Camden-based CBAC awarded grant funds from Wells Fargo to support diverse small businesses

Wells Fargo & Co. announced Friday that it is awarding Camden-based Cooperative Business Assistance Corp. $150,000 in grant funds and $500,000 in lending capital to benefit diverse small business owners in South Jersey.

CBAC is one of 12 organizations nationwide selected in Round 4 of the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital program.

“The Diverse Community Capital program is one of many ways Wells Fargo demonstrates its commitment to helping small businesses start, stabilize and grow,” said John Zimmerman, southern New Jersey region bank president.  “Thanks to the support CBAC is receiving, more diverse-owned small businesses will be provided the capital, technical assistance and other resources they need to help make their businesses — and ultimately, our communities — even stronger.”

Through the program, Wells Fargo said it will distribute $75 million over the three years to CDFIs, which are private nonprofit financial institutions that assist undeserved communities.

Wells Fargo said it has distributed more than $55 million to 56 CDFIs since the launch of the DCC program in 2015.

RESPOND Inc., which is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization in Camden, is one of the diverse small businesses that will benefit from the grant. RESPOND recently received a $120,000 loan to renovate three daycare facilities in Camden.

“Access to capital is critical to advancing the work that we are doing every day,” said Wilbert Mitchell, executive director of RESPOND.  “ CBAC’s partnership with Wells Fargo is giving us the boost we need to continue providing essential community services to families with preschool age children in the City of Camden.”

“This partnership with Wells Fargo allows us to fill a lending gap that many traditional financial institutions are unable to fill,” said Harry Stone, CEO and president of CBAC.  “We are grateful to help build capacity of existing small businesses and help fledgling businesses to grow and thrive.”