$500,000 in new Wells Fargo Relief Aid to Help Western Massachusetts Small Businesses Impacted by Covid-19

February 1, 2021

Springfield  – Wells Fargo has announced that Common Capital, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), has received $500,000 from its Open for Business Fund to help underserved area small businesses impacted by the economic struggles caused by COVID-19. The funding will aid the CDFI’s ongoing recovery efforts including micro-lending activities, one-on-one coaching, digital marketing training and effective adaption to a COVID economy. This investment brings Wells Fargo’s relief aid to Massachusetts small businesses and non-profits to over $4.5 million since the pandemic began.

 “This grant supports our ability to provide low-cost loans to businesses that face barriers to growth and success, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are very grateful for the generous support of Wells Fargo; their funding will help our region’s businesses to be resilient in this challenging environment and will have a long-term, positive impact on our local economy,” said Raymond Lanza-Weil, President of Common Capital. 

Common Capital will use the Wells Fargo grant to expand its existing flexible lending initiative in collaboration with the City of Springfield’s Office of Planning and Economic Development. The Springfield Small Business Loan program offers lending capital, which can be partially forgiven, to small businesses seeking to recover and adapt to a COVID-19 economy.  Common Capital will also use the Open for Business Fund grant to reduce borrowing costs for historically underserved business owners. 

“The City of Springfield and Common Capital are collaborating to strengthen and revitalize the City’s businesses and neighborhoods,” said Timothy T. Sheehan, Springfield’s Chief Development Officer.  “We are excited that Common Capital’s grant from Wells Fargo will augment the Springfield Small Business Loan Program.”

Wells Fargo launched the Open for Business Fund in 2020 as an approximately $400 million small business recovery effort across the U.S. to help entrepreneurs recover and rebuild.  The initiative focuses on increasing access to capital, technical expertise and long-term resiliency programs. To date, Wells Fargo has already distributed more than $84 million across 32 states to help entrepreneurs hard hit by COVID-19, which is enabling entrepreneurs to maintain roughly 50,000 jobs. 

"Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund is another avenue of support and enlists the expertise of our CDFI partners to urgently help diverse Western Massachusetts area entrepreneurs recover and preserve the jobs they provide in their communities,” said Ben Leonard, senior vice president of Wells Fargo Commercial Banking. "The funding will provide much needed access to capital with increased equity in resources and technical assistance for local businesses who are the backbone of our local economies and neighborhoods.”

Interested small business owners can visit the website at www.commoncapitalma.org to learn more about available services and apply for financial assistance.  

About Common Capital

Common Capital is a nonprofit community development financial institution (CDFI) working to strengthen communities by creating economic opportunities for low-and moderate-income people, women, people of color, and immigrants in western Massachusetts. Common Capital responsibly lends money to small businesses that are unable to access all the capital they need from conventional sources, such as banks. Common Capital also provides free business assistance to its borrowers. Together, Common Capital’s loans and business assistance support job creation, business growth and success, and neighborhood rejuvenation. For more information, please visit: www.commoncapitalma.org.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is a community-based financial services company. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through 7,200 locations, more than 13,000 ATMs and the internet (wellsfargo.com). Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.
 

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