VCC receives $1.5 million from Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund to support small businesses in Richmond region

February 4, 2021 | In the News

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Funds will provide capital and technical assistance to bolster diverse small businesses impacted by COVID-19


RICHMOND, VA – February 4, 2020 – Wells Fargo has selected Virginia Community Capital (VCC) to help underserved small businesses stay open and save jobs in Richmond. The $1.5 million in funding will aid the organization’s short- and long-term COVID-19 recovery efforts, technical assistance, and lending programs for diverse small business owners.

The grant is part of Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund (OFB) program, which launched as an approximately $400 million small business recovery effort across the U.S. to help entrepreneurs recover and rebuild. The initiative focuses on three key areas: increasing access to capital through CDFIs, technical assistance, and long-term recovery and resiliency programs for diverse small businesses.

“The Open for Business Fund enlists the care and expertise of organizations like VCC to urgently assist the small business community with the capital and technical assistance needed to preserve jobs throughout Richmond,” said Connie Smith, who works on Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund. “By working with these organizations and other CDFIs, we can ensure that local minority-owned small businesses receive the resources necessary to navigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 at this critical time.”

VCC will deploy $1 million in small business loans in the Richmond region over a two-year period. Along with the lending capital, this grant will support the area’s business community with credit enhancements and business consulting services. This effort will be led by small business development professional, Melody Short, Co-Founder of the Jackson Ward Collective and Richmond Night Market. The remaining grant funds will be allocated to interest and payment forgiveness to small and minority-owned businesses, lending to COVID-impacted organizations, and technical assistance.

“Virginia Community Capital and our family of social enterprises believe equitable access to capital and knowledge for all is right and good, and this funding allows us to get straight to work supporting minority and women-owned small businesses,” said Wayne Waldrop, President of VCC Lending & Community Innovation. “We are incredibly thankful to Wells Fargo for their trust in our team to deploy these funds and support services to the organizations in Virginia that need it most.”

For more information about the Open for Business Loan Fund, visit the VCC website.