Wisconsin CDFIs awarded $250,000 grant from Wells Fargo’s Diverse Community Capital program

Funds will support American Indian and Hmong/Southeast Asian small businesses.

MILWAUKEE – July 30, 2018 – 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.”

About First American Capital Corporation

The First American Capital Corporation (FACC), was formed in 2002 – by our sister organization, the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (AICCW) – in response to Native Americans’ identifed challenges/barriers to being approved for bank loans to fund business startups/expansions.

The AICCW is a statewide nonprofit membership organization, founded in 1991, that provides Native business development services including advocacy, mentoring, networking, workshops/conferences and facilitated access to local/state/tribal/federal government contracting opportunties. The FACC has grown as a mission lender to more than $4,000,000 in assets – and progressing towards self-sufficency through providing microloans up to $50,000 and small business loan products up to $250,000. Together, AICCW-FACC serve Native entrepreneurs/business owners located both on and off federally recognized reservations in Wisconsin. The FACC business management client counseling is designed as a pathway to business banking – with the goal to ‘graduate’ FACC borrowers to qualify for the credit standards of the traditional banking industry – please visit – http://www.aiccw-facc.org/.

About Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce

The Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce (HWCC) is a statewide CDFI whose mission is to provide financial resources and technical assistance to business and community development activities that improve economic opportunities in low-income and underserved communities. HWCC provides access to business capital through its mission-based lending products, one-on-one technical assistance, and educational workshops to build business capacity in underserved communities. To-date, HWCC has deployed over $1.5 million in loan funds and leveraged over $9.3 million in private funds to diverse minority-owned businesses throughout Wisconsin. HWCC impact updates are available at www.hmongchamber.org.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through 8,050 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 38 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2018 rankings of America’s largest corporations. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Gary Mejchar

May yer Thao

John Hobot