FSWCF Awarded $30,000 As A Pass-Through Grant for Side by Side


Side by Side is helping create jobs and growth in rural Colorado, while bringing whole food nutrition to pets.

First Southwest Community Fund (FSWCF) recently received a Rural Business Development Grant for Side by Side, a pet nutrition company based in Telluride, Colorado, who utilized the funds for their brand’s marketing and community growth.

“The funding provided through this effort allowed us to establish our foundation for the new brand and positioning of the company,” says Carol Bramson, Side by Side CEO. “It was a very important source of capital at a crucial time in the development of the company and we are grateful for all of First Southwest Community Fund’s support and that of others within First Southwest Bank who made this happen.”  

Having been in the pet nutrition industry for over 10 years, Marney Prince started Side by Side in her kitchen three years ago, and quickly gained a reputation for providing diets for pets that vastly improved their health. Side by Side uses fresh, whole foods such as meat, bones, organs, fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, fats, oils, and herbs, sourced from local Colorado producers.

“Our passion is to bring health and wellness to pets, and to honor the earth and our local community while we are doing it,” says Zafian, Side by Side founder.

Born in Southwest Colorado and dedicated to the economic and social development of the region, Side by Side is a value-added agricultural products company.  

Through the funds granted to FSWCF (and then Side by Side), the company has been able to create more jobs directly at their business (one full-time position and four part-time positions), as well as contract out work to local professionals during their facility's expansion, including local photographers and marketing specialists.

“As both a supporter of Colorado’s agricultural businesses and lifestyle-focused goods, Side by Side is truly a special business. They are Doers,” says First Southwest Community Fund President, Kent Curtis. “We’re thrilled that we were able to help Side by Side obtain the resources they need to keep their unique and necessary small business growing rural Colorado’s economy.”

For more information on this grant and potential 2018 grant opportunities for your rural Colorado business, please contact First Southwest Community Fund’s Community Partnership’s Director, Roxanne DeMarco, roxanne.demarco@fswb.com. 2018 grant funds are subject to Congress’s approval.

About First Southwest Community Fund

As a 501c3, the First Southwest Community Fund promotes economic development in distressed communities — helping create jobs, increase wages, encourage the development of critical community infrastructure and provide new educational opportunities and financial literacy knowledge for identified populations. First Southwest Community Fund achieves this by providing low-cost business and agricultural lending, supporting educational programs that prepare people to participate in the mainstream economy, enhancing early learning and development opportunities, and augmenting technology and other public amenities. First Southwest Community Fund works predominantly in Southern Colorado but plans to expand its geographic reach into rural Colorado and the wider Four Corners Region. Please find more information about First Southwest Community Fund at fswcf.org or firstsouthwestcommunity.fund.

About First Southwest Bank

Serving the San Luis Valley and rural Colorado for more than 100 years, First Southwest Bank offers personal and business banking at their seven branches, with an emphasis on businesses supporting rural communities. First Southwest Bank and their employees actively live-in and give back to our communities, volunteering with more than 40 local organizations, and donating to 115. First Southwest Bank is focused on cultivating valuable relationships, investing in economic and social doers, and fostering a well-lived rural culture.  More information about First Southwest Bank is available at fswb.com. Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender