California State University, Monterey Bay has received a $15,000 grant from Wells Fargo to support its Small Business Development Center, a program that provides counseling and training to small businesses or people who are trying to start them.

“The Wells Fargo grant will support advisers who can assist aspiring and existing business owners to achieve their goals,” said Andrea Nield, the center’s associate director. “The grant allows the SBDC to maximize the efforts of the whole team.”

Wells Fargo representatives present donation check to CSUMBThe center, which opened in the fall of 2009, is located in a storefront in Gonzales and has other offices in areas it serves along the Highway 101 corridor from Gilroy to King City. It provides critical services to small business owners, helping them create jobs and solidify the local economy.

That aligns with Wells Fargo Foundation’s RISE – Rural Investment for Sustainable Economies – program, launched by the bank in 2011. “RISE is an effort to look at rural needs and target our resources – volunteer hours and grant funding – there,” said Sandy Cha, assistant vice president and community affairs representative for the bank, at an event at the university on Jan. 13.

“This funding will help us extend our coverage and reach our whole service area,” said Marylou Shockley, chair of the School of Business at CSUMB. “It’s a hand-in-glove arrangement.”

Working in partnership with community leaders, Wells Fargo’s local market leadership directs its giving through local grants that address community development, education and human service needs of communities served by the bank.

“Wells Fargo understands the importance of workforce development,” said Joe Mathai, president for Wells Fargo’s Valley Coastal Market. “As the largest lender to small businesses in the nation, we are proud to support the SBDC as they help to strengthen community economic efforts in rural communities. Our hope is to support organizations focused on helping people and families achieve self-sufficiency through employment or business start-up during this tough economic climate.”

About the Small Business Development Center:
The SBDC helps people develop business plans, secure financing, set up bookkeeping systems, improve operations, plan for expansion, project cash flow, determine technology needs and provide a variety of other services helpful to small businesses. In addition to the free one-on-one consulting, the center offers a variety of workshops and seminars. For information in English or Spanish, click here

Photo by Kevin Garcia, CSUMB
Left to right: Diane Howerton, regional director, UC Merced SBDC regional network; Brian Simmons, dean of the College of Professional Studies; Debbie Howitt, leadership gift officer; Marylou Shockley, chair of the School of Business; Andrea Nield, associate director, CSUMB’s Small Business Development Center; Terrie Fuentes, vice president, Salinas Valley district manager for Wells Fargo; Sandy Cha, assistant vice president and community affairs representative for Wells Fargo; Patti Hiramoto, vice president for University Advancement