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Healthy Food Access

Specialized Loan Program

Have a business idea to help an area in need of healthy food access? This loan is for you.
Healthy Food Access Loan

Lack of access to healthy foods is a real problem for many Coloradans. Our Healthy Food Loan Program helps to eliminate the gap.

12% of Coloradans are food insecure and 1/3 all Colorado residents live in food deserts (USDA), many of which are in poor, rural counties. Without access to affordable healthy food, low-income and minority Coloradans have significantly poorer health outcomes.

Thanks to our partnerships, we are able to offer specific funding plus tools specific for your food/beverage business via the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) and the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F). Read more about why this matters to us at CEF at this blog post and continue reading below for loan program details.

The Loans

Discounted rates and customized loans to meet your business' needs. Thanks to partnerships with our funding partners, we're able to offer discounted rates for your business that serves a food desert. Fill out a loan inquiry form to get started! 

Small Business Loan

Loans up to $250k for startups and $500k for existing businesses
Must serve to increase food access
Discounted rate of 3.0 - 6.0%
Interest-only periods available
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Commercial Real Estate

Loans up to $500k for new and existing grocery stores
Must increase fresh food access in underserved markets
Focus on low-to-moderate-income and minority neighborhoods
Discounted rate of 3.0 - 6.0%
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One-on-One Business Advising

Our team of small business coaches created specialized business tools, guides, and more for your food/beverage business. 

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Online Business Resources

As a CEF customer, you get full access to our education platform, Initiate Prosperity, for free. Not a customer? Sign up now to access the platform free for 30 days.

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The Colorado Impact


Since we first launched our Healthy Food Access Loan Program in 2013, we've helped small businesses bring healthy food to communities where it was lacking. We're on a mission to keep up this work and reach even more small businesses so that we can all work to improve our community's health and wellness and make healthy food more accessible for all Coloradans.


Colorado Small Businesses 


Million in
Loan Capital


Owned Business


Minority-Owned Business

More about HFFI and CO4F

What is the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI)?

A: The Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), is a public-private partnership to improve access to healthy food in underserved areas. Administered by Reinvestment Fund on behalf of USDA Rural Development, this program was established by the 2014 Farm Bill and reauthorized in 2018.


The goal of HFFI is to provide resources to eligible fresh, healthy food retailers and enterprises to overcome the higher costs and initial barriers to entry in underserved areas. Read more here.

What is the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F)?

A: With seed funding from The Colorado Health Foundation, the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F) was created to improve access to healthy food in underserved Colorado communities by financing grocery stores and other forms of healthy food retail. This would, in turn, encourage economic development in low-to-moderate-income neighborhoods. Read more here.

Where can I find more information and resources on healthy food access in Colorado?

Thanks to Our Partners Who Helped Make This Possible

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John Uberbacher
Web Developer/Designer

"Finding capital can be hard to navigate. Having options that aren’t banks, like CEF, was key to getting financing for my business."

Elizabeth Mozer | Owner | LoCo Food Distribution