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Customized loan options that fit your business.
Loans Overview
Small Business Loans

Starting or growing your small business? Turned down by a bank? Tired of the high-interest rates of payday or other loans?

With CEF's flexible terms & loan programs, including SBA Microloans, we'll work with you to build a loan that fits your business needs and makes your dream a reality.

  • Loans from $10K up to $1M.
    • Our average loan size is $51,000
  • Fixed Rate, Low-Barrier, & Low-Interest Loans
  • Up to 10 years
  • For working capital, equipment, inventory, property improvements, business purchase, or commercial real estate.
  • As a nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) lender, we can usually work with borrowers that have a startup business, lower credit score, tighter cash flow, or limited collateral.


Start the Loan Process

Specialized Loan Programs 

 Whatever your small business needs, we'll find a loan program that works for you.

Black Business
Loan Fund

For Black-Owned businesses to help bridge the gap in access to capital.

Loans: Starting at $10K
Rates: Fixed
Terms: Up to 10 years

Learn More

Loan Funds

These designated loans help to drive economic development within communities.


Loans: Starting at $10K
Rates: Fixed
Terms: Variable

Learn More


Creative industries surround us from savory food to breathtaking performances to original designs.


Loans: Starting at $10K
Rates: Fixed
Terms: Up to 10 years

  Learn More

Healthy Food
Financing Initiative

Have a business idea to increase access to healthy, fresh food in a food desert? This is for you.

Loans: Starting at $10K
Rates: Fixed
Terms: Up to 10 years

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No social security number? Use your Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) for this loan. 

Loans: Starting at $10K
Rates: Fixed
Terms: Up to 10 years


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Minority Owned Businesses

CEF is proud to serve a diverse group of minority-owned businesses, inlcuding Women, Black/African American, AAPI, Hispanic/Latino, and Indigenous/Native American/American Indian or Alaskan Native.

  Learn More


This loan aims to build up communities through the opportunity of small business ownership.


Loans: Starting at $10K
Rates: Fixed
Terms: Up to 5 years

  Learn More


For honorably discharged military veterans and Gold Star Families.

Loans: Starting at $10K
Rates: 2% Off Fixed Rate
Terms: Flexible

  Learn More
Our Step by Step Process

How it Works

Step 1
Review our Let's Get Started page to determine where you are in your business journey.  
Step 2
Gather your documents and submit your application. Our Loan Officer and Loan Closing Specialists will work with you to ensure a seamless process. 
Step 3
Once approved,  you'll go to your loan closing with your Loan Closing Specialist. Then, you'll receive funding!
Step 4
Connect with our Business Acceleration Services team and receive one-on-one support from your business coach. This service is free of charge for all CEF customers.

Start the Loan Process

More Than Just a Loan: 

Business Coaching and Resources to Help You Succeed

Funding can take you so far... our business navigators can help take you further! Our team is here to help ensure your small business success. Get help with topics like:

  • Business Planning
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Cashflow and Profitability
  • Post-COVID Reopening and Marketing Strategy 
  • And More!
Learn More About Our Business Navigation Services
Connect With a Business Navigator

Reduce small business risk and support long-term success through personalized, one-on-one business coaching and training. 

Get In Touch

Access Our Online Resources Library

Free, downloadable workbooks, guides, and more for you and your small business via Initiate Prosperity. Sign up now to access the platform FREE.

Get Access   

Here Are The Basics


We utilize basic lending principles when reviewing a small business loan application, but the difference is that we are more flexible than most lenders in how we apply these principles. 

Qualifying factors include the ability to repay the loan, how much experience you have in the industry, collateral to secure the loan, and a good payment history with other creditors. Once your application has been submitted for underwriting, we will consider these factors and others including the business industry climate, cash flow/profitability, and equity in the business. 

  • Tax ID and Business Structure (i.e. Corporation, LLC)
  • Current business and personal bank statement(s) from additional accounts
  • Balance sheet
  • Business lease (if applicable)
  • Profit and loss statement
  • Debt information (credit card, additional loans, etc.)
  • Personal income and expense information
  • If applicable, personal income and expense information for a co-borrower

The speed of the application process and getting approved depends largely on how quickly you submit your paperwork for review. Typically, it takes 3-7 business days for underwriting and, once approved, 2-3 weeks to get your closing scheduled.

Absolutely not! We have many bank and credit union partners across the state, and encourage applicants to explore loan options with them first, but applicants do not have to be rejected by a financial institution in Colorado to qualify for a loan from CEF.