San Francisco, CA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–October 1, 2007–Today Wells Fargo kicked off the 10-year anniversary celebration of its Latino Business Services program, an outreach and education program dedicated to helping Latino business owners increase their access to capital and other financial services. As part of the celebration, the Wells Fargo Foundation awarded the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Foundation a $200,000 grant. The grant reflects Wells Fargo’s longstanding commitment to the work of the USHCC, and to Latino entrepreneurs nationwide. The USHCC serves as the umbrella organization for 200 local Hispanic Chambers in North America and actively promotes the economic growth and development of the Hispanic business community. The USHCC Foundation builds alliances and partnerships to promote the success of Latino entrepreneurs and Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.
Since its establishment, Wells Fargo’s Latino Business Services program has used outreach and education to help Latino business owners increase their access to capital and other financial services. Since 1997, Wells Fargo has loaned more than 4.3 billion dollars to thousands of Latino business owners, and has a goal to lend $5 billion by 2010.
Over the past decade, Wells Fargo has conducted a number of market research studies in order to better understand and serve the Latino business market. Wells Fargo’s USHCC Foundation grant will support new research to identify challenges and opportunities among local Hispanic chambers. The research will be used to help U.S. Chambers develop organizational capacity, technology infrastructure and executive leadership development.
When Wells Fargo launched the Latino Business Services program, a research study showed that access to capital was a key concern among Hispanic business owners. Despite the growing number of Hispanic-owned businesses, access to capital remains a top concern. To address this concern, the Latino Business Services program connects Latino business owners with the financial resources they need to gain access to capital, grow their businesses, plan for retirement, build wealth for their families and make a positive impact in their communities.
“For the past decade, Wells Fargo has enjoyed a growing and supportive alliance with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,” said Tim Rios, Wells Fargo senior vice president of Corporate Community Development and national spokesperson for the Latino Business Services program. “As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Latino Business Services program, we are expanding our relationship with the USHCC to also work with the USHCC Foundation. This grant illustrates Wells Fargo’s strong commitment to the Latino business community.”
“The USHCC Foundation is honored to work with a tremendous organization such as the Wells Fargo Foundation,” said Frank Lopez, president and CEO of the USHCC Foundation. “The Wells Fargo Foundation contribution will allow us to better serve our core constituency, local Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, through research, education and training opportunities.”
According to latest figures from the U.S. Census, Hispanics are starting businesses at three times the national average. The Latino Business Barometer, a study by RDA Global, reports that by 2008, there will be more than 472,000 Hispanic-owned firms with at least one employee (other than the business owner) in the U.S., generating $547 billion in revenues. Compared to the 2001 study, this reflects a 70% increase in the number of businesses with employees and a 100% increase in revenue from these firms.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $540 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through almost 6,000 stores and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only bank in the U.S., and one of only two banks worldwide, to have the highest credit rating from both Moody’s Investors Service, “Aaa,” and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, “AAA.”
Providing financial products and services to more than one and a half million businesses with annual sales up to $20 million in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, Wells Fargo is America’s #1 small business lender in total dollar volume according to the most recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) data (2005).
The second largest national Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in dollars, Wells Fargo is an SBA Preferred Lender in 28 states and the District of Columbia, and originated 4,937 loans for $578 million in 2006. Its diverse business services programs provide outreach and education to women, African American, Latino, and Asian business owners about financial services. Since 1995, Wells Fargo has loaned more than $33 billion to women and diverse business owners. For more information, please visit http://www.wellsfargo.com/biz.
About the USHCC Foundation
The USHCC Foundation is committed to giving Latino entrepreneurs alternatives for life preparation and life-long learning by developing and implementing initiatives and educational campaigns to awaken and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit. The Foundation leverages corporate and public support to ensure that existing and aspiring Latino entrepreneurs gain access and achieve success in the world of business. Please visit http://www.ushccfoundation.org for more information on the USHCC Foundation.