By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The City of Philadelphia and members of the business community are celebrating Small Business Week with numerous events throughout the city. Among them: a drive to increase access to investment dollars for minority and female-owned small businesses.

Cecilia and Nestor Torres are the mom and pop owners of Casa Papel, a boutique paper design and print company on North 2nd Street in Northern Liberties. After nine years of strictly brick and mortar sales they’re expanding to e-commerce. Nestor says they could not have survived and grown without funding from their partners at Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, a nonprofit that’s been helping small businesses for decades.

“That partnership strengthens the overall ability for small businesses and entrepreneurs like us to continue to focus on that vision and move forward,” he said.

PIDC has made more than 360 loans to small businesses over the last five years, according to President John Grady.

“Last year alone we invested $19 million in 75 small businesses around Philadelphia and we’re looking to do more and more of that,” Grady said.

To that effort, Wells Fargo has announced a $1.25 million commitment to PIDC.

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