MAF has received a $350,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund to help people of color and immigrant entrepreneurs adapt and rebuild from the pandemic. With generous funding from Wells Fargo, MAF is providing zero-interest loans up to $2,500 paired with technical assistance to small business owners across California.
The COVID-19 pandemic heightened the challenges facing micro-enterprises across the country. When small business owners most needed capital to weather the crisis, federal relief programs—including the Paycheck Protection Program—largely failed to support small businesses owned by people of color. Without resources, there was a record-breaking drop in the number of small business owners nationally. This decline was 1.5 to 2 times higher among Black-, Latinx-, and immigrant-owned businesses.
Despite these hardships, small businesses run by immigrants and people of color are leading the field and paving the way forward to a brighter future for the country.
“Throughout this crisis, small businesses run by immigrants and people of color have led with ingenuity and flexibility,” said José Quiñonez, MAF CEO. “With support from the Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund, we’re ensuring these micro-enterprises have the resources they need not only to sustain their businesses, but grow them.”
Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund is a $420 million effort to support small businesses across the country in their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are helping small businesses get back to growing again. Having access to trusted experts can be a critical turning point for small business owners facing financial hardships and other business challenges,” said Christina Pels-Martinez, region bank president, Wells Fargo. “Through the Open for Business Fund, we’re enlisting the expertise of MAF and other CDFIs to offer a mix of resources and support systems that can help local minority-owned small business navigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 at this critical time.”
The grant supports MAF’s holistic approach to supporting entrepreneurs, pairing loans with free, relevant financial services that meet people where they are. Through virtual financial chats, the MyMAF mobile app, and one-on-one financial coaching sessions, entrepreneurs can select the resources that work best for them as they rebuild, reinvent, and grow their businesses. Since its founding in 2007, MAF has supported more than 2,300 entrepreneurs with zero-interest, credit-building loans paired with financial services.
To learn more about MAF’s Business Microloans and financial services for entrepreneurs, visit www.missionassetfund.org.