Byron K. Reed is senior vice president and Director of Community Relations for the Los Angeles Metro / Orange County Region for Wells Fargo. He is responsible for spearheading their program to provide investments and loans for community/economic development and low-income housing initiatives throughout his regions. Reed has more than 30 years of banking experience working in the areas of community development, corporate philanthropy, government relations, trust services and small business and consumer banking. His first job out of college was as a commercial lender for First Interstate Bank.
Claudia spent a few minutes with Byron talking about what keeps him up at night and what inspires him. Here’s what she found out about his banker’s perspective:
Byron is concerned about how many businesses in low and moderate income communities lack an understanding of their financial capabilities and don’t have a plan for their business’ growth. This is true even for mature businesses. He sees this as an opportunity for nonprofit microbusiness development organizations; by delivering truly appropriate technical assistance, they could put these businesses on track to succeed.
“TA is the path to capital,” asserts Byron. “And nonprofit TA providers and lenders need to be willing to meet these businesses where they are, maybe even sitting down before or after working hours to provide consultations.”
What inspires Byron is seeing small business owners that have struggled succeed. He has been mentoring Jason, who started a mobile DJ business while in high school that financed his college education. Jason’s business is flourishing with large contracts from radio stations. Jason got his first loan from a local CDFI, repaid it, and and is now expanding, with seven other DJs contracting with him.