On April 4, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced its 2019 National Small Business Week awardees for 17 different categories, naming Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) as its 2019 Jody C. Raskind Microlender of the Year.
Esablished in honor of late SBA Microloan Program director Jody Raskind who passed away in 2014, this award is presented annually by the SBA to a mission-focused lender that has distinguished itself in helping small businesses start, grow, and expand.
“Receiving this award is an immense honor, particularly because it recognizes our organization’s positive impact on Colorado’s vibrant and innovative small business community,” stated CEF President and CEO Ceyl Prinster, who has led CEF since 1987. “It is our great privilege to help entrepreneurs and small businesses gain access to capital that allows them to grow and thrive, which ultimately benefits all Coloradans.”
Marking its largest lending year ever, CEF closed 111 SBA microloans totaling $1.8 million and three SBA Community Advantage loans totaling $714K in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, which helped create or retain 476 jobs throughout Colorado. CEF currently services a total portfolio of $24.3 million comprising 611 small business borrowers.
In addition, CEF provided nearly 3,000 hours of business advisory services to 255 borrowers in FY18 and launched its VALOR (Veteran Access Loan Opportunity Resource) Program which provides loans with discounted rates and extended terms for military veterans and Gold Star families.
From May 5-11 during National Small Business Week, the SBA will honor Prinster and CEF at events and ceremonies in Washington D.C. and Colorado.
Learn more in the SBA’s press release here.