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Colorado’s Cannabis Business Office (CBO) has announced the first recipients of Colorado’s Cannabis Business Loan Programme.
The landmark programme aims to significantly expand Colorado’s cannabis industry, and has been implemented in partnership with mission-based lender NuProject.
The loans will support social equity licensed cannabis businesses to expand operations, increase revenues and retain or create new jobs.
The CBO has highlighted that traditional funding sources designated for small businesses “often preclude the cannabis industry, causing cannabis business owners to experience increased difficulty accessing capital as they grow their businesses”.
The Cannabis Business Loan Programme works to fill this funding gap, and will be providing loans between $50,000 and $150,000. Funding can go towards renovations, expansions, purchase of equipment, real estate or to be used as working capital.
Eve Lieberman, OEDIT Executive Director stated: “Small businesses are an engine of Colorado’s economy, and we are thrilled to promote greater equity in the cannabis industry while making it easier for these businesses to grow.
“By expanding operations and adding new services, they will be poised to increase revenues, improve the longevity of their businesses and create new jobs.
“That’s a win for the businesses, their communities, and Colorado’s economy as a whole.”
The businesses receiving loans during the first round of funding include IDY Distributors and Simply Pure.
NuProject says its mission is to help diverse entrepreneurs grow their cannabis businesses, and as well as providing education assistance and mentorship specialises in character-based lending “which help business owners obtain loans even if they lack the traditional assets necessary to secure financing or have experienced other challenges obtaining financing”.
Speaking at the time of the announcement, Jeannette Ward, NuProject CEO, added: “As their partner in the Cannabis Business Loan Programme, NuProject enables Colorado to distribute funding quickly to businesses, which is critical for a fast-growing industry.
“The cannabis businesses announced today are just the type of high-growth businesses states are smart to support with funding. Filling this funding gap better positions Colorado to benefit from the economic growth of the cannabis industry, adding jobs and increasing tax revenues for schools.”
The CBO has confirmed that the second round of funding is now open for qualified cannabis businesses to apply.
Additional sources of funding are also available for Colorado’s social equity-licensed cannabis businesses including the Cannabis Business Grant. This office has stated that this grant provides $20,000 to $25,000 Foundational and Foundational Plus Grants to help early-stage cannabis businesses with their startup needs and $50,000 Growth Grants to support existing cannabis businesses as they grow or refine their operations.