Wells Fargo commits $400 million to small businesses

As the American economy wobbles under the outbreak of COVID-19, small businesses across the nation have a lifeline thanks to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Despite this massive federal stimulus, however, private enterprise still faces slumped demand, reduced spending, and regulatory burdens. This has put a strain on wages and forced many long-standing local businesses to close their doors.

In light of these economic conditions, Wells Fargo has transformed its stated commitment to promoting small business into reality. Donating $400 million in PPP transfer fees “back to nonprofits serving the small business community,” Wells Fargo has led the industry in supporting job creators and workers alike.

Open for Business Fund

“Community Development Financial institutions (CDFIs), nonprofit lenders and special purpose funds formed by CDFIs with an emphasis on serving racially and ethnically diverse-owned businesses are encouraged” by the bank to apply for said funds. This is an integral part of Wells Fargo’s commitment to stimulating growth for all Americans, especially those who have been disproportionately excluded from economic opportunity in the past.

As the United States and the rest of the world continues to weather the Coronavirus pandemic, the future is still unclear. But Wells Fargo has assured its customers that “[a]dditional grant cycles around technical assistance and long-term resiliency and recovery” will be open in the  future.

PPP impact

Already, the PPP has benefited thousands of American small businesses directly. And many of those who have received assistance are loyal customers to the stagecoach lender. In fact, 84% of PPP loan recipients through Wells Fargo have been businesses with 10 employees or fewer.

The bipartisan stimulus has provided aid through lending institutions to over 4.5 million small businesses, totaling $511 billion. Small businesses employ nearly half of all American workers, thus providing them with the extra liquidity necessary to bridge this recession is viewed as a primary objective of lawmakers in Washington.

More information on the details of the CARES Act’s PPP can be found here.

A recovery for all

As corporations and citizens across the United States reconsider their strategies to eliminate racism and foster equal opportunity, Wells Fargo has made sure that in keeping industry afloat, the most vulnerable communities’ needs are at the forefront of the process. 

In its statement on diversity and inclusion, Wells Fargo says it is  “committed to advancing diversity and inclusion by helping ensure that all people across our workforce, our communities, and our supply chain feel valued and respected and have equal access to resources, services, products, and opportunities to succeed.”

Joe Pitts

Joe Pitts is a student at Arizona State University and the program director for Business Ballot; executive director for the Arizona Junior Fellows program. You can reach him at jpitts@azchamber.com.

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