The Telluride Foundation recently launched a $2 million operating working capital loan fund conceived to support rural business startup, growth, job creation and retention in southwest Colorado.

The Telluride Regional Loan Fund is a partnership with ZOMALAB and First Southwest Community Fund with funds available to those in living in Montrose, Ouray, San Miguel, Dolores and San Juan counties.

The communities that rural businesses operate in have been significantly affected by the recent economic downturn, and the capital landscape has changed,” said Bonnie Watson, Capital and Transaction Advisor of the Telluride Foundation, in a press release.

“Not only has human capital left these economically distressed areas but the banks, that for many years provided traditional capital for small businesses, have left as well."

The Telluride Loan Fund is designed to help companies with their day-to-day expenses. Companies can qualify for $25,000 to $100,000 secured working capital loans at rates comparable to market rates.

The first loan will go to Family Market in Naturita for some repairs and upgrades to the building. Family Market has been the sole Naturita grocery store, located on Highway 145, since the 1980s.

“We’re eager to get this money to startup businesses that don’t have options for early funding,” FSWCF President Kent Curtis said in a press release. “Our goal is to help these businesses gain a stable financial footing so they, in turn, can create business growth and better jobs in this region.”

For more information about the Telluride Regional Loan Fund, contact Watson at bonnie.watson.colorado@gmail.com.

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