Wells Fargo donates grant to help small businesses struggling during COVID-19 pandemic with low-interest loans and consulting services
Wells Fargo has awarded Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) a $5 million grant to help support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prestamos CDFI, the lending division of CPLC, will award the funds provided by the Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund Program to racially and ethnically diverse small businesses in Marico
pa and Pima counties. Some of the funds also will be used to support small businesse
s in Clark and Washoe counties in Nevada as well as Los Angeles.
CPLC President and Chief Executive Officer David Adame said in a press release these funds allow the organization to provide small businesses with low-interest loans and consulting services. In particular, Prestamos CDFI will use the funds to address the lack of access to affordable capital many small businesses face.
“We understand the multiple challenges small business owners are facing to keep their doors open, create local jobs and, in many cases, offer a lifeline to communities in need across the southwestern United States,” his statement said.
Since launched in 2020, Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund intends to pump about $400 million into the small business recovery efforts across the U.S. It has deployed more than $84 million in philanthropic capital to Community Development Financial Institutions, which has helped an estimated 16,000 struggling small businesses and helped keep in place 50,000 small business jobs.
This latest grant comes on the heels of another $5 million gift CPLC received in December from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, former wife of Amazon President and CEO Jeff Bezos.
Those funds also are being used to infuse crucial capital into Latino and other underserved communities through Prestamos CDFI.
“CPLC Prestamos exists to ensure that vital capital resources are invested in low-income communities of color, said José Martínez, president of Prestamos CDFI. “We are committed to driving economic empowerment to address racial inequities and build wealth in our communities.”
The $5 million award is part of Scott’s commitment to help people in dire need due to the health and economic crisis caused by the pandemic. Scott has given more than $4 billion collectively to nearly 400 organizations during the past year.
Explaining her motivation in a blog, Scott wrote: “This pandemic has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling. Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires.”