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Colorado Enterprise Fund is leaning in to help small business


FINANCE & LAW

Colorado Enterprise Fund is leaning in to help small business

Aug 31, 2016, 2:30pm MDT

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Monica Mendoza 

Reporter

Denver Business Journal

 

When Ceyl Prinster, president and CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund, drives around the state and sees “open for business” signs, she can’t help but smile.

 

She’s headed up the fund, which is a Community Development Financial Institution and makes micro and small business loans, for 29 years. Colorado Enterprise Fund started with an eye on the core of Denver in an effort to help improve the economy.

Ceyl Prinster, president and CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund, with photos of some of the businesses with which the company has worked.

Ceyl Prinster, president and CEO of Colorado Enterprise Fund, with photos of some of the businesses with which the company has worked.

 

KATHLEEN LAVINE / DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL

 

 

 

Over the years, the private, nonprofit organization expanded its reach to all of metro Denver and then statewide. In 40 years, it has loaned $52 million to 1,800 small businesses.

“One of the most rewarding things about this job is being able to literally walk down the street and say we made a loan to them,” Prinster said. “It’s really exciting.”

 

This September, the organization celebrates its 40th year in the business of helping small businesses. For decades the organization had been quietly providing micro loans and small business loans — from under $50,000 to a maximum of $500,000 — without much fanfare. And then the Great Recession hit in 2008 and small businesses hunkered down and stopped growing, or worse, shuttered.

 

New banking regulations and an economy trying to bounce back meant tough times for small business startups looking for capital. Since the recession, small business bank loans are down 30 percent from 2007.

 

“When the recession came, it actually helped us to grow even more,” Prinster said. “Our growth accelerated because banks were constricting and there was a recognition that banks couldn’t meet all the needs of small business. It was a crisis for small businesses who needed access to capital to survive or to start businesses.”

 

Interestingly, CDFIs get about 60 percent of their loan capital from banks. Congress created the CDFI in 1994 to help businesses with few options to get capital. Since then about $6 billion has been loaned through CDFIs.

 

Other funding sources for the Colorado Enterprise Fund are the Small Business Administration, community development block grants and the U.S. Department of Treasury.

 

Since 2013, the CEF annual portfolio balance has grown from $7.5 million to $17.2 million with a 97 percent repayment rate from clients. Still, access to capital is a top issue for small businesses, said Tim Gaudette, Colorado outreach manager at the Small Business Majority. In some surveys, he said, 68 percent of small business owners say it’s tougher to get financing now than in 2008.

 

“Banks are more risk adverse than pre-recession,” he said. “On the positive side, CDFIs and nonprofit organizations — they lean in a little more.”

Prinster loves small business success stories and says they are the heart and culture of a city.

 

Golden-based Camp Kazoo, maker of the Boppy pillow for mothers and babies, started with a $25,000 CEF loan and grew to $25 million in annual sales before selling to an Italian company in 2008.

 

And Denver-based Knotty Tie Company, which was recently visited by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, has taken two small business loans from CEF and in the last two years the company has tripled its sales.

 

“Those are big superstar success stories and we are really proud of them,” Prinster said. “And you never know which one will be like that. We have just as much pride in the business that is a family-owned, neighborhood, store or coffee shop or service business that is thriving and doing well but may not be the business of multiples.”

 

CLOSER LOOK

 

Colorado’s Community Development Financial Institutions:

 

-Accion, loans from $200 to $300,000; lines of credit of $20,000 to $100,000.
-Colorado Enterprise Fund, loans from under $50,000 to a maximum of $500,000.
-Community Resources and Housing Development Corp, loans from $1,000 to $250,000.
-Mile High Community Loan Fund, short term commercial real estate loans.
-Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute, loans up to $2,500.

 

Source: Colorado Bankers Association, SmallBizLending.org

 

Monica Mendoza covers banking and financial services, legal services, the economy and economic development, and sports business and contributes to the "Finance & Law" blog. Phone: 303-803-9230.

