Wells Fargo in downtown Washington, D.C. (Freddie Allen/AMG/NNPA)
**FILE** Wells Fargo in downtown Washington, D.C. (Freddie Allen/AMG/NNPA)

The Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation has received a $20,000 grant from Wells Fargo to provide technical assistance and business financial planning to disadvantaged, minority-owned businesses in Prince George’s County, Md.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks applauded the award as an important tool for local businesses.

“Minority-owned businesses are a vital part of our local economy,” said County Executive Angela Alsobrooks. “We appreciate national partners like Wells Fargo for their support and commitment to providing local businesses with the tools they need to become financially sound and profitable. This grant, in collaboration with our Economic Development Corporation and FSC First should ultimately provide local, minority-owned businesses with the access to capital most small businesses need to grow and to thrive.”

Early next year, PGCEDC will launch Pathways to Financial Management for Businesses, a new initiative that will provide traditionally underserved, minority-owned businesses the technical assistance they need to successfully manage their business finances.

Through this initiative, PGCEDC and its lending partner FSC First, will hold a series of six seminars on topics from “Financial Planning” to “How to Approach Lenders for Financing.”

The kickoff event in December will introduce participants to the program and will include a panel of bankers and finance experts. The series will conclude with a matchmaking event where the program graduates will meet one-on-one with lenders and apply for financing onsite.

“We support investment in minority-owned businesses and see it as a critical part of what we do here at the Economic Development Corporation,” said David Iannucci, PGCEDC president/ CEO .”Today’s small and minority-owned businesses face many challenges to loan approval and accessing capital, which often leads to an inability to manufacture products, increase employment, and scale their business. We hope to address these and many others through this pilot program.”

According to the Minority Business Development Agency, minority-owned small business loan applications are approved at a lower rate than non-minority businesses and when approved for a loan, they typically receive more than 50 percent less than non-minority businesses and at higher rates.

PGCEDC’s new initiative seeks to improve these odds by ensuring participants who complete the series are sufficiently prepared to submit a loan application and have an overall understanding about successful business finance practices.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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