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Wells Fargo Renews Support for ISD's CA Small Business Resilience and Recovery Program

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 8, 2023





The Institute for Sustainable Development is proud to be one of six organizations Wells Fargo & Company has awarded $25,000 for our work on California disaster relief and recovery work after floods and fires this year.


The grants come from the Wells Fargo Disaster Response and Recovery Fund. Wells Fargo opened the fund at North Valley Community Foundation more than two years ago as a means to quickly respond to disasters throughout the state.


“Collaborating with local organizations to create sustainable communities is at the core of what we do at Wells Fargo,” said Kären Woodruff, Senior Vice President of Philanthropy and Community Impact at Wells Fargo. “These grants will empower families and businesses throughout California to swiftly and efficiently respond to and recover from natural disasters.”


The grant recipients include:


  • United Way of Northern California, to help support individuals and businesses in the aftermath of the Klamath River Basin fires in Siskiyou County over the summer.

  • El Pajaro Community Development Corporation, to provide recovery services to small farms and businesses after the Pajaro River levee break.

  • Inland Empire Community Foundation, for the Inland Empire Disaster Relief Fund opened by the community foundation after Tropical Storm Hilary caused severe flooding in parts of the Coachella Valley in Riverside County. The fund assists local nonprofit organizations as they help those most impacted by the storm.

  • United Way of Tulare County, to help support 742 families after spring floods. Aid included gift cards, hotel stays, gas cards and food.

  • American Red Cross Southern California, to help the organization respond to Tropical Storm Hilary in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial counties.


The Institute for Sustainable Development received the grant to support its provision of technical assistance to entrepreneurs and micro-businesses in Los Angeles and to support the strategic development of Together for LA.


Together for LA is an existing network that activates when a disaster occurs to support small businesses. Most recently, the group activated with rapid response during a tornado that impacted businesses in Montebello and the I-10 fire on November 7. 


The Institute for Sustainable Development has been collaborating on innovative small business recovery and resilience programs since 2018 and the small business recovery grant program in the aftermath of the Thomas Fire (pictured above).


“We greatly value our long-standing partnership with Wells Fargo,” said Stephen Jordan, CEO of the Institute for Sustainable Development. “$1 spent on disaster resilience is worth $4 in disaster recovery costs. By strengthening vulnerable and at-risk small businesses this is an investment in a better future for all of us.”


Wells Fargo gave more than $3 million to Camp Fire relief efforts through NVCF after the devastating fire on Nov. 8, 2018. The Wells Fargo Disaster Response and Recovery Fund has awarded an additional $1.3 million since its inception.


The Institute for Sustainable Development is a 501(c)-3 non-profit action tank whose mission is to catalyze resilience so that communities can thrive long-term.



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