Financing a new business can be difficult. The majority of financial backing for a new business is provided from the personal assets of the owner, the owner’s family and/or friends. Banks generally want to see a two or three-year business history before making a loan, regardless of the age of the business.
The government has seen the need for small business success and started a program through the U.S. Small Business Administration. A comprehensive and well-written business plan is critical to any type of financing.
The following agencies may be of assistance in the financing of a new business:
US Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA provides tools and resources to help you start and grow your business. There are two local offices in northern Colorado:
SBDC 320 East Vine Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80524
East Colorado SBDC
807 17th Street
Greeley, CO 80631
The federal government does NOT provide grants for starting and expanding a business. Government grants are funded by your tax dollars, and, therefore, require very stringent compliance and reporting measures to ensure the money is well spent. As you can imagine, grants are not given away indiscriminately. Grants from the federal government are only available to non-commercial organizations, such as nonprofits and educational institutions in areas, such as medicine, education, scientific research and technology development. The federal government also provides grants to state and local governments to assist them with economic development.
Some business grants are available through state and local programs, nonprofit organizations and other groups. For example, some states provide grants for expanding childcare centers; creating energy efficient technology; and developing marketing campaigns for tourism. These grants are not necessarily free money, and usually require the recipient to match funds or combine the grant with other forms of financing, such as a loan. The amount of the grant money available varies with each business and each grantor.
If you are not one of these specialized businesses, both federal and state government agencies provide financial assistance programs that help small business owners obtain low-interest loans and venture capital financing from commercial lenders.
Colorado Lending Source
Colorado Lending Source (CLS) is Colorado’s trusted not-for-profit resource for small business financing. CLS serves as a bridge connecting small business owners with the loan programs, lenders and support needed for success. Colorado Lending Source partners with local lenders, government agencies, and resource partners to turn small business dreams into reality.
Colorado Enterprise Fund
Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) is a nonprofit community development financial institution that provides small business loans up to $50,000 to entrepreneurs who are unable to obtain financing from traditional sources. If you receive a loan from CEF, you will participate in one-on-one business advising to help you succeed.
Colorado Capital Access
The Colorado Capital Access (CCA) program is through the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. CCA creates greater access to capital for small and medium-sized businesses operating in Colorado by using small amounts of public resources to encourage financing by eligible lenders, such as banks and community development financial institutions.
The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA)
The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) is a public enterprise that finances affordable housing, business and economic growth opportunities in Colorado. CHFA’s Business Finance Division provides a variety of programs, including loan programs specific to women and minority-owned businesses, manufacturers in the state, and nonprofit organizations committed to better serving the needs of Colorado citizens.
1981 Blake Street
Denver, CO 80202-1229
800-659-2656 (Hearing Impaired TDD)
800-659-3656 (Hearing Impaired Voice)
Crowdfunding is a fairly new concept in business financing, and is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, often via internet-mediated registries. The concept can also be executed through mail-order subscriptions, benefit events and other methods. Some of these sites may also require you to raise some of the funds on your own, some may also have fees. Here are just a few of the more popular sites: