NNDF one of 12 organizations nationwide selected
COULEE DAM, WA – The Northwest Native Development Fund (NNDF) has been selected as one of only 12 nationwide Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to receive a “Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capitol” grant (DCC). CDFIs like the NNDF are private, nonprofit financial institutions that assist underserved populations. Wells Fargo & Company announced on Monday that it is providing $11.2 million to help CDFIs better serve diverse-owned small businesses – $8.17 million in lending capital and $3.075 million in grants.
The NNDF was selected for this round of the Wells Fargo DCC program from among 98 applicants and will use its portion of the DCC loan funds to solidify operations and provide loans to small business owners who may not qualify for traditional financing. The NNDF will then utilize the grant funds to expand outreach to diverse small business owners, upgrade technology, enhance products and increase technical assistance and coaching to borrowers.
“CDFIs play an important role in helping small business owners access resources that can be critical to success,” said Mike Rizer, Wells Fargo’s head of Community Relations. “Wells Fargo recognizes the vital role that CDFIs play and we are excited to continue the Diverse Community Capital program and to know that more small businesses will start and grow as a result.”
“This has been quite a welcome surprise.” said Ted Piccolo, NNDF Executive Director. “The NNDF is honored to be one of only a couple Native CDFI’s in the entire nation to receive this award and we look forward to plowing these resources back into helping Indian Country.”
Funding from the Wells Fargo DCC grant will allow the NNDF to address a number of current challenges:
- Provide a loan loss reserve fund so the NNDF can increase lending.
- Allow the NNDF to employ a small business coach and also fund more hours for a loan officer.
- Provide a funds match for the NNDF’s IDA clients – people saving for a first time home or small business. (IDA = Matched savings program. You save $1 we match it with $8.)
- Inject $70,000 into the NNDF direct lending capital – providing more financing directly into the local community.
The DCC grant program will help the NNDF address challenges that diverse and remote Native owned businesses face when starting or growing their own businesses. This is a unique program that is a collaboration between Wells Fargo and Opportunity Finance Network, a national network of CDFIs. Opportunity Finance Network will be offering a “social capital” component of this program that will focus on helping the NNDF grow stronger through activities like in-person networking, mentorship, consulting and peer learning.
ABOUT THE NNDF
The Northwest Native Development Fund seeks to foster economic and financial independence for Native people by assisting in the development of personal assets through financial and entrepreneurial education as well as providing access to capital through creative lending products. NNDF will promote this mission by increasing home ownership and economic opportunities.