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Posted: June 01, 2010

Resources for Colorado businesses

Mike Taylor

Need some help? Check these out.

www.colorado.gov - By going to this site and clicking on the "Business" tab, you'll find resources for starting a business including licenses and permits, tax information, and information to help you manage your business. Also on this page is a tab, "Colorado Business," through which you can access Colorado's Office of Economic Development and International Trade, as well as a link to help you register to be eligible to bid on Colorado contracts and a link to locate facilities for doing international business in Colorado.

www.advancecolorado.com - From the state Office of Economic Development and International Trade page you can find links to business finance, the Colorado International Trade Office, the Small Business Development Centers and the Colorado Business Resource Guide.

www.sba.gov - The U.S. Small Business Administration offers programs and services, including loans, to help small businesses. (Find SBA programs specific to your area by googling "SBA" and "Colorado.")

www.google.com/help/sba - The U.S. Small Business Administration and Google have teamed up to create a new site, "Tools for Online Success," designed to help small-business owners harness technology to grow their businesses. The site features tutorials, video testimonials, and tips from savvy small-business people who have leveraged the Web to become more efficient, more cost-effective and more successful.

Business provision from the 2010 legislative session:
Public-private initiatives with nonprofits - Under a new law, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations will have additional opportunities to deliver public services through contracts with state government agencies. The intent is to provide new avenues for nonprofits to deliver cost-effective and innovative services to the public for state government agencies who must stretch every tax dollar.

AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT UPDATE
Signed into law in February 2009, the Recovery Act includes a number of loan programs for small businesses through the Small Business Administration that will remain active for one to four more years:

"504" loans- To help small businesses with fixed-asset projects, including purchasing land and improvements, existing buildings, grading, street improvements, utilities, parking lots and landscaping; construction of new facilities or modernizing, renovating or converting existing facilities; purchasing long-term machinery and equipment. The SBA is directed to collect no fee or to reduce fees. These competitive grants will be available until Sept. 30, 2013.

7 (a) Loan Guarantee Program - To help business owners operate, acquire or expand an existing business. Loan fees are also removed or reduced. Available until Sept. 30, 2012.

Business Stabilization Program - Competitive loans for small businesses that are having trouble paying their existing loans. These funds will stay available until Sept. 30, 2014.

Micro-loan Program - Small loans for startup, newly established or growing small businesses. These loans will go through nonprofit community based lenders to the borrowers. The average loan size is $13,000. Funds will remain available until Sept. 30, 2011.

ARC loans - Viable small businesses can borrow up to $35,000 to make payments of principal and interest, on one or more existing, qualifying small business loans for up to six months. This includes credit card obligations, capital leases, bills to vendors/suppliers. This is designed to help businesses facing immediate financial hardship.

For more information on these loan programs, contact the SBA Colorado District office: Lynette Newman,
(303) 844-2607 ext. 223, or Bob Martin at (303) 844-2607 ext. 212.

Find economic-development highlights from the 2010 legislative session at www.colorado.gov

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Mike Taylor is the managing editor of ColoradoBiz. He writes about small-business money issues and how startups are launched. Email him at mtaylor@cobizmag.com.

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