Region 9 boosting area business

Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 9:52 PM

It can be tough to finance startups and other business ventures.

To help fill the gaps between what a bank can loan and what businesses need, the regional economic development district loans out about $1.8 million a year across Southwest Colorado.

"In exchange for the potential of creating new jobs, we take a higher risk than banks do," said Ed Morlan, executive director of Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado. In fact, many businesses are referred to Region 9 from banks, he said.

Region 9's success has earned it a $580,000 community development block grant to lend to businesses from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

In addition to larger loans of $100,000 or more, the program provides micro-loans to small business and entrepreneurs that can include up to $5,000 in grants for technical assistance.

This is the seventh community development block grant for the region, and those grants have brought in $1.16 million into the region. The previous community block grant contract helped fund 36 loans and two feasibility studies totaling over $1.353 million.

"Community development block grant funding has been key to assisting numerous small businesses that are unable to receive financing through traditional means," Morlan said in a news release.

Region 9 serves La Plata, Archuleta, Montezuma, Dolores and San Juan counties.

For more information about Region 9 loans, visit or contact Loan Officer Jenny Stollar, 247-9621 or