In response to the continuing economic downturn, Arapahoe County Treasurer Doug Milliken has launched an economic-stimulus program to encourage local …
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In response to the continuing economic downturn, Arapahoe County
Treasurer Doug Milliken has launched an economic-stimulus program
to encourage local banks to invest in small and medium-sized
businesses in the county.
The elected treasurer made the announcement May 20 in front of
Littleton’s Colorado Business Bank, one of three financial
institutions participating in the county investment program.
Milliken said he is using county money to purchase certificates
of deposit in local banks with the expectation that the banks will
in turn use the money to provide loans to businesses in Arapahoe
“I was very concerned that credit-worthy businesses were not
able to get loans for working capital, to expand, to keep them in
business,” the treasurer said. “… We’ve already started with $5
million in these three banks and already a big chunk of it has been
loaned out to businesses.”
According to Milliken, each CD purchase will be protected by the
Public Deposit Protection Act and will be “collateralized” to 102
percent. He said the funds will also be secured by U.S. Treasury
bonds and placed in the ownership of Arapahoe County.
“This also lets the county get a little bit more interest in a
CD than they would currently in the treasury market, which is
pretty dismal,” the treasurer added.
Milliken chose financial institutions with branches throughout
the county as initial participants in the program. In addition to
Colorado Business Bank, the others on the ground floor are Citywide
Banks and Guaranty Bank. Representatives of the institutions joined
Milliken for his announcement.
“It makes perfect sense,” Darrell Schulte, president of Colorado
Business Bank, said of the program. “The county gets a good rate of
return on their money. We get funds that we can reinvest in local
Schulte said the loans would be kept at a fixed interest rate
for the first year and would not be subject to fees.
It is a win-win arrangement that will help the county make the
most of an economic downturn, according to Milliken.
“We’re focusing on small- and medium-sized businesses because
those are the ones that need it and they’re the ones that will grow
into the bigger businesses that employ people,” he said.
Each bank will be required to report to the treasurer’s office
quarterly on how the taxpayers’ money is being used to support
business in Arapahoe County and will use the same criteria they
normally use to determine if a business is a fit borrower.
If the program is successful, Milliken said, he will consider
expanding it to include investing in other locally-controlled banks
that meet the treasurer’s criteria.
“[County] money has been put in local banks [before], but it’s
never been earmarked for small and medium-sized businesses before,”
The bankers said they hope other counties follow the treasurer’s
“It makes a lot of sense,” Schulte said.
For more information about the program, visit co.arapahoe.co.us or call
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