Wells Fargo Open for Business Grants

Houston Fund for Social Justice and Economic Equity is excited to lead such a transformative opportunity for our various communities. The application portal for Round 2, Open For Business Grant will open May 15, 2023 at 5a.m. CST. The new $8M availability of the grant funds marks the second phase of the three-year, $20M Open for Business program.
The grant application portal will officially close May 31, 2012 at 11:59p.m. CST.

The purpose of this grant program is to help diversely owned small businesses and non-profit organizations own more of their assets, such as property, equipment, and technology. It is our belief that ownership allows for greater impact of one’s hard work and investment. We salute small business owners and non-profit organizers for their tremendous efforts to impact our local communities.

This program is made possible by a grant from Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund. Additional details of the program will be uploaded and added as new updates continue to evolve. You are welcome to check back for more information regarding this frequently. We strongly encourage you to sign up as a subscriber to the Houston Fund for Social Justice newsletter to have updates delivered directly to your inbox.


What is the Wells Fargo Open for Business program? 
This grantmaking program was created to help minority-owned small businesses and non-profit organizations in Houston, Texas builds wealth by investing in tangible assets which facilitate opportunities for increased success. This effort is being administered by the Houston Fund for Social Justice and Economic Equity to strengthen these entities over the several years.

When and how do I apply for this program? 
The application portal will be made available on www.Houstonequityfund.org beginning May 15, 2023, at 5 AM CST.

When does the application period end? 
May 31, 2023, at 11:59 PM CST.

What kinds of businesses will be eligible for grants? 
The grants program will serve eligible Houston-based minority owned small businesses with 50 employees or less. These businesses may be from a variety of arenas. For the first round of grant applications, the business must have been established by December 31, 2021. The tenure of the business may vary. For example, the grant may:
1. Strengthen a relatively new or young businesses. For example, a photographer may desire to increase his equipment supply with additional lights, cameras, or upgraded lenses.
2. Stabilize a business. For example, a restaurant owner who has been saving may utilize the grant to undergird their desire to buy its retail location to avoid rising rent. - Accelerate business expansion – Grants can be used by successful businesses to expand locations or increase production/storage capacity, such as a company that needs to buy a warehouse to store inventory.

What will be the dollar amount for grant awards?
Grant awards will vary based on specific requirements that a business or non-profit meets. The grants will range from $5000-100,000 K.

Will I have to pay back the money my small business or non-profit receives?
To help small business owners build wealth without adding debt, funding from this program will be in the form of grants, which do not need to be repaid should all requirements be fulfilled.

Where did the funds from this program come from? 
The grants are part of Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund, a national small business recovery effort with a focus on racially and ethnically diverse owners.

Do I have to be a Wells Fargo customer to apply? 
No, you do not need to be a Wells Fargo customer to apply.

What can grants be used for? 
Grants from the Wells Fargo Open for Business can be used for tangible, touchable assets that serve a variety of needs for the small business or non-profit organization.

Will there be an opportunity for assistance or training?
Yes. In addition to opportunities to apply and receive grants, education and empowerment sessions will be provided so that communities can receive transformative information that can positively impact lives for generations.

If I receive a grant from another community program, am I still eligible to apply?
Yes. Businesses that meet the eligibility requirements for this program may apply, regardless of funding from other community small businesses grants programs.

Is it possible for a small business or organization who received a grant in Round 1 to apply and be awarded a grant in round 2?
No. A grant recipient in Round 1 may apply again for additional grant funding in Round 3 pending good standing regarding reporting and utilization of previous funds.