Program Overview The CLIMBER (Colorado Loans to Increase Mainstreet Business Economic Recovery) Loan Fund is a statewide program that will provide up to $250 million in working capital loans to Colorado small businesses through 2023. It will promote small businesses recovery, save jobs, and help support the Colorado economy. Lenders, CDFIs, credit unions, and nonprofit lenders can participate and provide loans for their small business customers needing financial assistance. Small businesses with 5-99 employees that were financially stable before the pandemic but now need help to survive may apply for working capital loans between $30,000 and $500,000. Below-market interest rates and a 1-year deferred payment option make the program a secure recovery option for small businesses.
On May 12, the Colorado Department of the Treasury, Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA), and Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) launched the Colorado Loans for Increasing Mainstreet Business and Economic Recovery (CLIMBER). CLIMBER is a statewide loan fund that will provide up to $250 million in working capital to Colorado small businesses through 2023.
“At this critical moment in our economic recovery efforts, the CLIMBER Loan Fund will provide tools to the small businesses at the heart of our communities,” said Colorado State Treasurer Dave Young. “A CLIMBER loan could be the crucial lifeline for a business who thought they may not make it through the pandemic. I’m thrilled to announce that these loans are accessible and available now.”
The CLIMBER Loan Fund, with loans of up to half a million dollars, is designed to catalyze borrowing that might not otherwise be available. Below-market interest rates and favorable terms provide a secure recovery option for small businesses across Colorado. Special consideration is given to small businesses located in rural, distressed, and underserved areas, including communities with low to moderate incomes.
“CHFA is committed to serving Colorado businesses, especially as they face unprecedented, unforeseen challenges. The CLIMBER Loan Fund is an important resource for businesses statewide affected by the pandemic, providing assistance to help them thrive and support jobs. CHFA is proud to collaborate with CLIMBER’s leading agencies and participating lenders to offer this opportunity to the business community,” said Cris White, CHFA executive director and CEO.
“Recovery from the pandemic will require collaboration and flexibility,” said Doug Price, member of the CLIMBER Advisory Board and Chairman and CEO of CSBO Holdings Inc. “The CLIMBER Loan Fund provides several tools deployed through existing bank channels to efficiently meet the needs of small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19.”
“We have had a strong financial commitment from our Colorado banks, whose contributions to the fund are helping the State leverage the funds at the rate of 1:4,” said Blair Richardson, CEO of Bow River Capital. “CLIMBER is a true public private partnership and would not have been possible without the generous support of our bank funders and a great effort by our government and volunteer partners. We are grateful for their civic engagement and commitment to Colorado’s businesses.”
Small business owners who are interested in applying for a loan must work directly with a participating lender, which can be found on the CLIMBER website. Financial institutions interested in offering CLIMBER loan products can find more information on the CLIMBER website, as well.