DENVER – April 11, 2019 – Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF), a Denver-based SBA Community Advantage Lender and Microloan Intermediary, has been selected as this year’s Jody C. Raskind Lender Award recipient. This award is presented annually by the U.S. Small Business Administration to a mission-focused lender that has distinguished itself in helping small businesses start, grow and expand.
The award will be presented by the SBA Administrator to CEF President and Chief Executive Officer Ceyl Prinster on May 5, during the National Small Business Week ceremony to be held at the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington, D.C. CEF will also be recognized as part of the SBA Small Business Awards ceremony in Colorado on May 10.
“The Jody C. Raskind Lender Award is the most prestigious award presented by the SBA to a mission-based community lender nationwide,” says Frances Padilla, SBA’s Colorado District Director. “I congratulate Ceyl Prinster, and the entire staff at the Colorado Enterprise Fund, for their dedication to providing access to capital and technical training to our statewide small business community.”
CEF was one of the first 35 nonprofit intermediaries selected for the SBA Microloan Program in 1992. Since then, CEF has dispersed 1,457 Microloans totaling $18.5 million, which has helped create/retain 3,038 jobs. In fiscal year 2018, CEF dispersed 111 SBA Microloans totaling $1.8 million, and creating/retaining 445 jobs. CEF is also an SBA Community Advantage (CA) lender and has dispersed a total of 16 CA loans totaling $2.8 million, to create/retain 129 jobs. Specifically in fiscal year 2018, CEF made three CA loans, totaling over $700,000 and creating/retaining 31 jobs.
In addition, during 2018 CEF provided nearly 3,000 hours of Business Advisory Services (BAS) to 255 borrowers and launched its VALOR (Veteran Access Loan Opportunity Resource) Program which provides loans with discounted rates and extended terms for military veterans and Gold Star families.
“Small businesses fuel our economy in Colorado and throughout the nation. It is a great privilege to help entrepreneurs and small businesses gain access to capital that allows them to grow and thrive,” says CEF President and CEO Ceyl Prinster. “We are extremely honored to receive the Jody C. Raskind Lender of the Year Award and appreciate SBA’s continued partnership which allows us to support the vibrant, innovative business community in Colorado.”
CEF is a nonprofit lender that has served Colorado small businesses for more than 40 years, providing loans to those unable to obtain traditional bank funding. In total, CEF has dispersed more than $81 million in start-up and growth capital to over 2,300 businesses and created or retained over 12,000 jobs in Colorado. CEF currently services a portfolio totaling $24.3 million to 611 small business borrowers. With the help of the SBA’s Microloan Program, as an early and ongoing source of loan capital and grants for business advisory services, CEF expanded its Denver Metro service area to be statewide, expanding its impact on Colorado small businesses. For more information on CEF, visit www.coloradoenterprisefund.org.
The Jody C. Raskind Award was first presented in 2015 to honor mission lenders that demonstrate extraordinary commitment to the creation, growth and expansion of small businesses in underserved markets with a demonstrable impact on the communities it serves. Raskind led the SBA’s Office of Microlending for many years, and was widely known in the microlending community for her commitment and dedication to small businesses, particularly in underserved areas. She died in 2014.
CEF’s dedication to serving the most underserved and economically disenfranchised markets, acting as a champion and advocate for the interests of small business located in these communities, embodies the essence of Jody C. Raskind’s legacy.
Each year since 1963, the President has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. This year National Small Business Week will be celebrated May 5 – 11, with the Colorado award ceremony to be held Friday, May 10 at the Front Range Community College in Westminster, Colorado. For more information on the national events, visit www.sba.gov/nsbw. For a list of Colorado events please visit www.coloradolendingsource.org/small-business-week. For more information on SBA’s programs and services please visit www.sba.gov , and remember to follow us Twitter @sbarockymtn and @sba_colorado.
About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.