MISSOULA – As communities in the region continue to resist the effects of COVID-19, Wells Fargo announced in a press release that MoFi’s new Thrive loan program is providing working capital loans with friendly repayment terms and attractive rates to help companies that may have exhausted their reserves due to the pandemic. MoFi piloted the Thrive loan program in November, and with the help of a recent $ 2.1 million grant from Wells Fargo’s Open Business Fund, the community development lender has made it even more affordable for small businesses.
To access MoFi’s Thrive loans, companies must have been profitable in 2019 and must be located in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Washington or Oregon. The Thrive program is expected to help up to 250 companies across the region, with an average loan estimated at $ 40,000. In addition, because Thrive loans support a variety of different uses, the program can help fill the remaining capital needs for companies that have already used all available government programs.
“We designed the Thrive program to put flexible capital in the hands of companies that urgently need it and with the friendliest rates and terms we could offer,” said MoFi President Dave Glaser. “Through the Open for Business Fund, Wells Fargo recognizes that affordable and accessible capital can have a transformative impact for disadvantaged business owners and those hard hit by the pandemic. For companies in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, this grant allows us to offer loans with two years of interest payments, with a 3% reduced introductory interest rate. We hope that companies that were profitable before COVID will be able to use Thrive loans to adjust operations and move on to the other side of this crisis. “
The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on low-income and black entrepreneurs. With Thrive, MoFi is building on its commitment to reach companies owned, located in, or serving low-income people and people of color, including Native American and Hispanic communities. One third of its Thrive loan funds are reserved for minority companies.
Created last year, Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund offers grants to community creditors and nonprofits to help companies respond to the challenges of COVID-19. Organizations use the funds to provide capital, technical assistance and long-term resilience support. Wells Fargo says community development financial institutions like MoFi are essential to help fuel recovery, especially in rural and economically underserved communities.
“Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund is another support route and lists the experience of our CDFI partners at MoFi to urgently help entrepreneurs in the region recover and preserve the jobs they provide in their communities,” said Michelle Banaugh, leader of Wells Fargo Commercial Banking market. “The financing will channel the much-needed access to capital, equity in resources and technical assistance to local businesses that are the backbone of our local economies and neighborhoods.”
MoFi hopes that the Thrive loan will complement the help that business owners can access through the federal stimulus package, which includes the Paycheck Protection Program. Glaser said Thrive loans can be used for a wide variety of purposes that the PPP may not cover, allowing companies to streamline their operations and even grow. “We take everything we have learned about the unique challenges for business owners in this region, overlay that knowledge with current federal and state programs and try to build a loan product that fills in the gaps,” said Glaser.
Thrive is a solution for companies that were profitable before the pandemic, but due to circumstances related to COVID, they cannot access finance now through banks and credit unions. The benefits of Thrive loans include:
- Two years of low interest-only payments to help companies stabilize before making regular payments.
- $ 2,500 in grants to cover closing rates for loans and expenses for businesses.
- COVID-19 response consulting services free of charge.
- A fast and simple online application process.
For more information on Thrive loans, check eligibility and apply, visit mofi.org/business-loans.
MoFi is a nonprofit community development financial institution that offers loans to individuals, businesses and communities. MoFi believes that access to flexible and responsible capital is critical and that everyone should have equal access to capital to create individual stability, commercial success and community prosperity. MoFi supported thousands of companies that were unable to obtain a loan from a bank or credit union. Since a business is “financeable”, MoFi helps connect you to a banking relationship. MoFi operates in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Learn more at mofi.org.