There’s no denying that small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy – both on the local and national level. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, America’s 28 million small businesses account for 99 percent of employer firms in the U.S. and 64 percent of the net new private-sector jobs in the economy.
While each business has unique needs, we know that small business owners share a very common set of concerns. From managing expenses and cash flow, to hiring the right employees and determining how and when to expand, all business owners need advice and input to keep their businesses thriving.
At Wells Fargo, we have the opportunity to learn first-hand about the challenges and questions business owners encounter. We serve one in 10 small businesses in America, so we talk with small business owners every day, and as a company we recognized a real need to do more to help these businesses in our communities.
That’s why we launched Wells Fargo Works for Small BusinessSM as a starting point to connect small business owners with a variety of resources, information and knowledge to help them take the next step toward their goals. We organized this initiative around the four areas that business owners told us are their priorities: growth, knowledge, capital and community.
The centerpiece to launch this initiative is the new WellsFargoWorks.com – an enhanced online resource that offers useful business and financial guidance to help business owners build their knowledge. It features hundreds of stories and informational resources, as well as videos, with national small business strategy experts and business owners sharing their experiences. WellsFargoWorks.com encompasses all the education, services and support we provide our small business customers.
Wells Fargo also works with several national business and community organizations to help provide financial education and resources focused on serving the needs of small businesses in diverse communities across America. Along with the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Women Business Owners, the National Urban League, U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and other trade associations, we’re providing a depth and breadth of opinions and experiences to help further the understanding of entrepreneurs in all walks of life.
Knowledge and understanding are keys for success in business, as well as a supportive relationship with a local banker, one who will work to earn a business owner’s trust, help overcome challenges, and meet the owner’ financial needs. From time to time, business owners also need access to capital. As part of the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business initiative, Wells Fargo has announced a goal of extending $100 billion in new lending to small businesses by 2018. We want to help as many businesses as possible to succeed financially and to provide the financing that makes it possible. While we’re proud of our work with small business owners, we hope this new initiative does more than simply increase our opportunities to serve these businesses. We want to create more focus and attention on the importance of small businesses in America and on the support these businesses need. As that happens, we can strengthen the small businesses so vital to our economy, as well as our communities.
Cary Yates is a market growth & development manager for Wells Fargo in Houston.
For more information on Wells Fargo Works for Small Business – and to learn more about how you could win $25,000 for your business – visit wellsfargoworks.com/project.