Colorado Economic Recovery and Accountability

Press Release - $1.4M in ARRA Loans for Small Businesses

OFFICE OF GOV. BILL RITTER, JR.
WWW.COLORADO.GOV/GOVERNOR

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13, 2010

 

CONTACT:

Myung Oak Kim, 303-947-5708

Myung.kim@state.co.us

 

GOV. RITTER ANNOUNCES $1.4 MILLION IN RECOVERY ACT LOANS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IN SAGUACHE AND LA PLATA COUNTIES

 

Gov. Bill Ritter praised the announcement today that $1.4 million in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will be used to build a new grocery store and business complex in Crestone, Saguache County, and keep a 21-year-old dance studio open in Durango. These funds are part of a loan guarantee program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

 

“The Recovery Act is helping banks lend to rural businesses at a time when they need it the most,” Gov. Ritter said. “Our community banks are helping rural communities complete important projects like the new stores in Crestone that will create new jobs. ”

 

The two loans are among 130 announced by the USDA using $452 million in Recovery Act funds. They are part of the USDA Rural Development's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program. By guaranteeing up to 80 percent of loans less than $5 million, the USDA helps banks agree to provide capital to rural businesses at a time when loans are extremely difficult to obtain.

 

In Colorado, the Recovery Act is helping to finance:

  • Two buildings in Crestone, Saguache County, which will house a grocery store, Laundromat, diner, lumber yard and hardware store. The projects are financed with a $796,000 loan from First Southwest Bank to MJ Investments. The stores are expected to open by mid-2010 and will allow the growing San Luis Valley community to stay in town and not drive 50 miles to Salida or Alamosa for food and supplies.
     
  • The purchase of 1.5 acres of downtown Durango property on which the Dance of the Rockies studio operates. Dance of the Rockies has been in business for 21 years and has 270 students. Without the $632,000 loan from Alpine Bank, the studio would have faced possible closure.

 

Elaine Johnson’s grandfather opened the first Crestone Mercantile store at the turn of the 20th century.  Today, Johnson is overseeing the new commercial project that will open a new Crestone Mercantile, the first large-scale grocery store in the community, down the street from the first store with that name. Johnson said she and the other owners will save thousands of dollars from lower fees because of the Recovery Act. Once the businesses are open, they expect to hire 22 full-time employees.

 

At least $5.7 billion in Recovery Act funds are expected to come to Colorado over the next two years. More information about the Recovery Act and its impact on Colorado can be found at www.colorado.gov/recovery. More information about the USDA loans can be found here.