ALAMOSA, Colo., May 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In partnership with ZOMA Foundation, Catena Foundation, and Gates Family Foundation, First Southwest Community Fund (FSWCF) is establishing a $3 million COVID-19 Rapid Response & Recovery Loan Fund to offer affordable loans to rural Colorado businesses and nonprofits affected by COVID-19.
Businesses can apply for loans from $10,000 to $100,000 at a 3.5% interest rate, for a 7-year term, and payments will be deferred for the first six months. Capital can be used for working capital and operating funds. The fund focuses on businesses having difficulties accessing traditional financing; businesses providing essential services to their communities; women, minority, and veteran owned businesses; businesses creating impact through job creation and retention, and businesses with environmentally sustainable practices.
"Small and medium businesses are the lifeblood of rural communities across Colorado. It is critical they have access to working capital to manage this crisis and build resiliency long-term," said Ben Walton, co-founder of ZOMA Foundation. "FSWCF has been a long-time champion, highly engaged with rural Colorado communities in economic development and job growth efforts. We're excited to partner with them again to swiftly meet the urgent needs of more businesses statewide."
"This fund will get low-cost, flexible capital flowing to Colorado's rural communities, and we are excited to collaborate with FSWCF, Zoma, and Catena to help ensure small businesses can survive and ultimately thrive through this crisis," said Sue Dorsey, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration at Gates Family Foundation.
About First Southwest Community Fund
As a 501c3, FSWCF invests in the people, culture, and ideas that fuel innovation and financial knowledge in rural Colorado, with an emphasis on areas of greatest need.
About ZOMA Foundation
ZOMA Foundation was founded by Ben and Lucy Ana Walton to catalyze bold and innovative solutions to issues facing their home regions of Colorado and Chile, with the goal of building resilient, thriving communities that will endure for generations to come. ZOMA Foundation leverages philanthropy to support systems level alignment as well as to pilot, incubate, and prove innovations across early childhood, workforce, and community economic development.
About Catena Foundation
Catena Foundation private philanthropy based in Carbondale, Colorado, with a mission of restoring human and ecological systems. The Foundation's US programs are focused primarily in a five state region in the Southwestern US. Catena works to restore human systems by bringing access to education, mobility, nature and economic opportunity to targeted populations, and to restore ecological systems by bringing innovative policy, technical and market-based solutions to targeted ecological challenges.
About Gates Family Foundation
Gates Family Foundation is committed to advancing long-term quality of life for all Coloradans, through support for educational equity, vibrant and sustainable communities, and stewardship of our state's extraordinary natural resources. Gates is one of Colorado's oldest private foundations, having committed more than $400 million to philanthropic activities since 1946.
SOURCE First Southwest Community Fund