Wells Fargo Gives $20 Million That Could Benefit Black Small Businesses In Atlanta

Wells Fargo Gives $20 Million That Could Benefit Black Small Businesses In Atlanta

Aiming to help primarily Black small businesses build assets and make physical upgrades, Wells Fargo is donating to support entrepreneurs in Atlanta.
According to a news release, the bank’s funding program will center mainly on Black and diverse-owned businesses negatively affected by COVID. The banking giant reported the funding would consist of grants and loans dispersed by United Way of Greater Atlanta and Invest Atlanta.
The donation comes from the Wells Fargo Open For Business Fund, a roughly $420 million fund that the firm created in July 2020 to help small businesses remain open during the pandemic. According to the bank, the drive will be focused on these four initiatives per the news release:
  • “Small Business Loan Fund — Low-cost loans, capped at an interest rate of 3%, are designated to help small businesses grow ownership of tangible assets.”
  • “Asset Building Assistance — Working with nonprofit organizations, including in south and west Atlanta, this effort will enlist experts to craft asset-building strategies for roughly 200 small businesses, such as moving from renting or leasing commercial space to owning it.:
  • “Façade Improvement Grants — Grants of up to $50,000 for exterior improvements for small businesses that give a 20% match to their project.”
  • “Commercial Ownership Growth — Capital to help small business owners facing rising rental costs, including down payment assistance grants of up to $200,000 to purchase commercial real estate.

“As a company, we have a commitment to make the communities where we operate stronger, and to do it at a very local level,” said Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf.

“Making a large donation in Atlanta — one of the largest donations we’ve made from the Open for Business Fund — was important to us. We know it will make a difference for small business owners here,” he concluded.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens added these statements, “This Wells Fargo grant program gives small business owners the opportunity to grow and expand by owning more of their own assets—which can be a game-changer for the financial health of any business. As a former small business owner, I understand the vital role of small businesses in Atlanta’s economy and community, and we are excited to announce this program in the first few weeks of our new administration.”