Associate Director of Marketing and Communications
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDA Receives $1.5M Grant from Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund to Help Get Small Businesses Back to Growth
Support for San Francisco Bay Area Latino- and immigrant-owned small businesses most impacted by COVID-19 crisis
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 10, 2021 — As the San Francisco economy picks up and more small businesses pivot from surviving to thriving, the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) has been awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Wells Fargo Open for Business Fund to help small businesses get back to growing again.
Thanks to the Open for Business Fund, a roughly $420 million small business recovery effort, MEDA will provide low-income Latino small business owners with grants, low-interest loans and support needed to emerge from the pandemic. Disbursements will be via MEDA’s certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), the Mission community loan fund known as Fondo Adelante.
Of the $1.5 million funding to MEDA, $1 million will support the nonprofit’s Bay Area Latino and Immigrant COVID-19 Business Resiliency Project, which is an initiative that aims to strengthen ventures that have been adversely impacted by structural racism and longstanding inequities deepened by the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, $500,000 of the grant is for MEDA to provide culturally relevant technical assistance to these entrepreneurs. As the leading technical assistance provider to Latino-owned ventures in San Francisco, MEDA plays a unique role in serving these small businesses.
The Bay Area Latino and Immigrant COVID-19 Business Resiliency Project will implement strategies to deploy capital and technical assistance to Latino- and immigrant-owned businesses in the nine counties comprising the region. These strategies, crafted with a racial-equity lens, focus on loan deployment, financial relief, technical assistance and pandemic-adapted business growth and resilience strategies.
“In the early days of the crisis in the Bay Area, MEDA recognized that Latinos and immigrants were going to more acutely experience the pandemic and its resulting economic fallout than other communities,” said MEDA Chief Executive Officer Luis Granados. “Though MEDA has been consistently active and responsive over the past 21 months, more is needed to continue to shepherd our small businesses through the pandemic, and this Wells Fargo Open for Business grant is key to making that a reality.”
“We are helping minority small businesses get back to growing again. Having access to trusted experts can be a critical turning point for small business owners facing financial hardships and other business challenges,” said Christina Pels-Martinez, region bank president, Wells Fargo. “Through the Open for Business Fund, we’re enlisting the expertise of MEDA to offer a mix of resources and support systems that can help Latino small business navigate the economic impacts of COVID-19 at this critical time.”
About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
Rooted in San Francisco’s Mission District, MEDA is advancing a national equity movement by building Latino prosperity, community ownership and civic power. We envision generations of Latino families choosing where to call home, thriving economically, succeeding in learning opportunities, and leading policy and social change toward a more equitable society.