CommunityWorks receives grant from Wells Fargo

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CommunityWorks has received a $400,000 grant and $500,000 low-interest loan from Wells Fargo & Company.

CommunityWorks is one of 15 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) nationwide selected to receive funding from the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital program, which covers businesses owned by minorities, women, military veterans and other groups.

The grant and loan to CommunityWorks will expand the organization’s efforts in assisting diverse-owned small-business ventures and startups in South Carolina through loans, funding and support services.

Established in 2008 as a partnership between the City of Greenville, the United Way of Greenville County and the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority, CommunityWorks lent more than $700,000 to nearly 40 local entrepreneurs in 2015.

“We are honored to be selected to receive this funding from Wells Fargo,” said Deborah McKetty, CEO of CommunityWorks. “We are committed to creating a vibrant economy not just here in the Upstate, but throughout South Carolina, and this funding will increase our capacity to serve minority-owned small-business ventures and startups.”

“The Diverse Community Capital program is one of many ways Wells Fargo demonstrates its commitment to helping small businesses start, stabilize, and grow, and we are thrilled CommunityWorks is among the 15 CDFIs selected,” said Wells Fargo South Carolina Region President Kathy Heffley. “CDFIs are vital to the success of many small businesses, and the additional capital, technical assistance and other support they provide to diverse-owned small businesses will help make our communities even stronger.”

The Diverse Community Capital program will provide a total of $75 million in lending and grant capital over three years to CDFIs that support diverse-owned small businesses. CDFIs are private, nonprofit financial institutions that assist underserved populations.

The DCC program launched in November 2015 by providing $4.45 million in loan and grant funds to three CDFIs and encouraging others to submit interest forms for the program’s first official round. More than 100 CDFIs responded, and Wells Fargo will distribute a total of $5.67 million in grants and $16.67 million in lending capital to the 15 CDFIs selected.

The program is a component of Wells Fargo’s four-point plan, which seeks to address challenges that diverse small-business owners face when starting or growing businesses. The program is a collaboration between Wells Fargo and Opportunity Finance Network, a national network of CDFIs.

To learn more about CommunityWorks, visit communityworkscarolina.org.

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