Grant to provide capital to bolster New Jersey Community Capital and African American Chamber of Commerce’s new initiative supporting minority-owned small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Brunswick, NJ | May 18, 2021 – Wells Fargo has awarded New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) and the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey a $2.5 million grant for the Equitable Small Business Initiative, a program launched to increase access to capital and financial relief for Black and minority-owned small businesses in New Jersey. The funding is a part of Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund (OFB) program, a nationwide small business recovery effort directing $400 million in new funding to organizations to help underserved small businesses recover and rebuild from the COVID-19 resiliency efforts.
“Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund is another avenue of support and enlists the expertise of CDFIs to urgently help diverse entrepreneurs recover and preserve the jobs they provide in their communities,” said Wanda Saez, senior vice president of Social Impact and Sustainability. “The funding will provide much needed access to capital with increased equity in resources and technical assistance for local businesses who are the backbone of our local economies and neighborhoods.”
The Open for Business Fund is as an approximately $420 million small business recovery effort across the U.S. to help entrepreneurs recover and rebuild. The initiative focuses on increasing access to capital, technical expertise, and long-term resiliency programs especially for racially and ethnically diverse small business owners who have been hard hit by COVID-19. Through April, the fund is already projected to reach 26,000 small businesses helping entrepreneurs keep roughly 75,000 jobs.
The Equitable Small Business Initiative provides both immediate capital and technical assistance, including working capital loans, capacity building and administrative support to Black and small businesses most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as long-term financial resources to sustain and grow these vital catalysts of local economies. The partnership is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a community development financial institution (CDFI) and a New Jersey-based Chamber of Commerce.
“We are proud to continue our long-standing partnership with Wells Fargo to enhance the lending ecosystem for diverse-owned small businesses across New Jersey,” said Wayne Meyer, President of NJCC. “The pandemic continues to highlight the historical challenges Black and Latinx entrepreneurs and small business owners face when trying to access equitable financing and business supports. The Equitable Small Business Initiative seeks to reverse this trend, grow vibrant local businesses, and generate wealth for their owners and communities.”
“President Obama said, no one is successful alone. Wells Fargo has been an integral part of the success of the AACCNJ since our inception. Today’s investment will strengthen our ability to advance and sustain our mission while also enabling us to impact small businesses through technical supportive services and needed capital”, said John E. Harmon, Sr., IOM, Founder, President & CEO, AACCNJ.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is a community-based financial services company. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,200 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs and the internet (wellsfargo.com). Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.
About New Jersey Community Capital
New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) is a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) that provides an innovative toolkit of financial products, programs and services to advance equity and opportunity in underserved communities. NJCC supports the preservation and development of affordable housing and sustainable community development ventures that increase jobs, improve education and strengthen neighborhoods to ensure that communities can thrive. To learn more, visit www.newjerseycommunitycapital.org and Twitter: @NJCLF.