Two new Boulder brewers were among the more than 1,000 companies that benefitted from a record Small Business Administration lending spree in Colorado this year.

Fate Ale House & Brewing and Sanitas Brewing Co. LLC received SBA loans for undisclosed amounts through Colorado Lending Source. The Denver-based nonprofit group focuses on small businesses and economic development.

In all, the federal SBA approved a record $622.5 million in loans in Colorado for fiscal year 2013, an 11.5 percent increase over fiscal year 2012.

Fate Ale House and Sanitas Brewing received funds through the SBA's 7(a) loan program, which mostly is used to help new companies open their doors. The 7(a) loan program made up the bulk of the SBA lending in the Boulder Valley and in Colorado.

Sanitas opened a tap room and patio at the end of August at 3550 Frontier Ave. The brewer partners with McDevitt Taco Supply – the Pearl Street taco cart folks – to offer up taco menu offerings with their beer. Fate opened back in January with food and beer in the remodeled restaurant space at 1600 38th St. just east of the Lofts at Pelaton in Boulder.

Colorado Lending Source funded 25 loan projects in Boulder and Broomfield counties in fiscal year 2013. The $30.3 million lent to those projects created an estimated 218 jobs in the region.

Juniper Books LLC in Boulder was another SBA loan beneficiary, a company that creates custom book bindings.

Colorado's economy is doing so well that the SBA plans to lend a similar amount of money to new companies in fiscal year 2014, according to Greg Lopez, Colorado district director of the Small Business Administration office in Denver.

In honor of the recently celebrated Veteran's Day, Colorado Lending Source said it approved $37.7 million in loans to veteran-owned small businesses in Colorado through the SBA 504 loan-refinancing program. In all, veteran-owned businesses across the state received a record $79 million in SBA funding.



Another rebound sign

Mile High Banks continues to do well since being bought and recapitalized in 2012 by parent Strategic Growth Bancorp in El Paso, Texas.

The Longmont-based bank reported net income of $5.2 million from January to September of this year, according to its Uniform Bank Performance Report, a regulatory report used by the Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council to help monitor stability of banks across the nation.

Mile High Banks' positive income for the first nine months is a 658 percent increase from the net loss of $940,000 that it posted for the same period in 2012.

Mile High Banks president Ken McCormick wasn't immediately available for comment about the bank's continued growth. However, McCormick said a couple of months ago that the bank has grown to more than 100 employees from about 80 and plans to open new branches in Colorado in early 2014. The bank has about $763 million in assets.

Mile High Banks' former parent Big Sandy Holding Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012, opening the door to Strategic Growth, which bought the bank's stock for $5.5 million and recapitalized it for $90 million, according to bankruptcy reports filed at the time.


Just in time for holidays

Wells Fargo Bank economists are predicting that consumer spending will increase 3.7 percent this holiday season compared with holiday spending in 2012 – solid but not enough to light Rudolph's red nose.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) has 14 branches in Boulder and Broomfield counties. Economists made the prediction in a 2013 holiday outlook report released Nov. 18. Senior economist Eugenio Aleman suggested that national trends would affect communities similarly around the United States, including those in Boulder and Broomfield counties.

Consumers will remain hesitant to increase their credit card debt this holiday season, Wells Fargo said in the report. Savvy shoppers will look for deals, including online deals, before making purchases.

The average holiday shopper will spend $737.95 this holiday season. The prediction is about 2 percent lower than last year's average spend of $752.24.

Wells Fargo economists' predictions are in line with the National Retail Federation, which is projecting a 3.9 percent increase in consumer spending, with 39.5 percent of those purchases expected to be made online. An estimated 38.8 percent of all consumer holiday shopping was done online in 2012.

So if you're the type of person who runs out to shop right after eating the Thanksgiving turkey, you probably can relax a little bit. Fire up the iPad or the computer and browse to your heart's content.

Beth Potter can be reached at 303-630-1944 or bpotter@bcbr.com.