We are pleased to announce that Excelsior Growth Fund (EGF) has been awarded $250,000 to support lending activities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania from the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital program.
The Diverse Community Capital program awards lending capital and grants to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), like EGF, which in turn deliver responsible, affordable financial products to diverse small business owners who do not typically have access to conventional financing. Wells Fargo has now exceeded its initial $75 million commitment for the Diverse Community Capital program, and an additional $100 million from the Wells Fargo Foundation has already been pledged to continue the program into at least 2020.
At EGF, these funds will allow us to expand our impact in the states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania and more deeply serve low income and minority communities in the region. Since expanding to New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 2017, we have provided more than 30 loans totaling more than $2.5 million in these states alone.
EGF loans feature flexible eligibility requirements, fast turnaround with funding less than one week, and access to free business advisory services. “These funds will allow us to ensure that a greater number of business owners in New Jersey and Pennsylvania can access the loans needed to grow, creating economic opportunity and local jobs,” said Steve Cohen, president of EGF. “We are grateful to Wells Fargo for their commitment in supporting Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that are working to increase access to capital and resources in underserved communities.”
“More diverse small business owners in New Jersey and Pennsylvania who would not otherwise have access to the resources needed to grow their businesses will now have resources through our support of Excelsior Growth Fund,” said Wells Fargo Northeast Lead Region President Larisa Perry. “The Diverse Community Capital program is just one of the ways we’re proud to support the growth of the local economy.”
The Diverse Community Capital program is a collaboration between Wells Fargo and Opportunity Finance Network, a national network of CDFIs. Opportunity Finance Network offers a social capital component of the program, which focuses on helping CDFIs grow stronger through activities including in-person networking, mentorship, consulting and peer learning.
We are looking forward to collaborating with our Pennsylvania and New Jersey partners to leverage this opportunity in supporting local underserved small businesses. Please join us in thanking Wells Fargo for their support!