Loan Keeps Moose & More from Melting

05/30/2020
NEWS BRIEFS
Southwest Colorado confirmed COVID-19 cases by county: La Plata (207 resident, 18 non-resident), Archuleta (38 resident, 33 non-resident), Montezuma (109), Dolores (1), San Juan (2). Deaths due to Covid: Montezuma (2), Deaths among cases: LaPlata (2), Montezuma (1), sjbpublichealth.org, montezumacounty.org
Colorado COVID-19 totals: 49,436 cases, 6,572 hospitalized, 1,852 deaths among cases, 1,729 deaths due to COVID-19, 568,127 tested, 509 outbreaks, colorado.gov
15 year-old, Durango, Colorado girl, Jaden Forquer is missing since 2 pm, August 5. Description: brown hair, brown eyes, 5'7-5'8, 145-155 lbs, last told a friend that she was in a vehicle up by Denver heading towards Wyoming. Please contact local law enforcement with any information.

Moose & More received a Region 9 loan to start five years ago. The company had just made its last payment, when it was forced to close, but didn’t melt away, thanks to another Region 9 loan.

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BRENT McWHIRTER WAS GEARING UP FOR THE SPRING BIKING SEASON IN MONTEZUMA COUNTY WHEN HE WAS FORCED TO CLOSE HIS CORTEZ ICE CREAM AND CANDY SHOP WITH THE ARRIVAL OF THE CORONAVIRUS IN MARCH. AND ALTHOUGH SEVEN WEEKS OF PROFITS MELTED AWAY, HE WAS ABLE TO KEEP HIS BUSINESS CHURNING THANKS TO AN EMERGENCY LOAN FROM THE REGION 9 SOUTHWEST ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT. YOU'RE WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK, BROUGHT TO YOU BY ALPENGLOW PROPERTIES. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE. BRENT McWHIRTER AND HIS WIFE, RACHEL, WERE LOOKING FORWARD TO A BUSY SPRING AND SUMMER SEASON AT MOOSE AND MORE, AN ICE CREAM AND CANDY SHOP ON MAIN STREET IN CORTEZ, TO GENERATE THE  REVENUES THEY WOULD NEED TO SUSTAIN THEIR BUSINESS THROUGH THE FOLLOWING WINTER. IN FACT, THEY HAD JUST MADE THE LAST PAYMENT ON THE REGION 9 BUSINESS LOAN THEY USED TO OPEN THEIR SHOP FIVE YEARS AGO WHEN COLORADO GOVERNOR JARED POLIS ISSUED HIS CLOSURE ORDERS TO LIMIT THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS.


WE WERE ACTUALLY DOING REALLY WELL START OF LAST YEAR, AND THEN WITH COVID, WE CLOSED FOR SEVEN WEEKS, AND IT WAS A HARD TIME TO CLOSE, BECAUSE IT WAS RIGHT WHEN SPRING BREAK WAS STARTING, WHICH IS WHEN WE HAVE OUR FIRST KIND OF INFLUX FROM THE WINTER OF PEOPLE COMING INTO THE AREA AND SPENDING MONEY HERE. McWHIRTER IS ONE OF THREE DOZEN BUSINESS OWNERS WHO BENEFITED FROM THE DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT'S EMERGENCY LOAN PROGRAM THIS SPRING. THE PROGRAM ASSISTED 36 BUSINESSES AND SAVED 128 JOBS IN SOUTHWEST COLORADO WITH MORE THAN 226 THOUSAND DOLLARS IN NO- AND LOW-INTEREST LOANS IN MARCH AND APRIL. REVENUES FOR THE LOANS INCLUDED UNENCUMBERED FUNDS FROM REGION 9'S REVOLVING LOAN FUND, IT'S BUSINESS SUPPORT FUND AND CONTRIBUTIONS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS. MONTEZUMA COUNTY CONTRIBUTED A HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS TO THE EFFORT. IN ADDITION, REGION 9 WAIVED PRINCIPAL AND INTEREST CHARGES ON EXISTING BUSINESS LOANS FOR APRIL AND MAY. REGION 9 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LAURA LEWIS MARCHINO SAID THE LOAN FUNDS TARGETED BUSINESSES AND WORKERS THAT DIDN'T QUALIFY FOR PAYROLL PROTECTION LOANS FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.


WE LOOKED AT BUSINESSES THAT HAD A PLAN TO REOPEN. WE LOOKED AT BUSINESSES THAT WERE AT LEAST PROFITABLY PROFITABLE BEFORE COVID, BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, IF THEY WERE ALREADY REALLY STRUGGLING, WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO SAVE THEM. AND THOSE WERE THE TOUGH DECISIONS. BUT IF THEY WERE DOING GREAT, AND THEN THEY HAD TO CLOSE, YOU KNOW, OF COURSE WE KNOW THAT THEY WANT TO REOPEN. McWHIRTER SAID THE REGION 9 EMERGENCY LOAN NOT ONLY HELPED THEM GET READY TO REOPEN SAFELY, BUT MOST LIKELY WILL HELP CARRY THEM THROUGH THE SLOWER WINTER MONTHS AHEAD.IT GAVE US TIME TO COME UP WITH THE PLAN THAT WE NEEDED TO, TO DO THIS, THE RIGHT WAY TO REOPEN SAFELY. AND IT ALSO GAVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO PAY SOME OF OUR BILLS THAT WE HAD WITHOUT HAVING TO PUSH THEM OFF TO THE FUTURE, WHERE WE'D GET HIT WITH EVEN MORE EXPENSES ONCE WE ARE BACK OPEN. SO IT ALLOWED US TO PAY RENT. IT ALLOWED US TO PAY FOR OUR UTILITIES AND FOR NEW EQUIPMENT THAT WE NEEDED TO REOPEN. WE HAD TO GET ALL NEW PRODUCT IN TO MAKE EVERYTHING, 'CAUSE WE HAD SOLD OUT OF EVERYTHING BEFORE WE CLOSED, AND IT ALSO ALLOWED US TO GET SOME PPE, AND IT ALSO ALLOWED US TO PUT UP A PLEXIGLASS SHIELD FOR OUR EMPLOYEES AND COME UP WITH THE RIGHT METHOD TO DO THIS THE RIGHT WAY. McWHIRTER HAS CRAFTED MORE THAN A HUNDRED FLAVORS OF ICE CREAM DURING HIS FIVE YEARS IN BUSINESS WITH UNUSUAL COMBINATIONS LIKE CARDAMOM AND ORANGE OR BLUE-CORNBREAD HONEY ICE CREAM, A LOCAL FAN FAVORITE. IT'S MADE FROM BLUE CORN GROWN AND MILLED BY THE UTE MOUNTAIN UTE INDIAN TRIBE AND LOCAL WILD HONEY FROM LEWIS, COLORADO. RACHEL MAKES THE ARTISANAL CHOCOLATES AND CARAMEL POPCORN MADE WITH LOCAL HONEY AND MOLASSES. YOU CAN DROP BY TO EXPLORE HIS MENU OF ICE CREAMS FROM NOON TO 9 P.M. AT 12 EAST MAIN STREET IN CORTEZ. TO ORDER ONLINE FOR CURBSIDE PICK UP, VISIT MOOSE AND MORE DOT COM. I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE FOR THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK.

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