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Colorado Small Business Loans: Best Online and Local Options

Colorado is among the fastest-growing states in the nation. Apart from its increasing population, the state's economy is also flourishing. In Colorado, it's not just large businesses that help the economy prosper; small businesses also play an essential role. If you own a small business and need...

Colorado Small Business Loans
Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk
Financial Sector Specialist and Content Strategist

Reviewed by: Sarah Brooks, Personal Finance Writer and Editor

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If you’re looking for the best loan option in Colorado, you’re not alone. With almost 700,000 small businesses employing 1.2 million people, Colorado is one of the best states for small business loans. You can request business loans from local government and state agencies, private lenders, nonprofit lenders, and more in Colorado. 

Top Five Local Small Business Loan Options

If you own a small business and you’re looking for the best local funding option in Colorado, several options are available for you to consider. Each loan option has its benefits and downsides. So it’s best if you weigh all options to know which best fits your business needs. 

Here are some of the best local funding options to consider during your journey to search for small business funding for your Colorado business. 

1. Colorado Startup Loan Fund

The Colorado office of the Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) manages the Colorado Startup Loan Fund. OEDIT partnered with eight lenders to offer microloans to startup small businesses. 

Startup small business loans range from $10,000 to $150,000 and offer favorable terms and interest rates, allowing new Colorado small businesses the opportunity to access financing. The lenders in this program cater to rural small businesses, non-English speaking entrepreneurs, and those that have never carried a loan before or do not have collateral to back up their loan.

To qualify for the Colorado Startup Loan Fund, you must be a for-profit entity located in Colorado and have most of your employees working in Colorado. You also must not have more than 25 full-time employees and no more than $2 million in annual revenues. Eligible loans are no more than $150,000 and repayment terms max out at 10 years.

In most cases, small business owners applying for the funds usually seek more than $100,000. But, if you apply for an amount less than that and you have five or fewer workers, you can qualify for a Colorado Microloan.

If you’re looking for online small business lenders, here are our top recommendations >>

2. Colorado Enterprise Fund

Colorado Enterprise Fund is a nonprofit organization that specializes in helping people finance their ideas. Loan amounts are as little as $1,000 up to a max of $1 million, with the average loan size being $37,000. As such, the organization offers specialized loan options like the Healthy Foods Fund program, which provides up to $250,000 for agriculture businesses, food trucks, grocery stores, and other food-related ventures. 

Other financing options available through this institution include:

  • VALOR for Veterans: Offer up to $500,000 with a 10-year term.
  • Black Business Loan Fund: $1,000 to $50,000 with a five-year term.
  • Community Loan Funds: Start at $1,000 with variable rates and terms.
  • Creative Industries: Start at $1,000 with terms up to 10 years.
  • ITIN Loan: Geared to those without a social security number; range from $1,000 to $25,000.
  • Minority Owned BusinessesReach out to learn more about loans offered to minority-owned businesses.
  • Transforming Safety Loan: Start at $1,000 with terms up to five years.

When you apply for funds, the organization will consider your personal credit score, industry experience, equity, payment history, collateral, and your company’s cash flow and profitability.

3. Colorado Lending Source

Now known as B:Side Fund, Colorado Lending Source is another nonprofit organization that has been providing financing to small businesses since 1990. Loans range from $20,000 to $5.5 million and cover a variety of small business financing needs.

With B:Side, funds can be used for working capital, refinancing debt, buying or renovating commercial real estate, business acquisition, and more. Terms are up to 10 years for working capital loans and up to 25 years for commercial real estate loans. Rates vary by program, but will not be higher than 12%.

4. Bank of Colorado

Bank of Colorado has been supporting small businesses with local fundings for more than 100 years. It has all the experience required to help you find the kind of loan you need, with branches throughout the state, including Denver, Akron, Fort Collins, and Colorado Springs.

Similar to other banks, all loan applications through the Bank of Colorado will require collateral. Fortunately, the collateral isn’t limited to real estate. You can use other assets as collateral, including equipment, inventory, and account receivables. If you have an agribusiness that requires funding, the Bank of Colorado is a great option to consider. 

Bank of Colorado offers small business loans and lines of credit, real estate financing, equipment financing, operating loans, and letters of credit. Typically, banks require decent credit scores to qualify, so we recommend improving your credit score prior to applying.

5. Community Banks of Colorado

Community Banks of Colorado is a subdivision of NBH Bank. It’s an FDIC-insured bank that serves clients throughout Colorado. The Community Banks of Colorado has an extensive portfolio of products and services to satisfy small businesses, consumers, and commercial clients.

