More than 500 businesses in the Houston area will benefit from a $20 million donation made by Wells Fargo to the Houston Fund for Social Justice and Economic Equity.
The equity fund will distribute the money in the form of grants for the purchase of property, equipment, and other assets to support economic development in underserved communities throughout the region.
“Small businesses play an important role in the Houston economy, and it is a benefit for our city to provide every tool needed to help them succeed,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says in a Wells Fargo news release. “This Wells Fargo grant program will allow small business owners to innovate, expand, and evolve in a way that improves their investments while also maintaining our reputation as a great place for economic development and company growth.”
For more information about the Houston Equity Fund grants, visit houstonequityfund.com.
The $20 million donation comes from Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund, a roughly $420 million initiative focusing on racially and ethnically diverse small business owners who’ve been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Fostering an inclusive economic recovery and helping small businesses sustain themselves and grow in the wake of COVID-19 is a priority for us,” says Charlie Scharf, CEO of Wells Fargo. “As a company, we have a commitment to make the communities where we operate stronger, and to do it at a very local level.”
In the past, Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund has supported Houston small businesses through grants to LiftFund and the Houston Community College Foundation, and other local grants enabled nonprofits such as the University of Houston Foundation, Texas Black Expo, Impact Hub Houston, and the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans to serve entrepreneurs.
Money from the Open for Business Fund primarily benefits small businesses owned by Black, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American entrepreneurs.