2015 marked Colorado Lending Source’s 25th Anniversary. The one time, one-man organization evolved to become the top Certified Development Company in Colorado, and top ten in the nation, with an outstanding portfolio of over 1,300 loans and more than a half billion dollars.
Surviving twenty-five years in the world of small business financing is no small feat, and to acknowledge this accomplishment Colorado Lending Source celebrated accordingly. Throughout 2015 multiple parties were held: an open house in the new Blake Street Building, happy hours for members and lending partners, and the first ever Fall Gathering, a day dedicated to the unique small business community of entrepreneurs and lenders Colorado Lending Source worked diligently to create over the last quarter of a century.
However, 2015 was not all play and no work. The year before Executive Director Mike O’Donnell applied to, and was awarded a license to become the country’s newest Community Advantage lender in an effort to fill a gap in financing provided to underserved markets. With initial funds from Peoples Bank and Home State Bank, Colorado Lending Source’s Community Advantage program officially launched in February 2015. In the first year, 10 small businesses secured a combined $1,506,500.00 in financing. Many of the businesses were startups belonging to women, veterans, and minorities, and were located in rural areas, low-income areas, and HUB zones.
One of the first Community Advantage loans approved and funded was Scrumpy’s in Fort Collins, Colorado. Scrumpy’s was the result of owner Jennifer Seiwald’s interesting journey into entrepreneurship. After leaving a lucrative career in finance, she enrolled in chemistry and biology classes with the intention of going into the medical world. However, her enthusiasm for hard cider and sandwiches led her in another direction and in 2013 she opened Scrumpy’s. Their ciders became so popular that local Fort Collins businesses were clamoring to get their hands on kegs, but Scrumpy’s could hardly supply their own needs.
In 2015 the space next door to Scrumpy’s became available, and Jennifer knew she had to seize the expansion opportunity. The new 6,5000 square foot space can seat an additional 100 patrons, has a stage for live music, and a full kitchen which will allow Scrumpy’s to expand its menu to include late night treats.
Additionally, with the Community Advantage loan from Colorado Lending Source, Scrumpy’s was able to purchase three new 30-barrel fermenting tanks, which will allow the business to fulfill requested keg orders, start their bottling line, and help build their distribution in the future.