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Pasco small businesses to benefit from Wells Fargo donation

Wells Fargo gives another $20,000 to microloan program.

NEW PORT RICHEY — The Pasco Economic Development Council has received another $20,000 donation from the Wells Fargo Foundation for the SMARTstart Microloan Fund supporting small businesses and start-up companies that have not been able to receive loans through traditional means.

Wells Fargo has donated 12 times to this fund over the past decade for a total of $163,000.

This fiscal year, microloans have been awarded to a Pasco delicatessen, packaged beverage manufacturer, online home health agency and gourmet café totaling $147,500.

“Small businesses are the fabric of our communities,” said J. Bradley Smith, the Wells Fargo Pasco East district manager and a member of the Economic Development Council. “That’s why so much of what we do centers around helping businesses succeed and grow. Year after year, we continue to partner with the Pasco EDC to support our local, resilient small businesses by providing financial education and philanthropic contributions.”

Over the lifetime of the Microloan Fund Program, there have been 55 microloans awarded totaling just over $1.6 million with an average loan of $34,909. Microloan Program applicants must be for-profit companies in Pasco County, and borrowers must show they have the experience and resources to be successful business operators. Proceeds may be used for working capital, inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery and equipment, but not to purchase real estate or to refinance existing debt.

“Our SMARTstart program supports Pasco entrepreneurs and small businesses through a variety of resources,” said Bill Cronin, president and chief executive officer for the Pasco Economic Development Council. “This donation adds financial support for businesses when they are ineligible for traditional bank loans. The fact that Wells Fargo still sees the value in our small businesses and is willing to help through a private donation speaks volumes to them as strong partners in our community.”

For more information, call the Economic Development Council at (813) 926-0827 or visit http://www.smartstartpasco.com.

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