 

 

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Blog Archives

November 2017

Where to Find CEF - November 2017 - 11/01/2017

October 2017

We Salute Our Veteran-Owned Small Businesses as of 2017 - 10/30/2017
From the President's Desk - Fall 2017 Reflections - 10/24/2017
Welcome New and Returning Clients - As of September 30 2017 - 10/05/2017
Where to Find CEF - October 2017 - 10/02/2017

September 2017

We're hiring: Staff Accountant II (New!) - 09/25/2017
Welcome New and Returning Clients - As of August 31 2017 - 09/20/2017
Where to Find CEF - September 2017 - 09/01/2017

August 2017

Welcome New and Returning Clients - As of July 31 2017 - 08/10/2017
Where to Find CEF - August 2017 - 08/01/2017

July 2017

Where to Find CEF - July 2017 - 07/10/2017
Welcome New and Returning Clients - As of June 30 2017 - 07/06/2017

June 2017

We're hiring: Director of Development (New!) - 06/13/2017
We're hiring: Director of Finance and Administration - 06/07/2017
We're hiring: Commercial Loan Processor & Closer - 06/02/2017
Where to Find CEF - June 2017 - 06/01/2017
Welcome New and Returning Clients - As of May 31 2017 - 06/01/2017

May 2017

Welcome New and Returning Clients - As of April 30, 2017 - 05/12/2017
Free Workshop: Crafting Success - From Home Brews to Beer Biz - 05/05/2017
May 1 Refugee and Immigrant Small Business Tour in Aurora - 05/01/2017
2017 Colorado Small Business Week - CEF Activities at a Glance - 05/01/2017
Where to Find Colorado Enterprise Fund - May 2017 - 05/01/2017

April 2017

We're hiring: Special Assistant to the President and CEO/ Executive Office Coordinator - 04/27/2017
CEF Celebrates National Small Business Week 2017 with Free Workshop and SBA Colorado Community Lender of the Year Award - 04/13/2017
Welcome New and Returning Clients - As of March 31, 2017 - 04/07/2017
Where to Find Colorado Enterprise Fund - April 2017 - 04/03/2017

March 2017

FY 2018 Federal Budget Proposal Eliminates Key Resource for Economic Growth in Low-Income Colorado Communities - 03/28/2017
Welcome New and Returning Clients - As of February 28, 2017 - 03/06/2017
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - March 2017 - 03/01/2017

February 2017

Diverse, Inclusive, Prosperous - 02/21/2017
Welcome New and Returning Clients - As of January 31, 2017 - 02/10/2017
Where to Find Colorado Enterprise Fund - February 2017 - 02/01/2017

January 2017

Welcome New and Returning Clients - As of December 31, 2016 - 01/05/2017
Where to Find Colorado Enterprise Fund - January 2017 - 01/03/2017

December 2016

Welcome New and Returning Clients - As of November 30, 2016 - 12/09/2016
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - December 2016 - 12/01/2016

November 2016

Welcome New and Returning Clients - As of October 31, 2016 - 11/10/2016
Calvert Foundation launches 2016 Small Business Competition - 11/04/2016
Saluting Our Veteran-Owned Small Businesses for Their Service - 11/03/2016
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - November 2016 - 11/01/2016

October 2016

Welcome New and Returning Clients - As of September 30, 2016 - 10/07/2016
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - October 2016 - 10/03/2016

September 2016

Welcome New and Returning Clients - As of August 31, 2016 - 09/06/2016
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - September 2016 - 09/01/2016

August 2016

Colorado Enterprise Fund is leaning in to help small business - 08/31/2016
Welcome New and Returning Clients - As of July 31, 2016 - 08/15/2016
Growth of online lending options for small business - healthy or harmful? - 08/12/2016
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - August 2016 - 08/01/2016

July 2016

Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of June 30, 2016 - 07/22/2016
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - July 2016 - 07/01/2016

June 2016

Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of May 31, 2016 - 06/06/2016
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - June 2016 - 06/01/2016

May 2016

Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of April 30, 2016 - 05/12/2016
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - May 2016 - 05/02/2016

April 2016

Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of March 31, 2016 - 04/14/2016
Start-Up Financing for the First-Time Entrepreneur - 04/12/2016
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - April 2016 - 04/04/2016

March 2016

Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of February 29, 2016 - 03/07/2016
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - March 2016 - 03/01/2016

