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Leading small business lender Wells Fargo recently announced a $1.2 million investment, spanning two years, to provide micro grants to minority-owned businesses and to support leadership training programs made available through the U.S. Black Chambers, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce, and National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The investment is part of Wells Fargo’s ongoing commitment to train leaders of diverse-segment chambers of commerce that includes more than $6 million in grants and sponsorships since 2003.
“The U.S. Black Chambers Inc. supports the Chamber Training Institute by promoting it to our 115 chambers across the nation. Specifically, USBC brought Cassius Butts, the Southeast Regional Administrator of the Small Business Administration to the Chamber Training Institute in Atlanta,” notes USBC National President and CEO Ron Busby. “This program has educated our membership on issues in the Hispanic, Asian, and gay and lesbian communities and provided a platform for multilateral collaboration.”
“Wells Fargo’s support makes it possible for the USHCC Foundation to provide our Chamber Training Institute (CTI), among other programs and grants. CTI is absolutely essential to our local chambers and makes a direct impact in the lives of entrepreneurs across the country. We look forward to growing our strong alliance with Wells Fargo.” said USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez.
The $1.2 million total investment, announced at the USHCC 2015 National Convention, will fund micro-grants, a leadership training impact study and the expansion of the Chamber Training Institute (CTI), a program designed in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. The CTI program develops and empowers diverse chamber leaders while providing unique educational opportunities on how to grow and build their chamber for the benefit of its small business community members. Additionally, the CTI is one part of Wells Fargo’s four-point plan, introduced earlier this year to help diverse-owned small businesses become credit-ready, access credit, and achieve financial success.
The Chamber Training Institute was expanded this year to include chamber leaders from the U.S. Black Chambers Inc., U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce and National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. The collaboration will expand the current program during the next two years to allow more than 800 diverse chamber leaders to participate in a free, two-day training. Currently, the CTI program has trained more than 820 leaders across 253 chambers since 2010.
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