Wells Fargo launches $400 million small business recovery effort

First major bank to donate PPP processing fees to help minority-owned small business

Wells Fargo launches $400 million small business recovery effort
As part of the first phase of the Wells Fargo’s new Open for Business Fund, the application is now open for Community Development Financial Institutions supporting diverse businesses (Source: Observer File Photo)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Wells Fargo unveiled today details about an approximately $400 million effort to help small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to keep their doors open, keep employees and rebuild.

Through Wells Fargo’s new Open For Business Fund, the company will engage nonprofit organizations to provide capital, technical support and resiliency programs to small businesses, especially those that are minority-owned.

“By donating approximately $400 million in processing fees to assist small businesses in need, Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund creates opportunities for near-term access to capital and addresses the road ahead to meaningful economic recovery, especially for Black and African American entrepreneurs and other minority-owned businesses,” said Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf. “Wells Fargo is committed to helping small businesses impacted by COVID-19 stay open and get back to growth.”

Through June 30, Wells Fargo funded loans under the PPP agreement totaling at about $10.1 billion. Given the federal government’s extension of PPP loans, Wells Fargo will also reopen its application process to eligible customers.

Nonprofits who serve businesses owned by racially and ethnically underrepresented individuals that focus on lending to their businesses are eligible to apply to the grant’s the initial cycle.

Initial grants will issue $28 million to Community Development Financial Institutions, especially those aimed at empowering Black and African-owned small business, which are closing at nearly twice the rate in the industry, according to the Nation Bureau of Economic research.

Beginning today, Wells Fargo will be receiving applications through Aug. 7, 2020. Nonprofits can learn about the specifics on their web page.

Wells Fargo has already awarded 400 grants to nonprofits serving small businesses, totaling to more than $25 million since March 2020.

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