Company collaborates with Community Reinvestment Fund, USA to continue the support of small business recovery from the pandemic
Wells Fargo announces the Small Business Resource Navigator, an online portal helping connect small business owners to potential financing options and technical assistance through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) across the country. The portal was launched in collaboration with the non-profit Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, and was made possible by the Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund. By visiting bizresourcenavigator website and completing a short questionnaire, small businesses may be connected to CDFIs or business advisory resources in their area.
“As the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic persist, small businesses continue to need our help,” said Derek Ellington, head of Small Business at Wells Fargo. “We see a lot of value in supporting a resource like this to help small businesses connect to as many options as possible. The Small Business Resource Navigator connects small business owners to potential capital assistance provided by a CDFI who could help meet their needs, and serves as a major time saver for busy entrepreneurs allowing them to stay focused on their business.”
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Since 2015, Wells Fargo has provided more than $500 million in philanthropic grants and investments to CDFIs that help underserved small businesses. Ellington added, “We’ve long understood the impact of CDFIs. They are an important part of our financial ecosystem embedded in communities across America providing small businesses in need with capital and other assistance they may not otherwise qualify for through traditional financing. We are proud to expand our support of the work CDFIs do by helping route small businesses to these vital organizations for lending, technical assistance and support.”
“Wells Fargo has been dedicated to helping small businesses for many years, but in particular, getting them through the current environment,” says Patrick Davis, SVP of Strategy with Community Reinvestment Fund, USA. “This support is extremely timely as it helps connect small businesses with CDFIs who can potentially provide them access to funding and resources that will help owners get back on their feet. CDFIs are an important part of the financial ecosystem and play a critical role in deploying capital to small businesses with a history of underrepresentation, and it’s great to see that Wells Fargo is so committed to the success of small business across the U.S.”
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In 2020, Wells Fargo announced the Open for Business Fund, a roughly $420 million small business relief effort focused on small businesses hardest hit by COVID-19, including Black, African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, women and many others. Grants were awarded to more than 235 CDFIs and nonprofits serving small businesses across the U.S. The Open for Business Fund is estimated to serve more than 152,000 small businesses and preserve or create more than 255,000 jobs. Roughly 85% of small businesses served by Open for Business Fund grantees are projected to reach racially and ethnically diverse entrepreneurs.
Ann Finnegan, president of NDC Community Impact Loan Fund, an Open for Business Fund grant recipient and participating CDFI on the Small Business Resource Navigator network says, “We are excited for the opportunity to connect with more small businesses in need. This platform is an important tool to support our lending mission to minority and women-owned small businesses and non-profits.”
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