February 2016

Colorado Enterprise Fund Named as CO Impact Days Social Venture Finalist - 02/26/2016
Borrower Buzz: A Touch of Bliss - 02/26/2016
Borrower Buzz: Emtek - 02/18/2016
We're hiring: Commercial Loan Processor and Closer - 02/18/2016
Borrower Buzz: Missy J's - 02/15/2016
Once upon a time - 02/12/2016
Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of January 31, 2016 - 02/08/2016
Borrower Buzz: True Vos - 02/08/2016
Colorado Enterprise Fund Creates Microloan Fund with City of Loveland - 02/04/2016
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - February 2016 - 02/01/2016

January 2016

We're hiring: Small Business Consultant (bilingual) - 01/28/2016
Borrower Buzz: CandyGrind - 01/25/2016
Borrower Buzz: Icebox Knitting - 01/18/2016
Borrower Buzz: Dragonfly Apparel - 01/11/2016
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - January 2016 - 01/07/2016
Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of December 31, 2015 - 01/05/2016

December 2015

Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of November 30, 2015 - 12/09/2015
Meet Colorado Enterprise Fund's New Board Members - 12/07/2015
Countdown to Colorado Gives Day - Tue Dec 8 - 12/02/2015
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - December 2015 - 12/01/2015

November 2015

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Provides $3 million to Colorado Enterprise Fund - 11/18/2015
Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of October 31, 2015 - 11/13/2015
We Salute Our Veteran-Owned Small Businesses - 11/06/2015
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - November 2015 - 11/02/2015

October 2015

Welcome New Clients! As of September 30, 2015 - 10/26/2015
Governor Hickenlooper Proclaims October 15 Colorado Enterprise Fund Day - 10/15/2015
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - October 2015 - 10/01/2015
We're hiring: Senior Commercial Loan Officer and Commercial Loan Officer - 10/01/2015

September 2015

Colorado Enterprise Fund Receives $2 Million Award from US Treasury Department's CDFI Fund - 09/11/2015
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - September 2015 - 09/04/2015
Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of August 31, 2015 - 09/04/2015

August 2015

Borrower Buzz: The Drake Law Firm - 08/19/2015
Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of July 31, 2015 - 08/10/2015
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - August 2015 - 08/03/2015

July 2015

Colorado Enterprise Fund receives $15K grant from Xcel Energy to boost small business services - 07/30/2015
Longmont small businesses thriving thanks to Colorado Enterprise Fund loan program - 07/26/2015
Borrower Buzz: Advanced Traffic Services - 07/20/2015
Borrower Buzz: RollinGreens - 07/15/2015
Colorado Enterprise Fund Featured in CHFA Fresh Food Financing Fund Newsletter - 07/13/2015
Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of June 30, 2015 - 07/08/2015
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - July 2015 - 07/01/2015

June 2015

Big impact on small business - 06/22/2015
Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of May 31, 2015 - 06/18/2015
Borrower Buzz: Jumpin Good Goat Dairy - 06/18/2015
See the big impact Colorado Enterprise Fund had on small business in 2014 (infographic) - 06/16/2015
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - June 2015 - 06/01/2015

May 2015

Borrower Buzz: Knotty Tie Company - 05/28/2015
Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of April 30, 2015 - 05/13/2015
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - May 2015 - 05/01/2015

April 2015

Prosperity for all - 04/30/2015
SBA Names Colorado Enterprise Fund Community/Rural Lender of the Year - 04/23/2015
Borrower Buzz: Thriving Systems Design - 04/19/2015
Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of March 31, 2015 - 04/16/2015
Colorado Enterprise Fund Hires Healthy Food Program Manager - 04/06/2015
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - April 2015 - 04/01/2015

March 2015

Power in Numbers - 03/30/2015
Borrower Buzz: Atlantic International Trading - 03/26/2015
We're mentoring: Marketing and Communications Intern - 03/16/2015
Meet Our Business Acceleration Services (BAS) Consulting Team - 03/12/2015
Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of February 28, 2015 - 03/10/2015
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - March 2015 - 03/02/2015

February 2015

Building Capacity - 02/26/2015
Welcome New and Returning Clients! As of January 31, 2015 - 02/20/2015
OFN and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Announce Finance Collaborative Participants - 02/19/2015
Colorado Enterprise Fund Borrowers Accepted into Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses National Training Program - 02/16/2015
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - February 2015 - 02/02/2015

