The Larimer County Small Business Recovery Loan Fund has reached its $5 million goal and is well on its way to providing loans to small businesses in the county impacted by COVID-19.
The fund was launched in April with a $2 million contribution from the Bohemian Foundation. The Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce and the city of Fort Collins joined with the Bohemian Foundation in launching the fund.
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Other governments, nonprofits and businesses have also contributed, including the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, 1st National Bank of Omaha, the town of Berthoud and the city of Loveland. In late June, FirstBank added $500,000 to the fund.
“Our commitment to serving communities runs deep, and we recognize the value that small businesses bring,” said Nicole Staudinger, Northern Colorado market president for FirstBank.
The Northern Colorado recovery loan fund provides loans of $2,500 to $50,000 at 3.5% interest to businesses with fewer than 20 employees. Loan applicants must have been viable prior to March 15.
As of this week, the Colorado Enterprise Fund, which is administering the Larimer fund, has received 315 applications and closed 97 loans worth $2.8 million. Another 34 loans are in process, with a value of $1.02 million.
Carrie Hanson, director of development for CEF, said in a report to fund sponsors that 54 startups — businesses in operation for fewer than 2 years — and 40 women-owned businesses are among those receiving loans so far.
Sixty-five of the loans went to Fort Collins businesses, 16 to Loveland businesses and eight to Estes Park firms. The remainder of the approved loans went to businesses in Berthoud, Wellington, Windsor and Red Feather Lakes.
Loans were spread among industries, with 23 professional-services firms among the recipients, followed by 21 food and beverage companies, 19 retailers, 12 arts and entertainment businesses, and 10 health-services companies.
An estimated 744 jobs were retained or created, Hanson’s report said.