Grant given to minority-owned small Valley businesses for economic recovery

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In downtown Fresno, a $3.25 million check was awarded to nonprofits and financial institutions that lend to low-income entrepreneurs.

The grant comes from the Wells Fargo "Open for Business Fund."

"Our goal is to build an ecosystem of business resource partners that will empower our small businesses to gain equitable access to capital because in the end, that's what it's about," says Fresno Metro Black Chamber Executive Director Dr. Cassandra Little.

Five Central Valley organizations will provide minority-owned business owners funding and resources to continue growing beyond the pandemic.

"This funding will have a tremendous immediate impact by directly investing in over 2,500 minority-owned small businesses, the life-blood of our community," says Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation Executive Director Dora Westerlund.

Tate Hill is the executive director of Access Plus Capital, a micro-lender for entrepreneurs who need flexible credit and business coaching.

"Going for a loan can be a challenge and trying to get that loan right now during COVID can be even more challenging," she said.

The funding allows them to lend to more business owners who want to start or rebuild.

The Asian Business Institute and Resource Center will use the grant to continue offering technical assistance such as marketing and financial planning for Asian business owners.

"It gives opportunities for communities like ours, we serve southeast Asians," says Blong Xiong. "Those that have limited English have a fair chance to go after dollars that they equally need to survive and thrive."

For information on the Valley Small Business Development Corporation, click here.
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