Wells Fargo today announced it awarded $2.6 million in grant funding to a pair of Los Angeles organizations to help small businesses manage the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic during the holiday season.
The Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation and Genesis LA Economic Growth Corporation received the funding from Wells Fargo’s “Open for Business Fund” program.
“The Open for Business Fund enlists the care and expertise of organizations like Pacific Coast Regional and Genesis LA to urgently assist the small-business community with the capital and technical assistance needed to preserve jobs throughout L.A. County, especially during the holidays,” said Gregg Sherkin, Wells Fargo’s senior vice president of Social Impact and Sustainability.
The grant funding is earmarked for organizations that are members of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.
“By working with these organizations and other CDFIs, we can ensure that local minority-owned small businesses receive the resources necessary to navigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 at this critical time,” Sherkin said.
Pacific Coast Regional put its $2.1 million grant toward the People of Color Business Elevation Fund, focused on helping Black and brown small businesses across southern California recover. The fund will provide low-rate micro-disaster loans up to $50,000 to eligible and impacted diverse small businesses.
Genesis LA will use its $550,000 award to provide financial support to small business operators who are struggling to pay bills due to lower profit margins and higher expenses as a result of the pandemic. Genesis LA plans to provide flexible and forgivable loans to minority-led businesses across Los Angeles County.