Open for Business Fund | Wells Fargo

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Open for Business Fund

Helping entrepreneurs stay open for business

Grants to nonprofits that support small businesses impacted by COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for entrepreneurs to keep their doors open, retain employees, and rebuild. Through our Open for Business Fund, we’re providing capital, technical support, and long-term resiliency programs to nonprofits that serve small businesses.

About the program

The Open for Business Fund provides support for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and other nonprofit organizations that serve diverse small businesses, with a focus on Black, African American, Latino, Asian American, American Indian, and Alaska Native entrepreneurs. 

Through this program, we are engaging community-based lenders and nonprofits to help businesses manage the economic effects of COVID-19 by providing needed capital, technical assistance, and long-term resiliency support. After funding decisions have been made, we will publish a list of grantees on our website so that small businesses can find resources in their communities.

In 2020-2021, the program will offer three unique funding opportunities:

  • CDFI Program: Supports nonprofit and community lenders (CDFIs) and special-purpose funds formed by CDFIs, providing flexible and low-cost capital to entrepreneurs.
  • Technical Assistance Program: Builds on the capacity of nonprofits that provide targeted small business technical assistance programs and services such as business planning, financial planning or management, and marketing/advertising, among other support.
  • Recovery & Resiliency Program: Expected to open in January 2021, will offer long-term recovery and resiliency resources and services to businesses affected by COVID-19.

CDFI Program

The Open for Business CDFI Program is exclusively for CDFIs, CDFI intermediaries, and special purpose funds formed by CDFIs for rapid response to the economic, health, and social crisis of 2020. The size of grants will depend on an organization’s capacity, geographic scope, and alignment with the program selection criteria.

The grant cycle for CDFIs closed on August 7, 2020. Continue to monitor this site for program updates.

Technical Assistance Program

The Technical Assistance Program is exclusively for nonprofit organizations that provide programs and services that support small business viability through growth, expansion, innovation, and increased productivity.

We will prioritize grants from nonprofits serving Black, African American, Latino, Asian American, Native American and Alaska Native business owners, as these businesses have been most adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The size of grants will depend on the nonprofit’s capacity to manage and disburse the grant funds to small businesses in a timely manner, as well as geographic scope and alignment with the program selection criteria. 

How to get started

The grant cycle closed on October 23, 2020. Continue to monitor this site for program updates. If you have questions about the program, send us email at smallbusinessphilanthropy@wellsfargo.com.

Recovery and Resiliency Program

Coming in January 2021.

The Recovery and Resiliency Program will offer long-term recovery and resiliency support to businesses affected by COVID-19. Continue to monitor this site for program updates.

Resources for entrepreneurs

If you are a business owner looking for assistance and resources, visit the Small Business Resource Center for expert insights and analysis, webinars, and guidance to support you so you can recover, rethink, and rebuild stronger.

We invite small businesses interested in working with a CDFI in their areas to consider the following resources:

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