Besides being a nonprofit organization, small businesses can choose from a wide range of financing products. For instance, you might see that a term loan is best for significant investments, such as expanding your farm mortgage or constructing new buildings. But, if you’re looking for an emergency business loan, the business line of credit is a great option to consider. 

Additionally, Community Banks of Colorado also provides business credit cards and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. 

Features Summary 

 

Financial InstitutionAmount of LoanInterest Rate Requirement
Colorado Startup Loan FundLoan amount of up to $150,0008.25% and up

Must be a for-profit entity

Must have most employees working in Colorado

Colorado Enterprise FundA maximum loan of up to $1 millionFixed rate 

Minimum of one full-time employee or sole proprietorship

Less than $2.5 million in annual revenue

Colorado Lending Source (now B:Side Fund)A loan from $25,000 to $5 million (depending on the type of loan you’re applying for)No higher than 12%

Business should be located within Colorado

The business should be for-profit

Other requirements depend on the type of loan you’re applying for.

Bank of ColoradoMaximum loan size of $350,000Competitive interest rate 

Collateral is required

The credit score requirement depends on the type of loan you’re applying for. 

Community Banks of ColoradoMaximum loan size of $3,000,000Fixed rate

Two months borrower deposit statement

Three years of tax returns, including all schedules and K-1s

Top Online Colorado Small Business Loans Options

In addition to traditional lenders, it is worth considering online lending options for funding your Colorado small business. You can fill out your application online, submit the required documents, and even receive the funds, and receive your funding in as quickly as 24 hours.

Below are the top four online lenders that you should keep in mind.

1. Fundera

banner_ Fundera

Fundera by NerdWallet is an all-in-one lending platform that focuses on systems that you need to manage your businesses' expenses and income. Since Fundera's inception, it has helped over 85,000 small businesses and has funded over $2.5 million in loans.

Pros
No hidden fees
Fast and straightforward application process
Competitive rates
Cons
Unclear eligibility criteria
Lengthy funding times possible

Fundera is an online marketplace that matches you to a lender that will best suit your small business financing needs. They offer a variety of loan options, including term loans, business lines of credit, SBA loans, equipment financing, startup loans, and more. 

Because Fundera is not a direct lender, qualifications will vary. Typically, you’ll need to be in business at least six months and have a credit score of 600 or higher. Lenders also want to see profits of $3,000 or more per month, at a minimum. 

The Bottom Line

If you’re not quite sure what type of business loan you need or what you’ll qualify for, Fundera is an excellent option. Because they partner with a variety of lenders, there’s a good chance they’ll have one that will meet your specific criteria.

Try Fundera

Learn more about Fundera in our comprehensive review.

2. Fundbox

Banner funbox

If you want a flexible small business loan or line of credit, Fundbox is an excellent option to consider. Fundbox launched in 2013 and has since funded more than $3 billion in capital. It offers a quick online application with a decision made in as little as three minutes. If approved, your funds can be available as soon as the next business day.
 

Pros
Fast application process
No additional fees
Excellent customer reviews
Cons
Credit limit maxes out at $150,000
Interest rates can be high

Fundbox offers loans and lines of credit from $1,000 to $150,000. Loan terms are 24 or 52 weeks with rates starting at 8.33% for 24-week terms. Lines of credit terms are 12 or 24 weeks from each draw, with interest starting at 4.66% for 12-week terms. Fundbox does not charge any origination fees, maintenance fees, or prepayment fees.

To qualify for a loan of line of credit from Fundbox, you need to be in business for at least six months and have a minimum credit score of 600. You also need $100,000 or more in annual revenue.

The Bottom Line

If you need funding quickly, Fundbox has one of the fastest decision and funding times in theindustry for qualified borrowers. Customer support is excellent, and the company has many positive reviews from past applicants.

Try Fundbox

Learn more about Fundbox in our comprehensive review.

3. Fora Financial

banner_Fora Financial

Fora Financial is an online lender that provides short-term small business loans and merchant cash advances. When applying for funding through Fora Financial, you can expect to receive an approval as quickly as in 24 hours, with the funds available in your account within the first 72 hours of loan approval.

Pros
Large loan amounts
Discounts for early repayment
Quick approval and funding time for qualified borrowers
Cons
Interest rates can be high
All fees not disclosed

Both merchant cash advances and short-term loans can range between $5,000 and $750,000, presenting an excellent opportunity for growing your business and infrastructure. Short-term loan terms range from four to 15 months, with repayments made monthly. Merchant cash advances allow you to borrow against your future credit card sales. 

