Raza Development Fund Awarded Wells Fargo Open for Business Grant to Provide Relief for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Feb 24, 2021 3:35 PM ET
Press Release

PHOENIX, February 24, 2021 /3BL Media/ - Raza Development Fund (RDF), the nation’s largest Latino Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), has been awarded a $3.5 million grant from the Wells Fargo Open For Business Fund in support of its Small Business Initiative program which serves minority and women-owned small businesses suffering from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The funding will extend its reach to support small businesses in Arizona, Ohio, Texas, Minnesota, and Florida. RDF will continue to provide technical assistance to businesses in all markets and help them arrive to a state of readiness to receive long term capital (low-interest loans) as a resource that will enable minority-owned businesses to achieve sustainable growth and long-term self-sufficency.

“In 2020, Wells Fargo supported RDF’s Emergency COVID-19 Hope Fund, created to support ravaged small businesses in South Phoenix and throughout the country.  Now with support from the Open for Business Fund, Wells Fargo is again standing with RDF to provide financing to more small businesses as they continue to struggle through this pandemic,” said Tom Espinoza, President and CEO of RDF.

“Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities and COVID-19 has dealt a devastating blow to so many of them. We want entrepreneurs to know, we are here for them.  United with organizations like RDF, we’re going to continue to come together as a community to foster an inclusive recovery and strengthen the small business sector for the long term,” said Patty Juarez, Head of Diverse Segments Commercial Banking at Wells Fargo. “Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund draws on the expertise of nonprofits like RDF to expand additional capital, emergency relief, and technical assistance to minority-owned businesses as well as others hard-hit by the pandemic.”

Latino small business owners are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. As of 2020, there are 1.1 million minority-owned small businesses that serve as essential job sources and economic engines in America. These businesses employ more than 8.7 million workers and generate over $1 trillion in economic output. Women own nearly 300,000 of them, employing 2.4 million workers. Also, of note, a 2018 study by the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy found that 10% of all business owners in the U.S. are Latino immigrants, and their operations generate about $36.5 billion in business income.

Founded in 1999 as a support corporation of UnidosUS, RDF provides access to capital and financing solutions to non-profits, UnidosUS affiliates, and other Latino serving organizations across the country with the mission of breaking the cycle of poverty in low-income communities. Since its inception, RDF has originated over $900 million of community development loans and investments in 34 states across the nation, leveraging over $4 billion of capital into low-income communities. Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, RDF lends nationwide and has offices in Seattle, WA and New York City, NY.