VIDEO: Unique Bank-Nonprofit Partnership Funds New Business
Durango resident Jenni Gross was out of work for more than eight months after the building where she leased space for her business, The Soup Palette, was sold to a new owner, and she was forced to close. Today she operates out of a food truck she was able to purchase through a unique lending partnership between the First Southwest Bank and its sister non-profit. Hundreds of entrepreneurs in Southern Colorado have been able to start or expand their businesses thanks to a unique partnership between the First Southwest Bank and its sister non-profit, the First Southwest Community Fund. During the pandemic, the community fund established the Innovate Onwards Program to provide businesses with low-interest loans for working capital to rehire staff, upgrade equipment, or purchase inventory. Another program, the Creative Arts Fund, provides low-interest loans for up to $15,000 to artists and arts businesses to purchase materials, establish a gallery, or even an online presence. More recently, the community established a food truck loan fund to help entrepreneurs affordably enter the food industry.