SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) today announced it is providing $22.3 million in lending capital and grants to 15 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) selected for round one of the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business®: Diverse Community Capital program. CDFIs are private, nonprofit financial institutions that assist underserved populations. The three-year Diverse Community Capital (DCC) program will provide a total of $75 million in lending and grant capital over six selection rounds to CDFIs that support diverse-owned small businesses. CDFIs interested in the program’s second round can submit an interest form through June 1.
The program launched in November 2015 by providing $4.45 million in loan and grant funds to three CDFIs and encouraging others to submit interest forms for the program’s first official round. More than 100 CDFIs responded, and Wells Fargo will distribute a total of $5.67 million in grants and $16.67 million in lending capital to the 15 CDFIs selected.
“The Diverse Community Capital program is one of many ways Wells Fargo demonstrates its commitment to helping small businesses start, stabilize, and grow, and we’re excited that CDFIs are showing such interest in the program,” said Mike Rizer, Wells Fargo’s head of Community Relations. “CDFIs are vital to the success of many small businesses and the additional capital, technical assistance and other support these 15 CDFIs will be able to provide to the diverse-owned small businesses in their communities will help make those businesses, and ultimately, our communities, even stronger.”
The DCC program is a component of Wells Fargo’s four-point plan, which seeks to address challenges that diverse small business owners face when starting or growing businesses. The program is a collaboration between Wells Fargo and Opportunity Finance Network, a national network of CDFIs.
Round One Grant and Lending Capital Recipients
The round one DCC recipients are:
- Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, Inc. (ACE) – Atlanta, Georgia
- Albina Opportunities Corporation - Portland, Oregon
- Bridgeway Capital, Inc. - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Community Investment Corporation (CIC) - Chicago, Illinois
- CommunityWorks - Greenville, South Carolina
- Craft3 - Ilwaco, Washington
- ECDC Enterprise Development Group - Arlington, Virginia
- Forward Community Investments, Inc. - Madison, Wisconsin
- Metropolitan Economic Development Association (Meda) - Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Montana & Idaho Community Development Corporation - Missoula, Montana
- Natural Capital Investment Fund, Inc. (NCIF) – Shepherdstown, West Virginia
- Pacific Community Ventures - San Francisco, California
- Pathway Lending - Nashville, Tennessee
- The Support Center - Raleigh, North Carolina
- WWBIC, The Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Each CDFI focuses on providing loans, technical training and business development resources that create and sustain jobs and wealth in traditionally underserved communities and populations.
How CDFIs make a difference: A small-town sheep farmer’s business goes national
James Joyner is a disabled African-American U.S. Army veteran whose work with DCC recipient Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF) transformed his family’s farm from a labor of love to a profitable enterprise. Fulfilling a promise to his parents to keep Joyner Farm in the family following their deaths, Joyner returned home to Faison, North Carolina and decided to raise sheep — a new venture for the farm, and for Joyner. He turned to NCIF for help.
The CDFI focuses on helping entrepreneurs and enterprises that are good stewards of natural resources. NCIF helped Joyner develop financial projections for his business and connected him with an innovative solar farm company that helps market his lamb and allows him additional pasture land for grazing. NCIF eventually made a loan that helped Joyner expand his flock, upgrade pastures and fencing, and build a lambing shed for shelter during bad weather. Today, Joyner Farm is profitable, and Joyner sells his grass-fed, antibiotic-free lamb to a well-known national organic and natural foods grocery chain.
“NCIF didn’t just loan me money,” said Joyner. “They took extra time, made an extra effort to help me with different aspects of my business which let me know the success of my business is just as important to them as it is to me.”
“We’re fortunate to work with good businesses with good prospects, but like James, they simply need to develop a track record so they can qualify for traditional financing,” said Rick Larson, senior vice president of NCIF. “The DCC program provides critical support so we can help more small business owners get to that point.”
NCIF is receiving $1.6 million in lending and grant capital from Wells Fargo during round one of the DCC program. They and each of the DCC recipients will help business owners like Joyner through various lending and support initiatives. Visit Wells Fargo Stories to learn about more small business owners who benefited from the support of CDFIs.
Interest forms now being accepted for second round
Wells Fargo is accepting interest forms for round two of the DCC program through June 1st. CDFIs can visit www.wellsfargo.com/cdfi to learn more about the program’s guidelines and to access the online interest form. In addition to lending and/or grant capital, the program also offers CDFIs support known as social capital. Offered through Opportunity Finance Network, this component focuses on activities such as mentorship, peer learning, marketing/outreach, and guidance on tailored products.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.8 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,800 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 269,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 30 on Fortune’s 2015 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo donated $281.3 million to 16,300 nonprofits in 2015 and team members volunteered 1.8 million hours serving their communities. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.
Wells Fargo serves approximately 3 million small business owners across the United States and loans more money to America’s small businesses than any other bank (2002-2014 CRA government data). To help more small businesses achieve financial success, in 2014 Wells Fargo introduced Wells Fargo Works for Small Business® – a broad initiative to deliver resources, guidance and services for business owners – and a goal to extend $100 billion in new lending to small businesses by 2018.