Small and microenterprise businesses are our communities’ mainstay, creating and saving jobs, and fostering economic growth and vitality through wealth and asset development in our neighborhoods. However, they’re struggling for survival during the COVID-19 pandemic. California Capital Financial Development Corporation is providing a lifeline for them.
“It’s been a difficult year for entrepreneurs. It gives us great confidence that California Capital is able to use our funding to support the diverse small businesses that need it most,” says Kären Woodruff, Vice President of Social Impact & Sustainability | Wells Fargo
A Sacramento-based nonprofit Community Development Financial Institution, California Capital offers more than two dozen programs and services throughout 28 Northern California counties. For 39 years, the organization has provided business training, resources, counseling, and access to capital for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
“The pandemic has devastated many small and microenterprise businesses, particularly in communities of color and low and moderate income communities,” says Deborah Lowe Muramoto, president and CEO. “Those communities are often last to get help, and we have made it our focus to be there for them. We hear about the disparity and less access to the COVID vaccine. It is the same story for small and microenterprise businesses and their challenges in gaining access to capital and resources to help them survive.”
The needs of small businesses have grown exponentially due to the pandemic, and California Capital can help. “We average 250 hours per month in counseling and technical assistance, and have funded $1.5 million in microloans for small businesses impacted by COVID,” says Lowe Muramoto. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could save every business, but for those we can help, we are part of the solution to confront the current environment, prepare for what’s next and be resilient in facing the future.”
Recently, Wells Fargo awarded California Capital an Open for Business grant of $500,000, part of their $400 million investment in small business recovery efforts to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19. “Wells Fargo’s investment in California Capital’s ability to make more capital available to the small and microenterprise businesses demonstrates their commitment to supporting those businesses we work for every day,” says Lowe Muramoto.