Nashville Organization receives $1,350,000 from Wells Fargo to Support Diverse Small Businesses

Pathway Lending one of 15 organizations nationwide to receive loan, grant funds as part of Diverse Community Capital program; Round two now open 

NASHVILLE,Tenn., May 5, 2016 – Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) Today announced it is providing $22.3 million in lending capital and grants to 15 Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) selected for round one of the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital program. One of the 15 CDFIs receiving funds in round one is Pathway Lending located in Nashville. Pathway Lending will receive $350,000 in grant funds and $1 million in lending capital. The six-round Diverse Community Capital (DCC) program will provide a total of $75 million in lending and grant capital over three years to CDFIs that support diverse-owned small businesses. CDFIs are private, nonprofit financial institutions that assist underserved populations.

“Wells Fargo has a very strong commitment to support small businesses – we want to see them start, as well as grow and prosper,” said Stephen Norris, Area President for Tennessee and North Alabama. “The Diverse Community Capital program is one of many ways Wells Fargo demonstrates its dedication. Pathway Lending is well deserving of Wells Fargo efforts to support their mission which is helping companies grow. They have combined expert knowledge with innovation and determination to deliver capital where it’s needed the most. Their lending strategy helps entrepreneurs take their business to the next level and achieve their individual goals.”

The DCC program launched in November 2015 by providing $4.45 million in loan and grant funds to three CDFIs and encouraging others to submit an interest form for the program’s first round. More than 100 CDFIs responded, and Wells Fargo will distribute a total of $5.67 million in grants and $16.67 million in lending capital to 15 CDFIs.

In addition to receiving grant and/or lending capital, Pathway Lending is also engaged in the social capital component of the DCC program, which offers activities to help CDFIs build effective support networks and social infrastructure.

 

How CDFIs Make a Difference:

Gerald Gooch, owner of Firstar Party Trailers in Nashville, is one of the many small business people in Tennessee who have turned to Pathway Lending for financial assistance and guidance. Gooch had a vision of creating a company that would provide mobile refrigeration services to the growing number of neighborhood events and festivals around Nashville. He wanted to provide refrigeration for soft drinks and beer, and eventually for food, at these outdoor events.

Taking a measured approach to launch Firstar, Gooch first worked with SCORE to craft a business plan and then approached Pathway Lending for a loan to purchase a refrigerated beer tap trailer. Gooch works with the advisory team at Pathway Lending to make informed decisions about his business growth. The team provides guidance on cash flow management, QuickBooks and general business strategy.

“Now that I’ve launched, I still need the right education and advice to keep my business successful,” said Gooch. “My “overnight success” didn’t happen overnight. It took years of planning and the right partners, like Pathway Lending, to make it happen.”

Clint Gwin, president of Pathway Lending said the grant from Wells Fargo allows the CDFI to assist more small business people like Gooch.

“By combining flexible loans with targeted education and advisory services, we help entrepreneurs like Gerald overcome any barriers to success and capture the opportunities that lay ahead of them,” Gwin said. “The Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital Grant gives Pathway Lending the ability to expand the assistance and services we can provide to small businesses in Tennessee.”

 

Window Now Open for DCC Round Two

Wells Fargo opened the window for interest forms for the second round of its Diverse Community Capital program on May 2nd and will accept the forms until June 1st. CDFIs can visit www.wellsfargo.com/cdfi to learn more about the program’s guidelines and  to access the link to the online interest form.  Available support from the program includes the following:

  • Grant Capital. Available to CDFIs to build their financial, operational, and human capacity to serve diverse small businesses.
  • Debt Capital. Available to CDFIs to build their lending capital to serve diverse small businesses. Financing will include senior debt and subordinated debt.
  • Social Capital. Offers CDFIs support by focusing on activities including mentorship, peer learning, marketing/outreach, underwriting and guidance on tailored products. The Social Capital component of the program is offered through Opportunity Finance Network.

 

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.8 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,800 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 269,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 30 on Fortune’s 2015 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo donated $281.3 million to 16,300 nonprofits in 2015 and team members volunteered 1.8 million hours serving their communities. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.