DENVER, September 20, 2023 – BMO today announced a $500,000 commitment to the Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF), a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) small business lender, to launch the Latino Business Loan Program. The Program will help eliminate barriers that exist for minority entrepreneurs and support the development of inclusive economic opportunities for small businesses across Colorado.
“Support of programs like these are at the core of our Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life. We are pleased to work with the Colorado Enterprise Fund to help minority entrepreneurs make progress in growing their business,” said Eric Smith, Vice Chair, BMO U.S. “This announcement exemplifies our commitment to building a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society throughout the communities we serve.”
BMO’s support will allow for the CEF to deploy $9.6 million in loans to 275 Latino-owned businesses across Colorado, increasing CEF’s annual lending to Latino small businesses by more than 30 percent. The program will also provide 180 free QuickBooks software licenses and technical assistance for participants, enabling business owners to improve their accounting and financial literacy.
“Colorado Enterprise Fund’s mission has always been to provide access to capital to underserved communities including minority-owned small businesses. With the funding from BMO, CEF will focus even more economic and educational resources toward Latino small business entrepreneurs throughout Colorado,” said Ceyl Prinster, CEO, Colorado Enterprise Fund.
BMO will also partner with CEF to provide one-on-one business coaching and training for program participants to ensure they are on track to make real financial progress. The Latino Business Loan Program will further BMO’s progress in eliminating barriers to inclusion and help drive the growth of minority owned businesses.
About Colorado Enterprise Fund
Founded in 1976, Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) provides coaching services and loans up to $1 million to finance small businesses and startups unable to obtain funding through traditional means. In total, CEF has dispersed more than $246M in capital to over 7,500 businesses loans in its 47-year history. CEF is a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) based in Denver creating impact for underserved entrepreneurs and communities across Colorado.
CEF makes a positive impact on Colorado’s economy by accelerating community prosperity through its financing and support of entrepreneurs and small businesses. For more information, visit www.coloradoenterprisefund.org.
About BMO Financial Group
BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.25 trillion as of July 31, 2023. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to over 13 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.
BMO Gives. Good grows here.
Helping communities thrive by supporting the organizations that sustain them and encouraging employee giving and volunteerism is at the heart of BMO’s Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life. In 2022, our social impact included more than $69 million donated to hundreds of charities and non-profit organizations across North America to help drive progress by enabling individuals to thrive and communities to prosper. Our colleagues spent almost 50,000 hours volunteering in the community and contributed more than $26 million of donations through our annual employee giving program. For more information, please visit BMO.com.
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