top of page

April 18, 2024

Ricks’ Bill to Support Small Business, Create Jobs Passes Committee

DENVER, CO – The House Finance today passed legislation to support Colorado small businesses. HB24-1453 would permanently extend the successful CLIMBER (Colorado Loans to Increase Mainstreet Business Economic Recovery) Loan Fund to better support small businesses. By the end of 2024, the CLIMBER Program will provide $250 million in loans to Colorado small businesses.

“Colorado’s small businesses are the backbone to our thriving, growing economy,” said Rep. Naquetta Ricks, D-Aurora. “This bill extends the successful small business loan program, CLIMBER, to uplift our small businesses, create jobs and boost local economies. The CLIMBER Program provides low-interest loans up to $500,000 to help Colorado small businesses expand, increase pay for their employees, open up new locations and more. Our small businesses make Colorado unique – and this bill gives our small businesses a leg up as they positively impact our communities.” 

HB24-1453, passed by a vote of 11-0. This bill would extend the successful CLIMBER Program which is set to expire later this year. The goal of HB24-1453 is to make the CLIMBER Program permanent and to better support underserved businesses with the resources and expertise needed to secure these favorable loans. 

The bill would transfer the program from the Colorado Department of Treasury to the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, which houses various programs and resources to support and ensure the success of under-capitalized businesses.To extend the CLIMBER Program and keep it operating long-term, this bill would also ensure $35 million in allocated funds stay with the program and allow for the recapture of repaid loans and other funds to be used for future loans to small businesses.  

Under the program, small businesses with up to 99 employees may apply for working capital loans between $10,000 and $500,000. These loans can be used to hire more employees, start or expand brick-and-mortar storefronts, get new businesses off the ground and more. Of the loans already distributed by the CLIMBER Program, it is estimated to have supported 1,098 jobs and provided capital to create at least 86 positions. Since its creation in 2020, the CLIMBER Program has provided 246 small business loans across 26 counties totaling over $18 million dollars. 

bottom of page