To qualify for funding from Fora Financial, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Personal credit score of 500
  • Minimum of six months in operation
  • Minimum annual revenue of $12,000 per year for short-term loans or $5,000 per month in credit card sales for merchant cash advances
  • No currently open or unsettled bankruptcies

The Bottom Line

Fora Financial offers large loan amounts and has incredibly lenient credit score requirements. Interest rates and fees can be high, though, so make sure to read the terms and conditions in their entirety prior to signing.

Try Fora Financial

Additional Colorado Small Business Financial Resources

Besides loans from online lenders and commercial loan programs, small businesses in Colorado can also access business grants. Unlike a loan that requires a payback, grants do not need to be paid off. 

1. Advanced Industries Early-Stage Capital and Retention Grant

Typically, the market tends to underinvest in early-stage technologies. To fill the gap left by the market, the Global Business Development division has established the Advanced Industries Early-Stage Capital and Retention Grant. As such, if you have an early-stage startup business with a market in Colorado and the world, this grant is the best option to consider. 

To qualify, your startup must be under one of these categories:

  • Electronics
  • Bioscience
  • Energy
  • Aerospace
  • Manufacturing
  • Information and technology
  • Infrastructure engineering

You can access up to $250,000 if you meet the requirements, but the grant award maximum can be lifted if your project impacts several of the advanced industries listed above. In addition, the grant committee will prioritize projects that:

  • Engaged with incubator or accelerator program
  • Participated in an entrepreneurship program
  • Were referred by an angel investor or venture capital group that determined that the technology has commercial potential
  • Develop technology licensed from a Colorado research institution

2. Collaborative Infrastructure Grant

The Collaborative Infrastructure Grant focuses on companies that support the state's advanced industries. These companies include supply chain management, manufacturing, technology, and research and development. 

Companies that meet the grant requirement can secure up to $500,000 with at least a $50,000 grant.

3. Business Foundations Technical Assistance Program

The Business Foundations Technical Assistance Program aims to provide grants and technical assistance to Colorado-based small businesses in order to help them legally establish themselves. The program offers three training sessions along with a small grant of up to $1,200 per business to help recover the costs of the training.

The three training sessions include:

  • Legal Formation and Registration. The training will teach small business owners how to legally incorporate the business and access government grants and training programs.
  • Accounting and Finance. This training will teach entrepreneurs to manage the business accounting system and report the company’s financial information.
  • Digital Marketing and e-Commerce. Finally, this training session aims to help business owners to bring their business online to increase brand awareness, improve client relationships, and take advantage of new profit opportunities.

If your Colorado small business has no more than five employees, you are welcome to apply for this grant.

How to Prepare for Colorado Small Business Loans

Once you discover which Colorado small business loans you want to consider, you can focus on putting your best into the application process. Though lenders have different criteria for evaluation, there are some things you can consider to help increase your chances of qualifying. 

1. Develop a Good Business Plan

A thorough business plan will help the lender to better understand how your company functions. Create a well-organized document outlining your business vision, goals, and achievements. In addition, make sure to include important information such as your company’s financial statements, your credit rating, proof of the length of time you’ve been in operation, information on stakeholders and suppliers, and more.

2. Attain a Good Credit Score

Prior to applying for a loan, you can check your business and personal credit ratings online. If the ratings are not high enough, you can improve them by paying off any overdue accounts, regularly paying bills, keeping credit balances low at all times, and correcting any mistakes in the credit report. The higher your score, the better the rate you’ll receive.

3. Maximize Your Business Revenue

You can increase your company’s bottom line by reducing operating expenses, adjusting product pricing, and exploring new marketing strategies. For example, it’s a good idea to make sure that all of your sales representatives are trained in upselling and cross-selling techniques. Establishing a strong online presence is also an excellent way to increase your brand awareness and expand the potential customer base.

The Bottom Line

Starting a Colorado small business isn’t easy, but there are several Colorado small business loans that you can use to achieve your business goals. Whether you’re just starting your business or you want to expand an existing one, several local and nonprofit business loans and grants are available for you. However, if you don't qualify for these options, remember that several small online business funding sources are also available.

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About the Author

Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Written by: Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Financial Sector Specialist and Content Strategist

Independent writer, content strategist, and financial sector specialist. Tatiana has an extensive experience in working with financial institutions such as Bank of Canada and Risk Management unit at FinDev Canada. She holds an MA in Financial Risk Management from the University of Toronto.

More about me
Sarah Brooks

Reviewed by: Sarah Brooks

Personal Finance Writer and Editor

Sarah Brooks is a personal finance writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. She specializes in personal and business loans, mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards.

More about me