in this issue:
community boost | early success academy

Diana Gadison saw a need and grew a foundation.  It was right there in front of her where she worked as an elementary school principal in Denver's Montbello neighborhood.

She noticed many kids were waiting alone before and after school with nowhere to go. The lack of nearby childcare was a real concern so she and her mother set out to fix it. When money to finish renovating the property they had purchased ran out, Gadison came to CEF for a loan. For over 20 years, CEF has partnered with Early Success Academy to grow it into a statewide and national educational model through additional financing and hands-on business coaching.

Click here to read how Diana combined her passion for children and community to create a much-needed childcare service in NE Denver with help from CEF.
our newest borrowers and those in the news
Welcome Borrowers: Each month, the business names of CEF's newest borrowers are posted on our blog so anyone visiting our website can contact you to learn more about your small business. If you haven't seen these lists, click here. Feel free to contact these businesses directly as part of your own B2B marketing strategy.
In the News: Kudos to the following borrowers who got media mentions since our last issue. 
By the way: Do you know...
We love it when you mention CEF helped you get to where you are today. Yup, we do because it helps us help other entrepreneurs who want to succeed just like you! So 
send us your latest news links so you can be highlighted in the next issue of  Small Biz Builder! (And  thanks for mentioning CEF !)

cef updates

CEF receives 2018 MLK business award

CEF staff with 2018 MLK Award
Colorado Enterprise Fund was proud to receive the
2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Business Award (one of eight recipients) at the 33rd Annual Awards Presentation Luncheon in Denver on Friday, January 12.

The award celebrates "content of character" and is given to individuals, corporations and non-profit organizations for exceptional community service and commitment to the values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

For more details on this prestigious Colorado award which we were honored to receive, please visit our News page here .

Chambers Place Redevelopment Project opens in Montbello

New store open in Montbello
In late December, CEF  announced its largest economic development and commercial real estate investment, the Chambers Place Redevelopment Project, which will be instrumental in helping reinvigorate the Northeast Denver neighborhood of Montbello.

CEF was the lead lender for the secondary financing of this $10.5 million commercial real estate project, working with two other non-profit funders and a bank lender to gather the funds needed.

The property is a shopping center originally anchored by a Safeway store which abandoned the area. CEF's leadership helped the anchor tenant, Save-A-Lot, open a grocery store that offers a variety of fresh and healthy foods to increase food access in Montbello and help preserve cultural diversity in a rapidly changing neighborhood. A fellow CEF borrower, Early Success Academy, is a tenant in the same shopping complex.

For more details on this historic project for CEF, please visit our News page here.
small biz toolbox

contests (time sensitive):
Startup Competition Guide  (international): Year-round deadlines per contest

grants (deadlines vary):
Colorado SBIR/STTR Programs: competitive awards; amounts vary
Longmont Entrepreneurial Fund; up to $25K for startups
106 Small Business Grants  - various local, national, corporate and government programs
Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan Program: up to $100K; max $25K for startups

resources (free or low-cost):
BAS (CEF's Business Acceleration Services)
Small Biz Builder Facebook page ( like us to get the latest news and tips!)

praise for cef's in-house team of bas consultants: 
Andy Hesch

"CEF has provided me with top-notch support over the 
past two and a half years and I cannot thank the entire 
CEF Team for their commitment towards my success 
as a start-up entrepreneur.  

Throughout our relationship, Andrew Hesch has been 
a reliable mentor and his business savvy and wisdom, 
in my estimation, has steadied the countless decisions 
I have had to make to manage the course of this business."
Ron Burnett,  HC 

Click here to get the professional help you need for your small business to succeed in 2018.