By Stephani Burditt
Region 9 Economic Development
District of Southwest Colorado
The Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) have been awarded a 2020 Aliceann Wohlbruck Impact Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the Statewide Colorado Microloan Fund program.
NADO’s Impact Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities.
This year, 79 projects from 19 states were recognized. The Region 9 award recognizes the OEDIT’s partnership with rural Colorado for the pilot loan program that has resulted in an impact of $1.65 million being distributed in 30 rural counties over the last three years.
“OEDIT established this program to bring additional business capital into rural areas of Colorado, pre COVID and, to date, we have made 60 micro loans in rural areas statewide to fill finance gaps for our start-up and high character businesses that might not be bankable,” said Laura Lewis Marchino, executive director of Region 9. “Region 9 is honored to be administering this program for OEDIT in our rural counties.”
The Colorado Microloan Fund through Region 9 has leveraged and additional $2.5 million and created and retained 210 jobs. The program also serves urban areas of the state through another nonprofit lender.
“These collaborative projects show the best that regional development organizations have to offer and are a real testament to the value they add to their regions,” said NADO President Kevin Byrd, executive director of the New River Valley Regional Commission, located in Radford, Va.
NADO is a Washington, D.C.-based association of regional development organizations that promote programs and policies to strengthen local governments, communities and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery and comprehensive strategies.
The NADO Impact Awards are in honor of the late Aliceann Wohlbruck, NADO’s first executive director. The awarded projects are highlighted in an interactive story map available online at: https://www.nado.org/impactawards/. For more information about this award-winning project, contact Lewis Marchino at firstname.lastname@example.org.