Today, Wells Fargo is announcing the Small Business Resource Navigator, an online portal helping small business owners access potential financing options and technical assistance through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) across the country.
The portal was launched in conjunction with the non-profit Community Reinvestment Fund in the United States, and was made possible by the Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund. By visiting www.bizresourcenavigator.com and completing a short questionnaire, small businesses can be connected to CDFIs or business counseling resources in their area.
“As the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic persist, small businesses continue to need our help,” said Derek Ellington, head of small business at Wells Fargo. “We see a lot of value in supporting a resource like this to help small businesses connect to as many options as possible. The Small Business Resource Navigator connects small business owners to potential capital assistance provided by a CDFI that could help meet their needs, and is a major time saver for busy entrepreneurs, allowing them to stay focused on their business.
Since 2015, Wells Fargo has provided more than $500 million in grants and philanthropic investments to CDFIs that help underserved small businesses. Ellington added, “We have long understood the impact of CDFIs. They are an important part of our integrated financial ecosystem in communities across America, providing small businesses in need with capital and other assistance they may not otherwise be entitled to through a traditional financing. We are proud to extend our support for the work CDFIs do by helping to connect small businesses to these vital organizations for loans, technical assistance and support.
“Wells Fargo has been dedicated to helping small businesses for many years, but in particular, helping them through today’s environment,” said Patrick Davis, senior vice president of strategy at Community Reinvestment Fund, USA. “This support is extremely timely as it helps connect small businesses with CDFIs that can potentially provide them with access to financing and resources that will help owners get back on their feet. CDFIs are an important part of the financial ecosystem and play a vital role in deploying capital to small businesses with a history of underrepresentation, and it’s great to see that Wells Fargo is so committed to the success of small businesses across the United States.
In 2020, Wells Fargo announced the Open for Business Fund, an approximately $420 million small business relief effort focused on small businesses hardest hit by COVID-19, including Black, African – Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, women and many more. Grants have been awarded to more than 235 CDFIs and nonprofits serving small businesses across the United States. It is estimated that the Open for Business Fund serves more than 152,000 small businesses and maintains or creates more than 255,000 jobs. Approximately 85% of small businesses served by Open for Business Fund recipients are expected to reach entrepreneurs of various races and ethnicities.
Ann Finnegan, Chair of the NDC Community Impact Loan Fund, Open Business Fund grant recipient and CDFI participant of the Small Business Resource Navigator Network, says, “We are excited to have the opportunity to connect with more small businesses in need. This platform is an important tool to support our mission of lending to minority and women-owned small businesses and nonprofits. »