CalAsian Chamber Foundation Receives $650,000 grant from Wells Fargo to Boost Recovery of Sacramento Minority-Owned Small Businesses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  Media Contact: Matt Sumida
December 7, 2021                                                     

SACRAMENTO, CALIF., December 6, 2021 – Wells Fargo awarded the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce Foundation (CalAsian Foundation) a $650,000 grant as part of its Open for Business Fund to support the foundation’s inclusive economic development work in the Sacramento region. These efforts will be led by the foundation and its partner organization, the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce (SacAsian Chamber).
The CalAsian Foundation and SacAsian Chamber will apply these funds through the Minority Business Assistance and Recovery Kick Start Program (MBARK), which helps mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on Sacramento small businesses with an emphasis on those in economically disadvantaged areas. This program will operate collaboratively with the SacAsian Chamber-managed Inclusive Economic Development Collaborative, which will include community-based organizations with years of experience providing small business technical assistance. The collaborative partnership aims to ensure the Sacramento region’s small and minority business community needs are met.
“The California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce Foundation is honored to be a grant recipient of the Open for Business Fund, and we are excited about the impact it will have on our minority-owned small businesses,” said Pat Fong Kushida, president & CEO. “The ethnically diverse small business community in Sacramento has faced significant challenges due to the pandemic, and we want to ensure recovery and resiliency as we plan for the future.”
Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund provides support for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and other nonprofit organizations serving diverse small businesses, with a focus on Black, African American, Latino, Asian American, American Indian, and Alaska Native entrepreneurs. With the goal of helping businesses manage the economic impacts of the pandemic, the grant helps provide capital, technical assistance, and long-term recovery and resiliency support.

With an estimated 45% of minority-owned small businesses expected to close due to the pandemic, the need for recovery is pressing. In Sacramento, minority-owned businesses comprise 40% of firms in the area, a total of nearly 44,000 businesses. This makes the recovery of minority-owned businesses vital to the economic resiliency of the region. With this grant funding from Wells Fargo, the CalAsian Foundation and the SacAsian Chamber will be able to implement programs to extend and enhance the availability of technical assistance to underserved entrepreneurs and small businesses in the region.
“We need to help small businesses get back to growing again. Having access to trusted experts can be a critical turning point for small business owners facing financial hardships and other business challenges,” said Kevin Barri, Northern Golden State region bank president, Wells Fargo. “Through the Open for Business Fund, Wells Fargo is challenging nonprofits like CalAsian Foundation to reimagine technical assistance for entrepreneurs and offer a mix of resources and support systems that can help small business owners emerge from the pandemic even stronger and more resilient.”


The Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce (SACC) is the largest ethnic chamber in the Sacramento region, dedicated to building sustainable communities through inclusive economic development opportunities. In response to COVID-19 the SACC has established the Minority Business Assistance and Recovery Program to provide direct support and resources to the Asian Pacific Islander and small business communities.Visit to learn more. 

The California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce Foundation (CalAsian Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public benefit corporation. The CalAsian Foundation was established to strengthen underserved, diverse communities through leadership, professional development and education, community economic and workforce development, along with cultural diplomacy programs that building capacity within the state’s next generation of Asian American Pacific Islander leaders’ ethnic-based grower associations, community-based service and faith-based organizations, business and civil society organization who reflect the diverse tapestry of California’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Visit to learn more.