Camden, NJ—Three Respond Inc. daycare facilities in Camden will be renovated in the near future thanks to Wells Fargo and the Camden-based Cooperative Business Assistance Cooperation [CBAC].

Wells Fargo & Company announced Friday morning at the Salvation Army Kroc Center that it was awarding CBAC $150,000 in grant funds and $500,000 in lending capital to CBAC, a nonprofit organization that provides "market or below market interest rate business loans and technical assistance to small businesses," across South Jersey, according to its website.

Respond, a nonprofit that offers childcare services and employment training to Camden residents, was one of the first organizations to be awarded a loan through the new resources awarded to CBAC.

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"It's a big help to us," said Respond Executive Director Wilbert Mitchell. "We don't have a lot of paperwork in dealing with the bank, and a lot of the money goes into the program."

Mitchell added that a lot of the funds Respond receives from CBAC go toward its childcare programs. He also said that the some of the loan will also go toward the purchasing of a new catering truck, which will be used to cook about 500 meals on-site.

CBAC President and Chief Executive Officer Harry Stone said that CBAC offers loans to small businesses anywhere from $1,000 to $250,000, and will finance startups, existing business or part-time businesses. Stone added that the only nonprofit funding CBAC offers is toward childcare services.

"They're an amazing organization. They do so much for the community with regards to childcare and childcare facilities," said Stone of Respond, Inc. "It is so much geared to strengthening the communities, from preschool to training youth for jobs and to become entrepreneurs. Our partnership with Respond really furthers the small business community through training and finance."

CBAC was one of 12 organizations nationwide selected in Round Four of the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business: Diverse Community Capital [DCC] program.

"The Diverse Community Capital program is one of many ways Wells Fargo demonstrates its commitment to helping small businesses start, stabilize and grow,” said John Zimmerman, southern New Jersey Region Bank President.  

“Thanks to the support CBAC is receiving, more diverse-owned small businesses will be provided the capital, technical assistance and other resources they need to help make their businesses — and ultimately, our communities — even stronger,” Zimmerman said.

Wells Fargo will distribute $75 million over three years to Community Development Financial Institutions — private, nonprofit financial institutions that assist underserved communities. The DCC program was launched in 2015.