First Southwest Community Fund supports the dedicated entrepreneurial spirit of rural Colorado, by investing in the people, culture and ideas that fuel innovation and financial knowledge in our community, with an emphasis on areas of greatest need.
First Southwest Community Fund (FSWCF) was created in 2015 by First Southwest Bank to provide risk mitigating gap funding. FSWCF is headquartered in Alamosa, CO but serves rural Colorado in its entirety. Unlike the rest of the state, rural Colorado has not felt the same levels of increased economic prosperity post-recession. In fact, Colorado’s three persistent poverty counties lie in the rural south.
FSWCF has a primary mission of supporting tangible economic opportunities throughout rural Colorado by making much needed non-traditional capital (loans) available to emerging and existing businesses, which in turn create, retain and grow jobs. Often times, it is the FSWCF loan that enables a bank to get to a “yes” while staying within the parameters of its loan policy.
By promoting economic development in distressed communities, First Southwest Community Fund helps create and retain jobs while encouraging the development of critical community infrastructure.
First Southwest Community Fund works in rural colorado:
Our communities are small. No town in our footprint has a population larger than 20,000; meeting all USDA definitions of rural.
Unemployment is higher than average. Eight of our rural counties have an unemployment rate above the statewide average and six counties have an unemployment rate above the nationwide average of 8.3%.
Our communities are diverse. Seven of our rural counties have a Hispanic / Latino population larger than the statewide average of 17%; of those seven counties, four of them have a Hispanic population larger than 40% and two are majority Hispanic.
Our Rural Community Goals:
Create tangible economic opportunities
Assist emerging businesses to create new jobs
Support existing businesses to retain and grow additional jobs
Advocate for and help in attaining higher wage jobs
Stimulate and encourage financial knowledge