Support for Small Business Recovery in Inland Empire

AmPac and Caravanserai Receive Nearly $2M from Wells Fargo Open For Business Fund to Support Small Business Recovery in Inland Empire

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

San Bernardino, CA – August 17, 2021 –  Wells Fargo today announced nearly $2 million in small business recovery grants to AmPac Business Capital (AmPac) and Caravanserai Project (Caravanserai) to help small businesses manage the economic effects of COVID-19 as they shift to recovery.  Wells Fargo’s funding will help Inland Empire diverse small businesses stay open and get back to growth through increased access to capital with low rate loans and technical expertise.

The grant is part of Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund (OFB) program, a roughly $420 million small business recovery effort across the U.S. 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 is projected to provide $1 billion in financing for small business owners nationwide.

“We need to help the Inland Empire small business community get back to growing again. Small businesses need capital, and access to experts who can help them solve business challenges, find new revenue opportunities, and plan for the future,” said Flor Tolley, Vice President, Social Impact & Sustainability, Wells Fargo. “By working with AmPac, Caravanserai and other CDFIs, we can ensure that local minority-owned small businesses receive the resources necessary to recover and emerge from the pandemic stronger and more resilient.”

With funding from the Open For Business Fund, AmPac has established the Minority Business Loan Fund focused on helping Black and LatinX business with access to capital. The loan fund offers low interest rate loans up to $150,000 for eligible minority owned small businesses. Apart of the program includes business acumen training where participants will increase their business acumen and learn strategies on how to scale their business. The organization is also offering a minority targeted down payment assistance program for commercial real estate properties including no payments for 12 months with a long amortization period.

“The funds from Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund have provided us an opportunity to remind minority businesses that it is possible,” said Hilda Kennedy, AmPac Founder and President. “Oftentimes, there are barriers of entry to pivotal resources that can sustain and revitalize the minority small business community. With this grant, AmPac will breakdown those barriers by providing capital and business acumen training to help Inland Empire small businesses recover and scale. We are thrilled that we have also made training grants available, so that businesses can stay engaged without feeling pressured to choose between completing training and losing a sale.”

The grant will provide Caravanserai Project and its partners, Inland Empire Community Collaborative and Inland Empire Community Foundation, the necessary support to scale already established capacity building programs such as breakthrough masterclasses, strategic networking and planning circles, the SEED LAB pre-accelerator, the Capacity Building Academy, organizational assessments, monthly workshops, and other technical tools designed for nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations. Caravanserai is also launching two new initiatives later this year:  a Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Career Readiness and Advancement (awarded by University of California Riverside University Extension) and a regional nonprofit database for donors use, both programs offering additional unique and innovative resources to mission-driven organizations in the Inland Empire and beyond. 

“While Covid-19 demonstrated once again the vital role played by nonprofits in supporting communities across the Inland Empire, strengthening mission-driven organizations’ infrastructure to increase their impact has been a priority for Caravanserai Project and our partners at the Inland Empire Community Collaborative and the Inland Empire Community Foundation,” said Mihai Patru, Caravanserai Project CEO. “By supporting our already great programs such as masterclasses and strategic circles, the SEED Lab pre-accelerator, the Capacity Building Academy, and other initiatives designed for mission-driven organizations as well as the development of a regional nonprofit database for donors use, this grant is a timely and encouraging investment in the Inland Empire and a valuable recognition of our on-going efforts to provide jet fuel to the local nonprofit sector.”  

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a leading financial services company that has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets, proudly serves one in three U.S. households and more than 10% of small businesses in the U.S., and is the leading middle market banking provider in the U.S. We provide a diversified set of banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through our four reportable operating segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth & Investment Management. Wells Fargo ranked No. 37 on Fortune’s 2021 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In the communities we serve, the company focuses its social impact on building a sustainable, inclusive future for all by supporting housing affordability, small business growth, financial health, and a low-carbon economy. News, insights, and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Additional information may be found at | Twitter: @WellsFargo.

About AmPac Business Capital

AmPac Business Capital is the dba of AmPac Tri-State CDC, Inc.  Established as a 501.C3 in 2005, AmPac was established to provide economic development and job creation services to positively impact the region, the state and the nation overall.  AmPac became the only faith-based SBA 504 lender with the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2007, providing loans for small businesses seeking to finance fixed assets, including obtaining funds to own the commercial real estate for their business.  Since its inception, AmPac has served more than 350 businesses through this program with over $750 Million in loans, supporting the creation of more than 3,000 new jobs. 

About Caravanserai Project

Caravanserai Project is an Inland Empire based hybrid social impact venture striving to identify, mobilize and energize mission-driven leaders to build sustainable, relevant and future-ready ventures, for profits and nonprofits alike, that will generate irreversible system change. The Caravanserai Project programs focus on the development and implementation of accountability systems, supplying specialized skills and futures-thinking strategies and bringing together networks of individuals to help their ideas flourish, accelerate and change the world.

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