LISC teams with Colorado Health Foundation to back diverse-owned businesses

ImpactAlpha Editor

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ImpactAlpha, December 7 — The Local Initiatives Support Corp. has launched the Colorado BIPOC Micro Equity Fund. The $2 million pilot fund provides “equity-like” capital to small business owners of color in disadvantaged Colorado communities “that are poised to grow but haven’t had access to the capital they need,” explains LISC’s George Ashton.

The fund, which is back-stopped by the Colorado Health Foundation, will invest between $50,000 to $250,000. After a year, owners repay a share of revenue if they’ve hit agreed-upon revenue targets. “If a business is unable to hit its growth metrics, philanthropy steps in and assumes the obligation on behalf of the business,” said the Colorado Health Foundation’s Ben Bynum. 

Expansion plans

The BIPOC Micro Equity Fund has made a $200,000 loan to Taco Block, a four-year old taco catering business, to build a commercial kitchen and outfit two taco trucks. LISC’s growth capital structure “is a great fit for us because we don’t have to put any money down,” said Taco Block’s Adrian Bonilla, who owns the business with his wife, Brenda.

LISC also backed Alchemy Ritual Goods, an Indigenous shop and medicine clinic that sells yoga and spiritual goods, to “expand our business into new avenues along with a larger, more beautiful shop,” said Alchemy cofounder Lalania Carrillo.