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Wells Fargo Pledges One Million Dollars to Support the Los Angeles Urban League Center for Entrepreneurship
By Special to the Sentinel
Published October 28, 2021

(left to right) Charles Scharf, President & CEO of Wells Fargo; Michael Lawson, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League; Isaac Bryan, California Assemblymember, 54th Assembly District; Holly Mitchell, Supervisor, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Second District; Anthony Jolly, Co-owner, Hot and Cool Cafe and Eliot Hinds, Chairman, Los Angeles Urban League Board.  (Photo E. Mesiyah McGinnis / L.A. Sentinel)

The Hot and Cool Café, located in Leimert Park, Los Angeles, was recently the venue for a well-attended press conference where Wells Fargo announced a $1 Million Dollars investment in the Los Angeles Urban League, the 100-year-old highly respected civil-rights and economic empowerment organization. The five-year investment will enable the Los Angeles Urban League to increase its assistance to small, Black-owned, and other disadvantaged companies in Los Angeles County. The Urban Center for Entrepreneurship provides business consulting, technical assistance, loan and contract facilitation, and emergency pandemic-related financing to hundreds of business owners annually.

“Wells Fargo is honored to be a longstanding supporter of the Los Angeles Urban League and we congratulate the organization on 100 years of helping African Americans and other diverse communities achieve social parity, economic self-reliance, and civil rights,” said Charlie Scharf, CEO of Wells Fargo. “We’ve seen the positive impact the Los Angeles Urban League’s Entrepreneurship Center and small business programs have had on the Los Angeles community, and we are proud to help expand that impact with the commitment Wells Fargo is making today.”

Charles Scharf, president and CEO, Wells Fargo (photo Courtesy Urban League)

“This grant is evidence of the substantial and long-standing relationship between the Los Angeles Urban League and Wells Fargo. We appreciate this sizable grant because it demonstrates Wells Fargo believes in not only the work that the Los Angeles Urban League is doing but the impact that this will have on the communities that we serve,” said Michael Lawson, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League. “As we celebrate our centennial, it is noteworthy to have partners such as Wells Fargo who assist us in our mission during these challenging times.”

(left to right) Charles Scharf, President and CEO, Wells Fargo and Michael Lawson, President and CEO, Los Angeles Urban League (Photo Courtesy Urban League)

Holly Mitchell, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Second District, who was one of the press conference speakers, remarked “it gives me great pride to see this iteration of what Leimert Park has become. I am clear it is a reflection of people like me, third-generation Angelenos, who understood the rich history of Leimert Park and we never gave up. We continue to fight and create opportunities for new entrepreneurs and new investments in this space.” Following her remarks, California State Assemblymember, Isaac Bryan of the 54th Assembly District expressed that “when COVID-19 hit, it hit us the hardest. We lost our homes first, we lost our lives first, we lost our businesses first. At one point it looked like half of every single black business in Los Angeles was going to be closed never to be opened again.”

(left to right) Elliot Hinds, Chairman, Los Angeles Urban League Board; Charles Scharf, president and CEO, Wells Fargo; Anthony Jolly, Co-owner, Hot and Cool Cafe and Michael Lawson, President and CEO, Los Angeles Urban League.  (Photo E. Mesiyah McGinnis / L.A. Sentinel)

 “This transformative award from Wells Fargo will expand the Los Angeles Urban League’s ability to provide best-in-class resources to both start-up and established business owners through our Entrepreneurship Center, said Brian Williams, COO of the Urban League. “Our goal is to increase the revenues and net worth of small and minority-owned companies, which in turn will hire more people from the community and stabilize their neighborhoods.”

The Los Angeles Urban League Board Chairman, Elliot Hinds, commented that “this was an exciting event and announcement. A physical space is very important, we learned that from the incredible year we had this year. That’s why it’s important we are here in Leimert Park. So, I would like to thank our hosts, Anthony Jolly and Nina Amin, for their generosity hosting this press conference today.”

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