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Comment on Wells Fargo Donates $20 Million for Small Business Grants and Loans in Atlanta by Consuelo Walker

Wells Fargo recently donated $20 million to support Atlanta small businesses. United Way of Greater Atlanta and Invest Atlanta will distribute funding to local businesses, focusing mainly on Black and diverse-owned businesses, and those negatively affected by COVID-19. Funds will be a mix of grants and loans.

The goal of the funding program is to help entrepreneurs actually own more of their businesses’ assets. Things like facilities and equipment are often rented or leased. But owning gives business owners more freedom and control. So the grants and loans can go toward purchases or upgrades to these facilities.

Atlanta Small Businesses to Get $20 Million in Wells Fargo Grants

There are four specific programs available under this new funding umbrella: the Small Business Loan Fund, Asset Building Assistance, Facade Improvement Grants, and Commercial Ownership Growth.

  • The Small Business Loan Fund includes low-interest loans of 3 percent or less, to help small businesses grow even without tangible assets.
  • The Asset Building Assistance program supports local non-profits that help small business owners to create asset-building strategies.
  • Facade Improvement Grants include up to $50,000 for exterior improvements on projects where small businesses contribute at least 20 percent on their own.
  • The Commercial Ownership Growth program offers funding for real estate expenses, including grants of up to $200,000 for down payments and purchases.

This latest round of funding is part of Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund, which launched in July 2020. The program has provided about $420 million to date, supporting businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic. Black and diverse-owned businesses have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. So the program has prioritized helping these businesses as well.

Funds come from Wells Fargo’s processing fees while administering Paycheck Protection Program loans. And the company is partnering with local nonprofits across the country to distribute funding to small businesses that need it most.

The Atlanta Open for Business program is expected to officially launch in summer 2022. Interested businesses can sign up to receive notifications on Invest Atlanta’s website.


Image: Depositphotos

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