicants may apply online at DigitalWorkshopCenter.com/scholarship.  A panel of DWC staff and local professional development experts will review all applications and final decisions made in mid-December.

Complete rules and requirements for eligibility are listed on the scholarship website page.

Founded in 2006, Digital Workshop Center is a locally-owned private occupational school, Adobe Authorized Training Center, and coworking hub with locations in Fort Collins, Denver, and online.  DWC offers professional development and training classes on design software programs, desktop applications, business solutions and advanced computer training concepts.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Liz White at 970-980-8091 or email at liz@digitalworkshopcenter.com.