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Healthy Food Access

Specialized Loan Program

Have a business idea to help an area in need of healthy food access? This loan is for you.
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Healthy Food Access Loan

Lack of access to healthy foods is a real problem for many Coloradans. Our Healthy Food Loan Program helps to eliminate the gap.

12% of Coloradans are food insecure and 1/3 all Colorado residents live in food deserts (USDA), many of which are in poor, rural counties. Without access to affordable healthy food, low-income and minority Coloradans have significantly poorer health outcomes.

Thanks to our partnerships, we are able to offer specific funding via the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) and the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F). Read more about why this matters to us at CEF at this blog post and continue reading below for loan program details.

Small Business Loan

Loans up to $250k for startups and $500k for existing businesses
Must serve to increase food access
Discounted rate of 3.0 - 6.0%
Interest-only periods available
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Commercial Real Estate Loan

Loans up to $500k for new and existing grocery stores

Must increase fresh food access in underserved markets
Focus on low-to-moderate-income and minority neighborhoods 
Discounted rate of 3.0 - 6.0%
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Commercial Real Estate

Up to $500,000
For grocery stores in food deserts
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The Loan

Discounted rates and customized loans to meet your business' needs. Thanks to partnerships with our funding partners, we're able to offer discounted rates for your business that serves a food desert. Fill out a loan inquiry form to get started!

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Specialized Business Tools

Our team of small business coaches created specialized business tools, guides, and more for your food/beverage business. As a CEF customer, you get full access to our education platform, Initiate Prosperity, for free. Not a customer? Access a 30-day free trial today.

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The Colorado Impact

 

Since we first launched our Healthy Food Access Loan Program in 2013, we've helped small businesses bring healthy food to communities where it was lacking. We're on a mission to keep up this work and reach even more small businesses so that we can all work to improve our community's health and wellness and make healthy food more accessible for all Coloradans.

69

Colorado Small Businesses 

$8.4

Million in
Loan Capital

64%

Low-Income
Owned Business

24%

Minority-Owned Business

More about HFFI and CO4F

What is the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI)?

A: The Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI), is a public-private partnership to improve access to healthy food in underserved areas. Administered by Reinvestment Fund on behalf of USDA Rural Development, this program was established by the 2014 Farm Bill and reauthorized in 2018.

 

The goal of HFFI is to provide resources to eligible fresh, healthy food retailers and enterprises to overcome the higher costs and initial barriers to entry in underserved areas. Read more here.

What is the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F)?

A: With seed funding from The Colorado Health Foundation, the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F) was created to improve access to healthy food in underserved Colorado communities by financing grocery stores and other forms of healthy food retail. This would, in turn, encourage economic development in low-to-moderate-income neighborhoods. Read more here.

Where can I find more information and resources on healthy food access in Colorado?

Thanks to Our Partners Who Helped Make This Possible

 

"Once again, CEF has come to the rescue. Because of their swift action and personally helping us navigate the complex government requirements [for the PPP], we now have the funds to re-open in 30 days with all nine employees still on board."

Diana Gadison | Executive Director | Early Success Academy

Healthy Food Loan Program FAQs

Small businesses and nonprofits – 501(c)(3)s, including religious organizations, with 500 or fewer employees; self-employed individuals and independent contractors. Business in certain industries can have more than 500 employees if they meet applicable SBA size standards for those industries. 

For purposes of loan eligibility, the CARES Act defines the term employee to include “individuals employed on a full-time, part-time, or other basis.” A borrower must, therefore, calculate the total number of employees, including part-time employees, when determining their employee headcount for purposes of the eligibility threshold.

This loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of 1%. The maximum loan amount is up to $10 million. (Note: Colorado Enterprise Fund’s PPP program has a maximum loan amount of up to $250,000.)

Businesses must be operating with paid employees on February 15, 2020; be able to certify the need for funds during the COVID-19 emergency, and be able to certify the use of funds to retain workers.

  • Any compensation of an employee whose principal place of resident is outside of the US;
  • The salary, wages, commissions and tips paid to any individual employee in excess of an annual salary of $100,000, prorated as necessary;
  • Federal employment taxes imposed or withheld between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020, including the employee’s and employer’s share of FICA and Railroad Retirement Act taxes, and income taxes required to be withheld from employees; and
  • Qualified sick and family leave wages for which a credit is allowed under sections 7001 and 7003 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
  • Step 1: Total all eligible payroll costs for the last 12 months for employees whose principal place of residence is the US
  • Step 2: Subtract any salary, wages, commissions, or tips paid to all employees in excess of an annual salary of $100,000
  • Step 3: Calculate average monthly payroll costs: Divide Step 2 by 12
  • Step 4: Multiply Step 3 by 2.5
  • Step 5: Add the outstanding amount of an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) made between January 31, 2020 and April 3, 2020, less the amount of any “advance” under an EIDL COVID-19 loan (because it does not have to be repaid)
  • Picture of primary owner/applicant Drivers License
  • Month end detailed payroll report for February 2020
  • Payroll Tax form 940 from 2019
  • Latest form 941 filed
  • Articles of Organization Schedule C (if you are a sole proprietor)
  • Most recent personal Tax Return
  • Most recent business Tax Return

If you have employees, the following methodology should be used to calculate your maximum loan amount:

  • Step 1: Compute 2019 Payroll by adding the following:
  • Find your 2019 IRS Form 1040 Schedule C line 31 net profit amount (if you have not yet filed a 2019 return, fill it out and compute the value). If this amount is over $100,000, reduce it to $100,000. If this amount is zero or less, set this amount at zero.
  • 2019 IRS Form 941 Taxable Medicare wages & tips (line 5c- column 1) from each quarter plus any pre-tax employee contributions for health insurance or other fringe benefits excluded from Taxable Medicare wages & tips; subtract any amounts paid to any individual employee in excess of $100,000 annualized and any amounts paid to any employee whose principal place of residence is outside the United States; and
  • 2019 employer health insurance contributions (health insurance component of Form 1040 Schedule C line 14), retirement contributions (Form 1040 Schedule C line 19), and state and local taxes assessed on employee compensation (State Unemployment Tax Act or SUTA from state quarterly wage reporting forms).
  • Step 2: Calculate the average monthly amount (divide the amount from Step 1 by 12).
  • Step 3: Multiply the average monthly amount from Step 2 by 2.5.
  • Step 4: Add the outstanding amount of any EIDL made between January 31, 2020 and April 3, 2020 that you seek to refinance, less the amount of any advance under an EIDL COVID-19 loan (because it does not have to be repaid).
     

Documents you must provide:

  • IRS Form 1040 Schedule C if the applicant is a sole proprietor (with employees) for the following period ending December 31, 2019 (whether filed or not)
  • IRS Quarterly Form 941 (or equivalent payroll record)
  • State Unemployment Tax Act or SUTA from state quarterly wage reporting form
  • Evidence of any retirement and health insurance contributions
  • Payroll statement or similar doc from pay period that covered February 15, 2020 to establish you were in operations on or around February 15, 2020.