Fort Collins opens small business recovery loan fund, and a larger fund is likely coming

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Fort Collins is opening up $110,000 in low-interest loans for local small businesses affected by COVID-19.

The fund is part of the Fort Collins Small Business Relief and Recovery Fund through Colorado Lending Source, its nonprofit lending partner. 

With the $350 billion federal Paycheck Protection Program nearly depleted, the city’s relief and recovery fund is designed to provide up to $10,000 to help protect jobs and businesses in Fort Collins, the city said in a news release.

Loan amounts are capped at $10,000 with zero interest and no payments for six months and 2% interest and principal payments thereafter for two years. The city invested $8,000 to buy down the interest rate and create the deferral, said Josh Birks, the city’s economic health officer. 

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“We feel like getting this money, while small, out on the street is important at this time,” Birks said. “We continue to work on a broader, more systemwide (countywide) program to target those who are under-banked and traditionally don’t have a relationship with the banking community.”

Details are still being worked out, but Birks said he hopes there will be something to announce in a few weeks.

Even if Congress approves a second round of funding, it could likely be several weeks before money begins flowing to small businesses.

“This is a little shot in the arm now, hopefully there will be more,” Birks said.

The region needs a locally based loan fund that targets the businesses that haven’t been able to access the Payroll Protection Program, Birks said. “It creates more leverage, and this economy is so interrelated we need to think about solving it at an economic level, not a jurisdictional level.” 

Small business recovery fund

To learn more about the program or to apply for the Small Business Relief and Recovery Loan Fund with Colorado Lending Source, visit coloradolendingsource.org/articles/small-business-emergency-loans. That will take you to the emergency loans page. Scroll down to the second loan option to see the Fort Collins loan fund.

For other sources of help, visit the NoCoRecovers site at larimer.org/nocorecovers/.

Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Contact her at patferrier@coloradoan.com. Please support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a subscription today.

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