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Online Credit Center Launched for Small Business Owners

Wells Fargo | , Special to Informer | 11/16/2012, 2:46 p.m.

New Resource introduced as Wells Fargo marks 10th Consecutive Year as America's No. 1 Small Business Lender based on Government Data

SAN FRANCISCO - Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) recenlty announced the launch of a new Business Credit Center, offering small business owners a free online resource to learn about credit, from developing a strong application to calculating how much financing a business needs. Wells Fargo is unveiling the Business Credit Center as the company marks its 10th year as America's No. 1 small business lender based on the latest Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) government data (2002 - 2011) for loans less than $100,000 and less than $1 million.

"As America's leading small business lender, we have an important responsibility to provide small business owners both access to capital, and access to the financial guidance they need before and after obtaining credit," said Lisa Stevens, Wells Fargo lead executive for Small Business and West Coast Regional Banking president. "The new Business Credit Center is another way we support small business owners. It offers straightforward, relevant information business owners can use to better understand financing options for their businesses."

Wells Fargo recently re-designed its Business Insight Resource Center to add the Business Credit Center, which serves as a comprehensive source for business owners to find information on a wide range of financing topics, such as preparing to qualify for credit, applying for an SBA loan, and managing credit use. The Business Insight Resource Center features videos, podcasts and articles created for small business owners. The re-designed site also has been optimized for mobile access and to provide visitors the option of customizing content they view based on years in business and business needs.

Lidia Korinko, owner of Art 2 Ink, Inc., a graphic design and printing company in Glendora, Calif., is a small business customer who obtained a line of credit through Wells Fargo this year. Korinko says she typically taps a number of sources for business financing advice, including bankers and other business owners. With little free time available, she appreciates online tools that make it easy to learn about her business financing options.

"As a business owner, I'm always looking for ideas I can put into practice to improve my business today and prepare my business for tomorrow," said Korinko. "Having financing information in one location online can help. What I appreciate about The Business Credit Center is that it's also part of a broader resource for business owners with information I can use, like a section on Business Stages to help me think about the next step for Art 2 Ink."

To learn more about Wells Fargo's work with Korinko and Art 2 Ink, see Wells Fargo's latest small business customer story video.

According to the latest CRA data, Wells Fargo loaned more dollars to small business owners than any other financial institution in 2011, extending more than $26 billion in loans less than $1 million and more than $16 billion in loans less than $100,000 to U.S. small businesses during the year.

For small business loans less than $1 million in 2011 (CRA data), Wells Fargo ranked No. 1 in 16 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. For small business loans under $100,000 in 2011 (CRA data), Wells Fargo also ranked No. 1 in 26 states - Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming - and the District of Columbia.

Earlier, Wells Fargo announced it approved a record $1.24 billion in SBA 7(a) loans to small businesses across the United States, making it America's top SBA lender in dollars for federal fiscal year 2012 (Oct. 1, 2011 - Sept. 30, 2012), according to Small Business Administration (SBA) data. This is the fourth consecutive year Wells Fargo has extended the most SBA 7(a) loan dollars and the second year in a row it has loaned more than $1 billion - the only SBA lender to reach this mark.