by PIDCphila
May 3, 2017

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PIDC Celebrates Small Business Week with Announcement of $1.2 Million Investment Supporting Minority and Woman-owned Small Business Growth in Philadelphia

Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital and Wells Fargo Regional Foundation invest combine total of $1.2 Million in PIDC small business lending activity.

Casa Papel, a Northern Liberties, woman-owned, small business, announces launch of e-commerce website financed by PIDC investment.

PHILADELPHIA (May 3, 2017) – PIDC, the City of Philadelphia, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, Wells Fargo, and other Philadelphia business leaders joined Cecila and Nestor Torres, owners of Casa Papel – a boutique paper design and print company – to celebrate small business growth in Philadelphia and announce a new investment partnership.

The $1.2 million investment from Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital and Wells Fargo Regional Foundation will expand PIDC’s small business lending activity and foster the growth and development of minority and women-owned businesses across Philadelphia.

“PIDC is committed to the growth of small businesses in every neighborhood of Philadelphia,” said PIDC President John Grady. “Investment partnerships like this one expand PIDC’s ability to invest in small business and entrepreneurs, particularly minority and women-owned businesses that so often have difficulty accessing capital. PIDC has been expanding our small business loan portfolio to provide flexible, affordable financing to more diverse, neighborhood businesses like Casa Papel. We congratulate the Torreses on their success and encourage entrepreneurs from every corner of Philadelphia to look to PIDC as they seek to grow.”

The Torreses used financing from PIDC to create an e-commerce site for Casa Papel which was also announced and revealed to the public today. They worked with fellow Philadelphia small business owners and PIDC borrowers, Tracey and Mia Levesque of YIKES, to design and launch the e-commerce site.

“In Philadelphia, small businesses play a vital role in our success as a city,” said Commerce Director, Harold T. Epps. “The Commerce department and PIDC are working hand-in-hand to bring much-needed resources and investment to small businesses in our communities and commercial corridors. During National Small Business week it is a pleasure to be here with Casa Papel which is a perfect example of how support of a small business can have a rippling impact across the city. In addition to working with YIKES on their website, Casa Papel also works with a number of local printers, designers, and other companies. Supporting small business owners is a catalyst for growth of Philadelphia’s economy.”

Casa Papel is just one of 75 small and mid-sized businesses that received PIDC financing in 2016, which totaled $19 million. More than 60 percent of those loans are going to minority and women-owned businesses. PIDC has aggressively expanded its business lending to small businesses and entrepreneurs. In the last five years, PIDC has made more than 360 loans to small growing business in 94 percent of the zip codes around the city investing more than $117 million.

“We have been proud to partner with PIDC to support small business growth in the region,” said Andrea Allon, Chief Operating Officer at the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. “Small businesses represent the majority of companies in the Philadelphia business community. The Chamber is committed the success of these companies in the region.”

“Small, local businesses are not easy to run, especially in this economic climate. In addition to being motivated and having a good product, you also need capital, resources, and support from the local community,” said Wells Fargo Community Bank Area President for the Philadelphia region, Anthony Rosado. “At Wells Fargo we have long been a champion of small businesses and we have admired and supported the work of PIDC. We are thrilled to announce our investment in PIDC Community Capital to support small business growth in Philadelphia’s most underserved areas.”

Wells Fargo’s commitment comes from two programs. $1 million from the Diverse Community Capital Program, which aims to distribute $75 million in lending and grant capital over a three-year period, and $250,000 from the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation. Both programs aim to collaborate with CDFIs like PIDC Community Capital to support underserved business population and to address the challenges that diverse small business owners face.

Since its launch in 2013, PIDC has successfully raised more than $20 million of private capital and leveraged $5 million in private and public equity through its CDFI subsidiary, PIDC Community Capital, to support expansion of products to serve small business growth.

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