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Colorado Lending Source | Aug. 20, 2015

Since inception, Colorado Lending Source’s goal has been to help small businesses across Colorado’s four corners become prosperous. In late 2003 the Small Business Administration changed its regulations, allowing statewide competition between all development companies. And, in 2004, after fourteen years of containment, Colorado Lending Source was able to package, fund, and service SBA 504 loans anywhere within Colorado’s borders.

Being able to provide financing to the entire state required some changes in operation. To be more present in the numerous communities, Colorado Lending Source assembled a team of Business Development Officers that would focus on the Northern Front Range, the Western Slope, and the Southern Front Range. Six months after the new rules took effect, Colorado Lending Source had approved eight loans in seven “new” counties, 14% of total loan approvals during that period. The loans were approved in El Paso, Elbert, Lincoln, Eagle, Gunnison, Las Animas, and Rio Grande County.

The first loan project approved in Colorado Springs (El Paso County) was ELOPE, Inc. (an acronym for everybody’s laughing on planet Earth). The company was founded in 1993 upon two brothers return to Colorado after years of traveling the globe. During their journey, the duo collected hand crafted hats, which inspired them to create and sell their own hat designs from a Colorado Springs mall kiosk. Their hats were an immediate hit, and not before long they needed a space to store their kooky creations. With the help of Colorado Lending Source, ELOPE purchased and expanded into a 56,000 square foot building in 2004.

Today, ELOPE is bigger than ever; their product line includes hats, costumes, gifts, and accessories. The company has moved into a larger Colorado Springs location, and constructed a fair trade production factory in Guangzhou, China, where their workers enjoy the same benefits as the stateside employees. ELOPE is also a proud supporter of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and each year hosts an event to raise money to benefit children’s cancer research and treatment. To date they have raised over $380,000.