Wells Fargo has launched an online portal connecting small business owners with potential financing options and technical assistance through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs).
The portal, called the Small Business Resource Navigator, will connect small businesses with CDFIs or business advisory resources in their area.
It has been launched in collaboration with the Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, a non-profit.
Derek Ellington, head of small businesses at Wells Fargo, said: “As the uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic persist, small businesses continue to need our help.
“We see a lot of value in supporting a resource like this to help small businesses connect to as many options as possible. The Small Business Resource Navigator connects small business owners to potential capital assistance provided by a CDFI who could help meet their needs, and serves as a major time saver for busy entrepreneurs, allowing them to stay focused on their business.”
Ellington added that CDFIs form a key part of Wells Fargo’s financial ecosystem, providing capital and other assistance small businesses may not always qualify for through traditional financing.
The portal was made possible by Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund, launched in 2020, which provided $420 million in relief effort for small businesses hit by the pandemic, especially for minority- and women-owned businesses.
The launch comes soon after the City of New York announced it would no longer do business with Wells Fargo based on discrimination allegations first reported by Bloomberg.
The allegations accused the bank of discriminating against black applicants who sought to refinance their homes. Wells Fargo has since rejected the allegations and is engaging with the city on the matter.