First American Capital Corporation (FACC) and Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce announced today that Wells Fargo will award a $250,000 Diverse Community Capital grant to FACC in support of Wisconsin American Indian and Hmong/Southeast Asian small businesses. The grant is one of thirteen funded nationwide in Round 5 of the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital (DCC) program.
The $250,000 Wells Fargo grant is part of a new strategy focused on a collaborative approach where two smaller CDFIs share their staff and resources to grow their small business lending portfolios, and increase technical assistance for underserved populations and communities. This partnership will integrate American Indian and Hmong/Southeast Asian small business initiatives and expand CDFI collaboration to better serve diverse Wisconsin business owners. Later this summer there will be a joint event to celebrate this unique collaboration.
“The Diverse Community Capital program is one of many ways Wells Fargo demonstrates its commitment to helping small businesses start, stabilize and grow,” said Wisconsin Region Bank President Tony Nguyen. “By supporting First American Capital Corporation and Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, more diverse-owned small businesses will be provided the capital, technical assistance and other resources needed to help make their businesses – and ultimately, our communities – even stronger.”
The First American Capital Corporation, was first certified as a Wisconsin Native Community Development Financial Institution in 2004, and Small Business Administration Microlender in 2007. The corporation has effectively diversified funding partnerships to include a balance of grants, patient loans, senior debt, contract income and cooperative agreements to be resourced as a mission lender and business development service provider for Wisconsin Indian Country.
Jeff Bowman, enrolled Stockbridge-Munsee member and CEO of Bay Bank said, “As one of the founders of First American Capital Corporation and current board president, I am grateful for the trust of the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital program, to provide support to this innovative initiative. Collaborations have been essential to the growth and development of the corporation,” said Bowman. “This investment will result in the ability to better respond to prospective borrowers statewide, deliver a higher quality product and provide relevant business capacity to our respective markets.”
The Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce is a statewide Community Development Financial Institution headquartered in Milwaukee with a satellite office in central Wisconsin. The chamber of commerce provides economic development assistance, access to business capital, business planning, market analysis, marketing strategies, effective day-to-day business operations and much more.
“The Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce’s partnership with First American Capital Corporation has been a longstanding relationship of support and sharing best practices,” said Executive Director May yer Thao. “We are honored that First American’s proposal of our collaboration was selected for funding through the Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital program. We’re also excited to demonstrate what we can do to build capacity within two CDFIs and two very unique populations.”