Find loans and free grants for veteran, women, LGBTQ or other minority owned businesses in Colorado. Local as well as national banks, non-profit organizations, corporations, and other lenders provide funding to small to midsize businesses as well as entrepreneurs. There may be minority business loans, funds to help a women owned business grow, or grants to start up a company. Find details below on how to get loans or grants near you in Colorado.
There are lenders across the state. While most of the grants as well as loan programs are offered from lenders in the major cities of Denver, Boulder, or El Paso Colorado, there are also generally options available in all cities and counties. The application criteria will vary. Some lenders, financial aid or government grant programs require minimum credit scores or business revenue targets, others don’t. You will need to call and/or apply for more details.
In addition to providing funds to MWBE as well as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) businesses in Colorado, some of the lenders or other providers will also give free advice or mentoring services as part of the financing package. This will be another benefit to using the programs below. In addition, there are always new loans or free grant programs being offered; the list below will be added to and updated daily.
Small business minority or women owned loans and free grants in Colorado
Find a current, updated list of places to turn to for funding. There will be grants loans, mentoring services, and other small business programs for women or minorities in Colorado near you. The most recent announcement as well as sources of funding will be at the top of the list, with older announcements towards the bottom.
Ongoing Year Round Resources
The Aurora Colorado NACCP operates an Economic Development Center. While it is focused on people of color, anyone can use it. A wide variety of free resources are offered to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Learn about local and national grants, sign up for mentoring, use office equipment, use the center to network and take advantage of a host of other programs. Read about the non-profit here. https://www.auroracoloradonaacp.org/en/home/
The State of Colorado is backing a loan program for businesses impacted by the COVID pandemic. Loans of up to $500,000 are being offered, with priority for veterans, minority, LGBTQ, women and minority businesses in Colorado. However any small business can apply. The funds are part of Economic Recovery. Apply here. https://www.coloradosbdc.org/covid/
January 2021 and February 2021
Priority Neighborhood Small Business Fund is offered to some parts of the city. Denver Economic Development and Opportunity runs the Neighborhood Equity and Stabilization program, and it helps smaller businesses in East Colfax, Elyria-Swansea, Globeville, Montbello, Northeast Park Hill, Sun Valley, Valverde, Villa Park, West Colfax and Westwood in Denver. Up to $1,000 grants are offered to businesses, including women and minority ones, in these parts of the city. Learn more https://www.denvergov.org/Government/Departments/Economic-Development-Opportunity
Small, service type businesses in Arapahoe County can apply for free grants, as there will be as much as $4 million offered. The funds are for minority and women owned businesses (among others). A focus is on bars, restaurants, gyms, movie theatres and “service” type small to mid sized businesses that have been impacted by COVID. It is a small business relief grant, and up to $7,000 can be issued to each businesses, including low income owners or minorities. Apply here. https://www.arapahoegov.com/2154/Small-Business-Relief-Fund-Grant
Rural Colorado businesses along with those that are in Denver, and businesses are veteran, minority or female-owned can get help. There is also assistance for that are are owned by Latinos, Blacks, or people of color, they can all get financial help and other support. Free grants from Energize Colorado are offered to small businesses that have under 26 employees. There is also funding from the SheEO grant (for women companies), microloans, as well as the Entrepreneurial Dream Project grant and mentorship program. More details here. https://energizecolorado.com/
Boulder launching $700K small business grant. Business grants will be targeted to companies with fewer than 50 employees, those owned by women or people of color, or “agreement to enter into technical assistance programs, on-time tax remittance, local employment, and furthering of community sustainability goals.”. Free grants will be program will be administered through Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF). Learn more https://coloradoenterprisefund.org/
Energize Colorado Gap Fund looking to jump start smallest of small businesses, including female-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned and rural-based businesses in Colorado that are so small they have struggled to gain the attention of banks or access federal lending programs. Up to $35,0000 is being offered per applicant in a combination of loans as well as grants. Both for profits and non-profits in Colorado can apply, with priority given to People of Color, Indigenous, Black, Veterans, or Women owned majority businesses. Apply or learn more here. https://energizecolorado.com/gap-fund/ or Read more details https://www.denverpost.com/2020/08/01/energize-colorado-gap-fund-looking-to-jump-start-smallest-of-small-businesses/
By Jon McNamara