Colorado

Federal Policy Efforts (State-specific)

​​​​​​​Colorado Enterprise Fund

Founded in 1976, The Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) is a nonprofit CDFO with a mission to accelerate community prosperity by financing and supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses. The Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) is a partner in The Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F) and is using its HFFI grant to finance food production, small grocery retail, and innovative healthy food businesses, including farmers markets, bodegas, food carts, and produce stands. Expert small business lenders, CEF provides loans for equipment purchases, energy efficiency improvements, and leasehold improvements. CEF lends to all segments of the food system to foster healthy food access and economic development. You can find more information about the CEF here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

First Nations Oweesta Corporation

Based in Colorado, First Nation’s Oweesta Corporation was a grantee of both the Native American CDFI Assistance Program and the HFFI CDFI program. They are the only existing Native CDFI intermediary offering financial products and development services exclusively to Native CDFIs and Native communities. They are using their funds to continue providing training, technical assistance, investments, research, and policy advocacy to help Native communities develop an integrated range of asset-building products and services, including financial education and financial products. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program, Native American CDFI Financial Assistance Program

State & Local Policy Efforts

Colorado Launches its Fresh Food Financing Fund

Seeded with a $7.1 million investment from the Colorado Health Foundation, the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F) will enable food retailers to provide fresh, healthy food in underserved Colorado communities. A public-private partnership fund, CO4F will make financing available for grocers that offer affordable and nutritious foods in areas where such goods are scarce.

Modeled after successful, national programs and aligned with the federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative, CO4F is designed to:

  • Improve retail access to fresh and healthy foods in Colorado
  • Encourage economic development in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods
  • Provide attainable financing to food retail outlets that will promote better food access
  • Partner with local governments when possible to enhance benefits and successes
  • Develop a Colorado model based upon national best practices

The statewide fund is the first of its kind in Colorado and was developed in response to recommendations from the Denver Food Access Task Force. CO4F aims to remove financial barriers from the construction, expansion, and renovation of grocery stores in underserved areas. For more information go to Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund.

As of August 2016, the CO4F has awarded more than $2.3 million to a variety of projects that serve communities in urban and rural Colorado including full service grocery stores, urban farms, mobile markets and more. A recent evaluation of the program by the Sarah Samuels Center for Public Health, Research and Evaluation found that the program was meeting its goals. 89 percent of shoppers at funded stores said since CO4F has invested in their community, they have better access to healthy food. CO4F-supported business owners reported increased sales and lower energy costs. Key stakeholders of the program applaud the geographic diversity of projects funded and note that no loans have defaulted.  The Colorado Health Foundation recently awarded CHFA a $600,000 grant to support CO4F operations for an additional two years.

Colorado Enterprise Fund

The Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) is a partner in The Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund (CO4F) and is using its HFFI grant to finance food production, small grocery retail, and innovative healthy food businesses, including farmers markets, bodegas, food carts, and produce stands. Expert small business lenders, CEF provides loans for equipment purchases, energy efficiency improvements, and leasehold improvements. CEF lends to all segments of the food system to foster healthy food access and economic development. You can find more information about the CEF here.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI Program

For a full understanding of Healthy Food Financing Initiatives from advocacy to implementation, see The Food Trust’s Healthy Food Financing Handbook.

To find examples of other federal, state, and local policy efforts and initiatives -- as well as financing opportunities -- by going to Find Money & Policy Efforts by State.