Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Colorado’s small businesses, manufacturing companies and agricultural industries will get a $40 million boost through new lending programs announced today by Gov. Bill Ritter, Treasurer Cary Kennedy and the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA).

“The best thing we can be doing in this tough economy is to give local businesses the tools they need to survive and ultimately thrive,” Gov. Ritter said during a Statehouse news conference. “These new access-to-capital initiatives follow three years of aggressive economic development initiatives, including the nationally recognized Colorado Credit Reserve lending program. While Washington continues to fight over Wall Street, we here in Colorado are focused on Main Street. The additional investments we are announcing today will help Colorado companies large and small navigate through the recession and get the economy healthy again.”

In addition to the new financing, Gov. Ritter said the Colorado Credit Reserve Program has now provided loans to 103 Colorado small businesses since being revived a year ago.

Under the new investments announced today:

· CHFA will make $30 million available to help manufacturers seeking loans of $2 million to $10 million for real estate acquisitions, renovations and equipment purchases. Funding will come from federal Private Activity Bonds, which are passed through the Colorado Department of Local Affairs and administered by CHFA.
· CHFA will expand the manufacturing loan initiative by launching a new Mini Bond Program, making smaller loans of $500,000 to $2 million available to manufacturers with 50 employees or less.
· Treasurer Kennedy said her office will make a $10 million investment in CHFA’s Guarantee Purchase Program, which will support lending to agricultural and small businesses. CHFA will buy Small Business Administration, Farm Service Agency or Rural Business Service guaranteed loans originated by community lenders. Borrowers will receive a fixed interest rate on the guaranteed portion of the loan purchased by CHFA, and loan servicing will remain with the local lender.

“This is a great option for Colorado’s farmers and businesses to lower their borrowing costs and reduce their risk, which is critically important in this volatile economy,” Treasurer Kennedy said.

The additional investments announced today will build on the success of the Colorado Credit Reserve Program, which has provided 103 loans to small businesses across the state, saving or creating 700 jobs.

Loan recipients have used the funds for working capital, inventory, equipment, real estate and lines of credit. The average loan amount is $28,000, with 52 percent of funds going to women- or minority-owned businesses.

After meeting with small businesses across the state, Gov. Ritter revived this small business lending program in 2009 as part of a package of business growth initiatives.. The state is providing $2.5 million in seed money, which will be used in partnership with banks to leverage $40 million in private-sector lending.

“Spurring economic investment is one of the most critical steps the state can take to preserve and grow jobs in Colorado,” said CHFA Executive Director and CEO Cris White. “CHFA is committed to exploring all ways that we can work with our public and private sector partners to increase small businesses’ access to capital.”

“While the private sector creates jobs, government can – and must – play a strong supporting role,” Gov. Ritter said. “For the past three years, my administration has been doing just that. We’ve cut taxes for 30,000 small businesses, created the largest job incentive program in decades, simplified our corporate income tax structure to benefit Colorado companies, and expanded access to credit for small businesses.

“The new investments we announced today, along with the Colorado Credit Reserve Program and other initiatives, are great examples of how we are supporting job growth in Colorado,” the Governor added. “We now have a continuum of lending programs, from small four- or five-figure loans all the way up to $10 million loans. While we aren’t out of the recessionary woods just yet, we are definitely seeing signs of recovery. Our strategies are working, and these new programs will help even more.”

About the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA)
CHFA finances the places where people live and work. Created in 1973 by the Colorado State Legislature, CHFA strengthens communities by making loans to low- and moderate- income homebuyers, affordable multifamily rental housing developers, and small and medium sized businesses. CHFA also provides education and technical assistance about affordable housing and economic development. CHFA is a self-sustaining public enterprise funded by issuing bonds. CHFA issued bonds are not obligations of the state. For more information about CHFA please visit Contact our Denver office at 1.800.877.chfa (2432), or our Western Slope office at 970.241.2341

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