Bank of Estes Park has created a $300,000 pool of funds for small business “micro loans, ” designated especially for the Estes Park area. Frequently, small businesses need smaller loans—from $5,000 to $50,000—for start-up costs, working capital, debt refinancing, inventory, furniture, fixtures, equipment, leasehold improvements, etc. But for various reasons, they cannot obtain traditional bank financing, or sometimes even SBA financing. However, as I used to teach business and economics students at Metropolitan State University of Denver many years ago, these smaller businesses are critical to the local economy—and especially so, at the stage where they need that extra little bit of help to launch, or to grow so they can meet demand.
Bank of Estes Park is the only truly local bank in the Estes Valley, with its headquarters located right beside Bond Park in Downtown, another branch on south St. Vrain, and a satellite branch down in Niwot. Why does that matter? It matters because we are not like the other banks in Estes Park, who are remote branches of large multi-state or national banks. Estes Park is our home, our community, our local economy, our customers, our neighbors and our friends. We care about and perform for our local community on a level that really isn’t even possible for the other banks in town. And that is the reason behind our creating this large pool of funds designated for small businesses in the Estes Park area.
For nearly five years we have recognized this as a need in Estes Park, and have been working behind the scenes on this solution—evaluating different approaches, considering every alternative, getting it right… Ultimately, what we did was partner with the largest Community Development Corp in the state—Colorado Lending Source. The $300,000 pool of funds will be available through its Main Street Loan Program, will be designated for small businesses in the Estes Park area, and application is easy. Simply go to www.coloradolendingsource.org/loans/colorado-main-street, and complete the application process—the loan will be originated and serviced through them, with reasonable pricing, and terms as long as eight years. And as those loans repay, the pool of funds will naturally grow as well, planting economic growth and vitality at the ground level in Estes Park, long into the future.
It is not required that the businesses bank with Bank of Estes Park, though we certainly appreciate the organizations and community members who do bank with us, who understand the difference, and who do recognize the tremendous benefits that are brought to this community by having a truly local, community bank in town—without you, we quite literally wouldn’t exist. Compared to the other banks in town, and with a total of only 26 employees in the whole company, we are a small, local business, by almost any definition. So, out of our gratitude for your business, and for the success this community has brought to our little bank, it is our pleasure to create this pool of funds to help the other small businesses in town “take that next step” in their growth, even if they are unable to obtain traditional bank financing.