January 2015

Diversity in action - 01/29/2015
Borrower Buzz: Maria Empanada - 01/29/2015
Nick Massie of Colorado Enterprise Fund Chosen for Prestigious Citi Leadership Program for Opportunity Finance - 01/26/2015
Borrower Buzz: Blue Skies Massage & Wellness - 01/22/2015
Board member launches Kansas City BBQ competition at National Western Stock Show - 01/14/2015
Colorado Enterprise Fund Receives $30K Grant from The Denver Foundation - 01/12/2015
Welcome New Clients! As of December 31, 2014 - 01/07/2015
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - January 2015 - 01/07/2015

December 2014

dream. believe. celebrate! - 12/18/2014
Success and prosperity for all - 12/18/2014
Borrower Buzz: Discovery Kids Child Care - 12/11/2014
Welcome New Clients! As of November 30, 2014 - 12/09/2014
Colorado Enterprise Fund Announces New Board Appointments - 12/04/2014
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - December 2014 - 12/01/2014

November 2014

Borrower Buzz: Basket World & Supplies - Embracing Change to Succeed - 11/21/2014
Pay It Forward - 11/19/2014
Welcome New Clients! As of October 31, 2014 - 11/13/2014
Introducing Small Biz Builder - our new tool for borrowers - 11/10/2014
Saluting Veteran-Owned Small Businesses - 11/06/2014
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - November 2014 - 11/03/2014

October 2014

Diversifying Our Impact - 10/31/2014
Small Biz Insider - Opportunity for All - 10/31/2014
Colorado Enterprise Fund is Hiring - Commercial Loan Processor/Closer - 10/21/2014
Colorado Enterprise Fund Clients Mondo Guerra and Let Em Have It Salon Featured in Westword's Top Denver Draws - 10/20/2014
Colorado Enterprise Fund CEO and other Top Company Award Winners Gather in Napa to Highlight Best Practices - 10/20/2014
Colorado Enterprise Fund's Black Shirt Brewing Company Shares Steps to Success in the Denver Post - 10/17/2014
Colorado Enterprise Fund Hosts Sold-Out Microbrewery Tour for 2014 OFN Conference - 10/14/2014
Hear Ceyl's interview for the 2014 OFN Board - 10/10/2014
Q&A with CEO Ceyl Prinster Before 2014 OFN Conference in Denver - 10/09/2014
Colorado Enterprise Fund Featured in Three Sessions at 2014 OFN Conference - 10/07/2014
Welcome New Clients! As of September 30, 2014 - 10/02/2014
Where to find Colorado Enterprise Fund - October 2014 - 10/01/2014
Borrower Buzz: Brown Water Coffee - Changing Lives a Cup at a Time - 10/01/2014

September 2014

Small Biz Insider - Coming Together - 09/30/2014
Our Collective Bounty - 09/26/2014
Borrower Buzz: Mondo Guerra - Creating Compassion through Fashion - 09/24/2014
Welcome New Clients! As of August 31, 2014 - 09/23/2014
Missed Colorado Enterprise Fund at an event? Catch us on a webinar. - 09/15/2014
Where to Find Colorado Enterprise Fund - September 2014 - 09/09/2014

August 2014

CEF Receives 2014 Top Company-Nonprofit Award from ColoradoBiz Magazine - 08/29/2014
It Takes a Community - 08/28/2014
Borrower Buzz: Cranelli's - Success is a Family Affair - 08/27/2014
Welcome New Clients! As of July 31, 2014 - 08/27/2014
CEF is Nonprofit Finalist - 08/12/2014
An Intern's Impressions of CEF - 08/07/2014

July 2014

Batting a 1000 - 07/30/2014
Welcome New Clients! As of June 30, 2014 - 07/30/2014
CEF is helping small businesses in Longmont, too! - 07/21/2014
Borrower Buzz: Let Em Have It Salon - Mentoring Success - 07/01/2014

June 2014

Borrower Buzz: RollinGreens - Comfort Food - 06/30/2014
Borrower Buzz: The Crunchy Grocer - Healthy Eating - 06/30/2014


Recent Comments

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MIchael Miera said: Ceyl, I appreciate your words on diversity.   [more]

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Alisa said: Here are some other websites with more info: http://livewellcolorado.org/healthy-living https://www. ...   [more]

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