WELLS FARGO: Wells Fargo Sparks Diverse Small Business Growth Across U.S. by Fulfilling $75 Million Lending and Grant Commitment

Wells Fargo issued the following announcement on Dec. 6.

Additional $100 million already pledged to continue support; latest funding serves rural and urban communities in Nebraska, California, New York and more.

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced it has exceeded its initial $75 million commitment for the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital program by awarding $13 million in lending capital and grants to 19 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in the latest round of the program. The CDFIs, which are nonprofit financial institutions, use the funds to deliver affordable financial products to diverse small business owners who do not typically have access to conventional financing.

Wells Fargo previously announced that the program will continue at least into 2020 through an additional $100 million commitment from the Wells Fargo Foundation, based on the program’s early success.

With the latest round of funding, the program aims to be even more inclusive of rural communities in addition to urban neighborhoods. Organizations serving rural counties in South Carolina, Maryland, Nebraska, Georgia and California will receive funding, as well as CDFIs serving urban centers such as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York and Chicago.

“Rural small businesses and their diverse owners have different challenges than their urban counterparts, and we want to be part of a solution that helps remove those obstacles to growth,” said Mike Rizer, director of Community Relations at Wells Fargo. “The range of geographies served by these awardees demonstrates Wells Fargo’s commitment to supporting communities across the country, regardless of our retail presence. Small business owners who would not otherwise have access to the resources needed to start or grow their businesses will now have resources through the CDFIs we are supporting.”

The latest Diverse Community Capital recipients are:

Valley Small Business Development Corporation – Fresno, California

Women’s Economic Ventures – Santa Barbara, California

Colorado Enterprise Fund – Denver

First State Community Loan Fund – Wilmington, Delaware

City First Enterprises – Washington, D.C.

Washington Area Community Investment Fund – Washington, D.C.

Southwest Georgia United Empowerment Zone – Cordele, Georgia

Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Micro Finance Group – Chicago

Maryland Capital Enterprises – Salisbury, Maryland

Northwest Minnesota Foundation – Bemidji, Minnesota

Native360 Loan Fund – Grand Island, Nebraska

Rural Investment Corporation – Lyons, Nebraska

Excelsior Growth Fund – Albany, New York

Grameen America – New York, New York

The Enterprise Center Capital Corporation – Philadelphia

West Philadelphia Financial Services Institution – Philadelphia

Women’s Opportunities Resource Center – Philadelphia

Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce – Beaufort, South Carolina

BCL of Texas – Austin, Texas

The Diverse Community Capital program is a collaboration between Wells Fargo and Opportunity Finance Network, a national network of CDFIs. Opportunity Finance Network offers a social capital component of the program, which focuses on helping CDFIs grow stronger through activities including in-person networking, mentorship, consulting and peer learning.

According to Opportunity Finance Network, Diverse Community Capital awardees have closed more than $391 million through more than 8,000 loans to diverse small business clients. Diverse small businesses that received loans from awardee CDFIs have retained more than 21,000 jobs and created more than 15,000 jobs as a result of accessing the capital and development services they needed.

Original source can be found here.

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