Written by The Business Journal Staff
Bank of the West announced $300,000 in grants to support small business growth and job creation in the Central Valley.
Access Plus Capital and the Valley Small Business Development Corp. received $75,000 each to bolster their lending efforts to entrepreneurs.
“The grants will help foster an ecosystem for startups and existing small businesses in the Central Valley, where small business formation and job growth lag behind the rest of California’s economy,” said Jenny Flores, Head of Community Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility at Bank of the West. “Small businesses account for a large part of any community’s economic activity. Through Bank of the West’s investments, network of partnerships and technical assistance, we are committed to supporting the success and long-term sustainable growth of the region.”
Also receiving grants include the Community Action Partnership of Kern and the Stanislaus Business Alliance.
The Bank-funded programs are expected to serve approximately 330 entrepreneurs and small business owners with direct services such as technical assistance, one-to-one professional counseling, financial record keeping, cash flow management, and workforce training.
Nonprofits were invited to apply for the $75,000 grants in October, and recipients were selected based on their track record of positive impact and approach to scaling programs or reaching rural clients who may not have easy access to small business services and technical support. The Central Valley Community Foundation and the James Irvine Foundation participated in selecting the final awardees.
“The Central Valley offers great opportunities for businesses and attracts talented entrepreneurs and companies from across the state. Investments and resources from community partners will continue to play an important role in building an infrastructure and economy that benefits everyone,” said Dora Westerlund, CEO of the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation.