SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 5, 2002–Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC), the nation’s #1 small business lender, was named Corporation of the Year by two prominent Latino business organizations in California and Texas. At the annual conferences of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce in Sacramento (CHCC) and the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce in Austin (TAMACC), Wells Fargo was named Corporation of the Year for its support and outreach to Latino small business owners in each respective state.
“Wells Fargo has a long history of supporting Hispanic communities through a variety of organizations, and to be recognized by two organizations committed to the Latino business community is a great honor,” said Tim Rios, vice president of Community Development for Wells Fargo and national spokesperson for the Latino Business Services program. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the CHCC and TAMACC to ensure Hispanic Businesses have the information they need to gain access to capital and financial services vital to their success.”
Establishing its Latino Business Services program in 1997, Wells Fargo became one of the first major financial service providers to establish a specific program that supports the success of Latino small business owners across the nation. Wells Fargo first initiated its Latino Business Services program in 1997, and continues to promote it nationally, with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). To extend educational resources, workshops and outreach to the Latino business community, Wells Fargo works with regional organizations like CHCC and TAMACC around the country. The progress of this initiative is measured against the program’s publicly stated lending goal of $3 billion over 10 years to Latino-owned small businesses and is currently on pace to achieve 115 percent of this lending objective. Wells Fargo has already lent more than $1.5 billion – nearly 50 percent of its goal – as of the end of Q1 2002.
Rios accepted the CHCC award on behalf of Wells Fargo at the CHCC convention in Sacramento, after he conducted an educational workshop on topics ranging from business banking relationships to SBA lending for Latino small business owners. Jerry Romero, a Wells Fargo Community Development director based in El Paso, received the TAMACC award in Austin during the organization’s annual convention and business expo where he had been conducting a workshop for Texas Latino business owners.
“Wells Fargo understands the importance of Hispanic Business and the key role TAMACC and CHCC play as leading advocates for this segment,” said Romero. “Both
organizations improve the economic and legislative environment for Hispanic business owners, which parallels Wells Fargo’s own focus on to help Hispanic small business owner succeed financially.”
The Wells Fargo Latino Business Services program promotes comprehensive business services to small businesses, including credit cards and lines of credit, cash flow and payroll management services, and employee benefits. Wells Fargo recognizes the significant growth and importance of minority owned small businesses and has also established three other programs for small business owners – the Women’s Business Services program in 1995, the African American Business Services program in 1998 and most recently, the Asian American Business Services program in February of this year.
Wells Fargo provides capital and financial services to more than 1.5 million businesses with annual sales up to $10 million in the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada, and is the largest small business lender in the nation of loans up to $100,000. Wells Fargo is among the top five SBA lenders nationally, and a SBA Preferred Lender in 27 states, and originated 1,581 SBA loans totaling $366 million in 2001. Its online Resource Center for Small Business Owners was rated the best online banking site for small business customers by Speer & Associates (http://www.wellsfargo.com/biz). Through its targeted programs alone, Wells Fargo has lent more than $13 billion to African-American, Latino and Women
owned businesses since 1995.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $315 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance from more than 5,400 stores and the Internet (www.wellsfargo.com) across North America and elsewhere internationally.
Miriam Galicia Duarte, Wells Fargo & Company
Jim Estrada, Estrada Communications Group