SOUTHERN COLORADO – Struggling entrepreneurs across southern Colorado are getting the help they need.
It’s people who have low-to-moderate incomes or who may be minorities who need a boost in launching their businesses.
The organization making this possible: Accion.
The non-profit provides small business loans to people who can’t get one through a bank or who want to have lower interest rates. Last year Accion gave out hundreds of business loans and the clients benefiting from those loans shared their stories with News 5 on Friday.
Betsaida Fajardo said, “It was so expensive so I need some financial support to do it.”
It was three years ago when Fajardo was trying to start her own business.
“A sports magazine for the Hispanic people.”
That dream is now a reality thanks to a business loan from Accion.
“When I found them it was really good for me and it opened the possibility to grow the business.”
In January of this year Amos Velasquez made a similar move deciding it was time for a career change.
“I was an administrator in education.”
He’s now the owner of Rocky Mountain Chimney Sweeps And Air Ducts. Accion assisted him with getting the business started.
“Whether it’s $5,000 or $50,000 it’s something that can really help a lot of people out who are really trying to change careers…to have an organization like Accion really just gives that confidence boost to a lot of people who are veterans, minorities, low income, trying to start a business that do have talents.”
Monique Flemings is another Accion client. She’s the owner of a Medicaid provider agency.
Flemings said, “The funding assisted our agency in transitioning three of our clients…it provides me the flexibility in my schedule as well as help other members in the community just gain some hope and independence back.”
Jennifer Siegel, Accion community lending officer, said, “We know there is a significant number of businesses that are unable to obtain capital and are underserved.”
To be able to correct that by providing these small business loans is a win as she knows small business growth, the backbone of the U.S. economy, is being fueled.
Siegel said Accion recently received a $2.75 million investment from the Colorado Health Foundation. The funds will be used to expand lending to entrepreneurs of color and low-to-moderate incomes primarily in rural Colorado.
If you’re interested in getting involved with Accion CLICK HERE.