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Colorado Lending Source | Nov. 25, 2015

In 2013 small business surged as the nation recovered from the Great Recession. There were nearly 28 million small businesses in the country, and over 556,000 in Colorado alone. Colorado Lending Source assisted 52 startup businesses attain financing in 2013, historically the most ever for the organization.

Taking note of this, Executive Director, Mike O’Donnell, decided to bring the organization’s impact full circle and support small business owners and entrepreneurs from the early stages, as well. In early 2013, Colorado Lending Source facilitated its first ever Ice House Entrepreneurial Training, a program started by the Kauffman Foundation and the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative. The program’s curriculum centers on Pulitzer Prize nominee Clifton Taulbert’s uncle’s experience of starting an unlikely small business in the segregated South. Using a variety of techniques, it teaches participants to think entrepreneurially and to turn challenges into opportunities at every stage of business ownership.

During the course of the Ice House program, guest presenters share their struggles and experiences of starting their business. Colorado Lending Source had called upon many small business owners that it helped with financing to address the participants, including Daniel Landes, owner of WaterCourse Foods and City O’City.

Daniel opened his first restaurant, WaterCourse Foods, in 1998. In 2007 he purchased a new restaurant space and moved WaterCourse to that location, allowing him to open his second restaurant, City O’City, in the original location. Nearly six years later, Daniel had the opportunity to purchase the building that started it all by using a SBA 504 loan from Colorado Lending Source. Recently Daniel announced he sold WaterCourse Foods, and surely will be starting something new in the future.