Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund awards $ 1.25 million

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Los Angeles, June 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Wells Fargo has awarded a grant of $ 1.25 million through its Open for Business fund to Together for LA, Los Angeles Collaboration for Small Business Recovery and Resilience, to address the COVID-19 economic crisis by dramatically expanding technical support services to LA County businesses run and owned by women and Blacks, African Americans, Latinxs, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Alaska Natives, focused on people living in low and moderate income (LMI) communities.

The founding members of the LA Collaborative include the principal applicant and grant financial agent, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Local Initiatives Support Corporation Los Angeles (LISC -LA), the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, and the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD), which work together to advance a more equitable, sustainable and resilient economic recovery.

In close coordination with the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs and Business and the City of Los Angeles Department of Economic and Workforce Development, Together for LA’s five partners serve thousands various small businesses since the start of the pandemic. With the generous proceeds of this grant, they will be able to deliver their best technical assistance programs through 2022 with a new level of communication, coordination and collaboration for the benefit of an unprecedented number of diverse small businesses in IMT communities across LA County who are still at risk due to the extraordinarily long and profound economic disruption caused by the pandemic. This new phase funded by Wells Fargo will launch in July 2021 and will run for a full year.

Together for LA will provide businesses with multilingual and multicultural programs and resources essential to the survival, reinvention and recovery of small businesses through substantial awareness and engagement campaigns, webinars and workshops to teach best practices, and provide one-on-one technical assistance that will be delivered online and in the community. This program will be one of the most significant efforts, not only in Los Angeles or California, but across the country, to reach and serve LMI BIPOC businesses and help them reopen, reinvent themselves and recover through the provision of various forms of technical assistance.

Through these programs, businesses will be helped to overcome challenges related to capital and liquidity, expenses, legal issues, high-speed internet, workforce, health protocols and costs. ” other operational challenges, while improving revenue opportunities and overall resilience so that companies are able to better withstand future economic shocks. .

“The toll the pandemic has taken on LA’s small business community has been devastating. We are grateful to all of the organizations that have come together to help small business owners keep their doors open throughout this ordeal, ”said Gregg Sherkin, Wells Fargo SVP Social Impact and Sustainability of Southern California. “While there is light at the end of the tunnel, there is still a long way to go and we also need to make sure small businesses are prepared for any future crises. Collaboration will be essential, and we’re excited to support the work of Together for LA to make Los Angeles the most inclusive and resilient region for small businesses in the United States. “

LAEDC CEO Bill Allen said, “Merely reopening our economy does not equate to the full recovery of small businesses and jobs lost to the pandemic, especially those in our historically disadvantaged communities of color. As a banker to large and small businesses, Wells Fargo understands this well and we are grateful for their support and partnership in focusing our collective efforts on the turnaround of women in our region and the small businesses and microenterprises owned by BIPOC.

President and CEO of the LA Region Chamber, Maria S. Salinas said, “Since the onset of the pandemic, the Chamber has focused on ensuring that the small business community and microenterprises have access to the resources they need to survive the pandemic. Now, as our economy is about to reopen, these same businesses need support, guidance, and resources not only to continue to survive, but to thrive as well. The Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund grant ensures that Together for LA can do just that. “

“Local businesses, the backbone of our communities, have been hit hardest by the pandemic – and it is crucial to ensure that they all have access to a fair recovery,” said Tunua Thrash-Ntuk, executive director of LISC LA. “The Open for Business Fund grant will help fund these recovery efforts and we are grateful to partner with an institution like Wells Fargo that understands the role that various businesses play in Los Angeles’ resilient economy.”

“We are proud to join with leading county business organizations to work together to address critical resilience issues in our region,” said Dr Lucy Jones, Founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society. “As we begin to emerge from the disaster of the pandemic, we must continue to work to build resilience to the next disaster. The work of Together for LA will serve the region well for what we may face next, which ‘it is an earthquake or some other disaster. “

“Over the years, Wells Fargo has been one of the nation’s leading companies in helping small businesses weather disasters, and the company’s support for LA Collaborative builds on that legacy. Together for LA will not only provide valuable technical services to some of the region’s most vulnerable and struggling small businesses, it represents a giant leap in how public-private partnerships for economic recovery are realized. The Institute for Sustainable Development is proud to endorse and support this initiative, ”explained Stephen Jordan, CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Development.

The Together for LA collaboration does this work in recognition that Los Angeles County is home to more than 1.3 million small businesses, including more women and BIPOC-owned small businesses than any other county in the country. These employer and non-employer establishments provide the majority of jobs and income for the ten million people in America’s most populous and diverse county, and tens of thousands of these businesses remain at significant risk due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. As of March 2021, income for small businesses in LA County was still down by more than 30%. Together for LA is committed to working as a combined force to advance a more equitable economic recovery. Businesses are encouraged to seek assistance on the Together for LA web page.

About the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC): Celebrate 40e year, the not-for-profit, public benefit LAEDC takes action for a redesigned Los Angeles regional economy that is growing, equitable, sustainable and resilient, and that provides a healthy and high standard of living for all. . www.laedc.org

About the LA Area Chamber of Commerce: With a mission to advance opportunities and solutions for a thriving, inclusive and globally competitive regional economy, with the promise of being bold, transformative, inclusive and responsible, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of businesses in the Los Angeles area. www.lachambre.com

About LISC LA: LISC LA is one of 35 local offices of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national organization that works with residents and partners to forge communities of resilient and inclusive opportunities across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. www.lisc.org/los-angeles/

About the Institute for Sustainable Development: The mission of the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) is to help communities and small businesses survive and prosper over the long term in the face of extreme events and chronic stress. www.isdus.org

About the Dr Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society: Fostering the development of more resilient communities, the Dr. Lucy Jones Center leverages partnerships with scientists, government agencies, business leaders and community organizations to operationalize resilience action. https://drlucyjonescenter.org/

Media contact: Lawren Markle, LAEDC, [email protected] , 213-236-4847


        
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