Wells Fargo makes $1.5M donation for small business loans
Richmond-area minority- and woman-owned businesses can apply for up to $250K each in loans
Wells Fargo & Co., Virginia’s third-largest bank by 2019 deposits, announced Thursday it has donated $1.5 million to Richmond-based nonprofit Virginia Community Capital (VCC) to help local minority and/or woman-owned small businesses stay open and save jobs amid the pandemic.
During the next two years, the VCC will disburse $1 million of the funding in small business loans across the Richmond region. Eligible businesses can apply for loans of $50,000 to $250,000 with 3% interest, which can be used toward business acquisition, debt refinancing, equipment financing, owner-occupied real estate and working capital lines of credit.
Businesses located in the Richmond region that are minority and/or woman-owned and that have been in operation for at least 18 months can apply.
The funding will also support credit enhancements and business consulting services. The remaining funding will be allocated to interest and payment forgiveness to small and minority-owned businesses, lending to COVID-19-impacted organizations and technical assistance.
“The Open for Business Fund enlists the care and expertise of organizations like VCC to urgently assist the small business community with the capital and technical assistance needed to preserve jobs throughout Richmond.” Connie Smith of Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund said in a statement “By working with these organizations and other CDFIs [Community Development Financial Institutions Fund], we can ensure that local minority-owned small businesses receive the resources necessary to navigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 at this critical time.”
The VCC grant is part of Wells Fargo’s $400 million Open for Business Fund program, which focuses on increasing access to capital, technical assistance and recovery programs for small businesses.
“Virginia Community Capital and our family of social enterprises believe equitable access to capital and knowledge for all is right and good, and this funding allows us to get straight to work supporting minority and women-owned small businesses,” Wayne Waldrop, president of VCC lending and community innovation, said in a statement. “We are incredibly thankful to Wells Fargo for their trust in our team to deploy these funds and support services to the organizations in Virginia that need it most.”
Melody Short, co-founder of the Jackson Ward Collective and Richmond Night Market, will lead the VCC effort.