Yesterday, Wells Fargo?s Head of Government and Community Relations Jon Campbell announced plans to invest $1.2M in the U.S. Black Chambers Inc. and other organizations for small business development to include micro-grants, a leadership training impact study and the expansion of the Chamber Training Institute (CTI), a program designed in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.
The announcement was made via conference call, which was attended by members of the media, Wells Fargo executives and diverse chamber presidents.
The funding will be rolled out over a two-year period to benefit the U.S. Black Chambers Inc., the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
According to the company, the investment is part of Wells Fargo?s ?ongoing commitment to train leaders of diverse-segment chambers of commerce that includes more than $5.69 million in grants and sponsorships since 2005.”
?We are committed to helping business owners achieve financial success, grow and create new jobs in their communities,? said Campbell. ?That is why it?s important for us to fund initiatives that aim to help small business leaders serve their communities more effectively. With the support from our partners at the national diverse chambers, this investment will provide dedicated resources to better serve the growth and development of diverse small business owners.?
On behalf of the U.S. Black Chambers Inc., Ron Busby, CEO and president, weighed in.
?The U.S. Black Chambers is extremely happy to participate in Wells Fargo?s CTI.? We are proud to be the parent organization of 118 Black chambers across the country. We are in 28 states in America and have a membership base of just shy of 250,000 Black-owned businesses. We are based on 5-key pillars, which are advocacy; access to capital; contracting; entrepreneurial training; and chamber development, which is why this is so important to our communities across the country.? We have realized that through the CTI, more of our communities have similarities than differences and when we are brought together we come up with solutions to be able to improve our communities across the country,? he said.
Busby continues, ?We understand that access to capital for our businesses is the number 1, 2 and 3 concern for most of our businesses. We are very proud to partner with Wells Fargo to address these issues. In our communities, we say that in order for there to be a strong America we must have a strong Black America. In order for there to be a strong Black America, we need strong Black businesses. And to ensure that we have strong Black businesses, we must have strong support. And so through this participation with the CTI and our relationship with Wells Fargo, we are excited about our future.?
In addition to CTI, which was introduced earlier this year to help diverse-owned small businesses become credit-ready, access credit and achieve financial success, Wells Fargo also offers the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business initiative. Introduced in 2014, it?s a broad initiative to deliver resources, guidance and products to help business owners achieve financial success. Further, the company has expanded the support it offers small businesses by introducing the Business Plan Center, a free online resource. The Center provides step-by-step tools and guidance to help small business owners create a simple, streamlined business plan, along with a Competitive Intelligence Tool that provides business owners with key insight on competitors in their market and industry.