Wells Fargo & Company has announced grants and loans totaling $13 million to nineteen community development financial institutions (CDFIs) working to better serve small businesses in their communities.
Awarded through the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital program, a collaboration between Wells Fargo and the Opportunity Finance Network, the funding includes capital that will be loaned by the nonprofit CDFIs to small business owners who may not qualify for traditional financing. With the latest round of grants and loans, Wells Fargo has exceeded its $75 million commitment in support of the program but has announced that the program will continue into 2020 with an additional commitment of $100 million from the Wells Fargo Foundation.
The latest recipients include both urban and rural CDFIs, including Grameen America in New York City; the Valley Small Business Development Corporation in Fresno, California; Women's Economic Ventures in Santa Barbara; Southwest Georgia United Empowerment Zone in Cordele, Georgia; the Rural Investment Corporation in Lyons, Nebraska; the Women's Opportunities Resource Center in Philadelphia; and Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce in Beaufort, South Carolina.
"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, the company's director of community relations. "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."
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