The bank’s Open for Business Fund grant to LISC LA will provide a combination of loans and grants to drive long-term growth

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 15, 2022 /3BL Media/ — Wells Fargo today announced a $20 million donation to help small business owners in Los Angeles own more of their business assets, including property and equipment. LISC LA (Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Los Angeles) will distribute the funding in the form of a mix of grants and long-term loan repayment option in Los Angeles County, with a focus on small businesses run by diverse people who have always been underfunded.

The donation is from Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund, an approximately $420 million fund the company established in July 2020 to help small businesses stay open during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund has focused on racially and ethnically diverse small businesses across the United States, which have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The fund was created from the gross processing fees Wells Fargo collected for administering Paycheck Protection Program loans in 2020. Wells Fargo worked with community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and local nonprofit organizations across the country to distribute funds.

“Fostering an inclusive economic recovery and helping small businesses persevere in the wake of COVID-19 is a priority for us,” said Charlie Scharf, CEO of Wells Fargo. “As a company, we are committed to strengthening the communities where we operate and to doing so at a very local level. Today’s donation is one of the largest we’ve made through the Open for Business fund, and we know it will make a difference for small business owners here in Los Angeles.

“Small businesses are the beating heart of our economy, which is why we are committed to helping them recover from the pandemic and build back stronger,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Community partners like Wells Fargo are essential to this work and I look forward to seeing the difference this program will make for small businesses in our city. »

“When the pandemic hit two years ago, our small businesses were among the first to be affected. Some of our most beloved stores and restaurants have been forced to adapt to our new reality of remote shopping and outdoor dining. Some have been forced to close their doors permanently. This commitment to help support local businesses and small businesses across Los Angeles will provide critical assistance to businesses in need,” said Congresswoman Karen Bass. “The funds from the program will help existing small businesses acquire assets such as goods, equipment or technology, which will promote greater financial independence and help mitigate the effects of future economic shocks, which is particularly important then. as we recover from this pandemic. I will always stand by the small businesses in this city. They are absolutely essential to the success of our city, and I will always do everything I can to ensure that they thrive.

COVID-19 continues to create major challenges and this investment couldn’t come at a better time

LISC LA, in collaboration with Inclusive Action for the City (IAC), will administer the $20 million grant in four ways:

  • Acquisition assistance: 0% interest, repayable amount up to $500,000 per small business owner to assist with the purchase of property in the business districts.
  • Growth capital: Growth capital of up to $250,000 with longer than usual repayment terms, to help small businesses bridge the “friends and family” financing gap and acquire key assets such as equipment and technology.
  • Microcredits: Low-cost micro-loans up to $30,000 with interest rates capped at 3% to purchase assets.
  • Subsidies : Cash grants of up to $5,000 for approximately 150 small businesses with annual sales of $300,000 or less, to help small businesses become successful again.

“The Open for Business Fund program has helped us keep hope for the future,” said Tony Jolly, co-owner with Tina Amin of Hot & Cool Café in Leimert Park, who worked with LISC LA on a previous Open for Business Fund. to agree. “We have a promising business that we can take forward and new ideas to strengthen the community. In spaces like ours, connections lead to community action.

Jolly and Amin aim to grow their business and create jobs in the community by starting a mobile coffee cart program for formerly incarcerated people to learn entrepreneurial skills.

“While diverse small businesses are the lifeblood of the Los Angeles economy, many remain undercapitalized and lack the support network for business growth,” said Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, executive director of LISC LA. “This incredibly generous donation from Wells Fargo will help LISC LA continue our efforts to close the racial wealth and opportunity gaps in our community and expand our work to directly invest in diverse entrepreneurs and provide them with the necessary support they don’t. receive so often not. .”

Actor Anthony Anderson was on hand for the announcement and spoke of the local impact: “As someone whose father owned small businesses in Compton, I know firsthand how difficult it is to run a small business. The Open for Business fund will help these businesses tremendously and help more dollars stay in our communities. »

Los Angeles small business owners who want to learn more about the program

Today’s Open for Business Fund grant builds on the bank’s continued support to advance economic opportunities for small businesses in Los Angeles, including recent collaborations with organizations such as Genesis LA, Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation and Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, among others. Donations to these entities support programs that inspire and support future entrepreneurs.

Nationally, Open for Business fund recipients are estimated to reach more than 152,000 small business owners, helping to sustain more than 255,000 jobs. Approximately 85% of small businesses served by recipients are expected to be Black, African American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American small business owners. Wells Fargo also offers a Small Business Resource Center where entrepreneurs can explore business planning, financing considerations and practical advice.

About Wells FargoWells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a leading financial services company with approximately $1.9 trillion in assets, proudly serving one in three American households and more than 10% of small businesses in United States, and is the primary mid-market provider of banking services in the United States. We offer a diverse set of banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance services, through our four reportable operating segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth Management Banking. & Investment management. Wells Fargo ranked No. 37 in Fortune’s 2021 ranking of America’s largest companies. In the communities we serve, the company focuses its social impact on building a sustainable and inclusive future for all by supporting housing affordability, small business growth, financial health and a low-carbon economy. carbon. Wells Fargo news, insights and insights are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.