Letter to the editor: Thanking Congressman Tipton for protecting small business lending


As CEO of First Southwest Bank, I would like to thank Congressman Tipton for signing onto a bipartisan letter urging the House Appropriations Committee to vote against President Trump’s proposed elimination of support to the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. A vital economic developer for underserved regions in Colorado, CDFI Funds have brought valuable economic growth, sustainability, and job creation to our rural Colorado communities.

As a CDFI Bank, one project First Southwest Bank leads on is providing on-bill financing, through a La Plata Electric Association and First Southwest Bank partnership, to help electric bill payers reduce their energy consumption by investing in energy efficiency projects. Another program, the Double Up Food Bucks program — allows recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to utilize their dollars at twice the purchasing power at our farmers’ markets — benefits our local farmers, our community members, and ultimately a growing economy.

As First Southwest Bank utilizes resources from the CDFI Fund to structure innovative financing packages for small businesses and the aforementioned programs, the proposed cuts would have been detrimental to small businesses throughout Southwestern Colorado. Congressman Tipton’s vote shows that he is standing up for Coloradoans, not Washington insiders. Congressman Tipton, thank you for continuing to represent the best interests of rural Colorado.

Kent Curtis, CEO

First Southwest Bank

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