Wells Fargo recently announced it will donate approximately $400 million in processing fees from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support small businesses through a new Open for Business Fund.
This recovery effort stems from the announcement Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf made in April regarding Wells Fargo donating all of its PPP processing fees back to nonprofits serving the small business community.
According to a news release, this new fund will engage nonprofits serving diverse small businesses in three areas: capital, technical assistance, and long-term recovery/resiliency.
“By donating approximately $400 million in processing fees to assist small businesses in need, Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund creates opportunities for near-term access to capital and addresses the road ahead to meaningful economic recovery, especially for Black and African American entrepreneurs and other minority-owned businesses,” Scharf said in a news release. “Wells Fargo is committed to helping small businesses impacted by COVID-19 stay open and get back to growth.”
The Open for Business Fund’s initial grants will allocate $28 million to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) aimed at empowering Black and African American-owned small businesses.
“Black businesses have faced the largest shutdown of any diverse group in the country,” said Ron Busby, Sr., CEO of U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., in a news release. “We lost 41 percent, or 450,000 Black-owned small businesses, in this pandemic so far and all of those businesses provided jobs so we need to accelerate an economic agenda that helps them recover. The funding that Wells Fargo is putting back into Black businesses and other minority-owned small businesses across the country is truly going to be appreciated and will give the kick start entrepreneurs need to continue and grow.”
As part of the first phase of the Wells Fargo’s new Open for Business Fund, the application is now open for CDFIs supporting diverse businesses. Seattle-area CDFIs can use these funds to provide access to capital to help small businesses reopen or stay open and sustain jobs.