Bank donates funds to investment organization

MARQUETTE — A program that’s dedicated to helping entrepreneurs and small business owners make their dreams come true received a big financial boost Tuesday.

Wells Fargo presented a $316,000 grant to Northern Initiatives. Those funds are earmarked for helping diverse small business owners get their operations up and running.

Northern Initiatives has helped many entrepreneurs start their businesses, like Dan Torres, who owns all three Border Grill locations in Marquette County.

“They took a leap 20-years ago on us and provided half of our funding. Without that we literally wouldn’t be here today,” said Torres. “In peak season during the summertime we’ll be well over 100 employees.”

“As Dan needed to grow and wanted to grow, we’ve been able to be there with him along with his banks and take up some of the risk,” said Dennis West, president of Northern Initiatives. “Obviously it’s a great risk because it’s paying off for the community, the employees and for Dan.”

The Wells Fargo Works for Small Business program has dedicated $9.5 million to 14 different Community Development Financial Institutions like Northern Initiatives.