New website aims to help local entrepreneurs

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DENVER — Have you ever wanted to start your own business? It’s a dream shared by many Coloradans.

In fact, our state is one of the top five in the nation when it comes to the number of small business owners struggling to make it.

Now a new program called SmallBizLending.org is offering help to thousands who want to put up that “We’re Open” sign.

It combines Colorado’s banking industry, public, private and nonprofit lending institutions.  The plan offers one stop shopping for promising entrepreneurs.

Governor John Hickenlooper, an entrepreneur himself, tells us, “I spent so much time just trying to chase money I should’ve been building my business. This accelerates your ability to look at different banks.”

Brandi Paik, 29, started her ski gear business, CandyGrind, in her basement and sold to 5 stores in 2007.  After receiving financial assistance from the Colorado Enterprise Fund and the Denver Office of Economic Development, she has grown her business and now operates out of a north Denver warehouse.

CandyGrind supplies action sports apparel to 250 stores around the world and employs three people and six commissioned sales representatives.

“It’s amazing and nice to know people are standing behind the brand  they like our quality they like our style we’re stoked that we’re doing something right,” Paik told us.

If you would like more information about you can visit www.smallbizlending.org.

Organizers say even business hopefuls who have been turned down for loans in the past can receive helpful information.