The Valley Economic Development Center announced Wednesday it received $2.5 million from Wells Fargo & Co. to expand a minority small business loan program.

The Sherman Oaks alternative lender and business assistance organization was among 12 recipients of money from San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, through the Wells Fargo Works for Small Business Diverse Community Capital program.

The center will receive $250,000 in grant funds and $2.25 million in lending capital.

The lending capital will allow it to expand its African American Small Business Loans program to the entire Southern California region. The center anticipates serving 450 entrepreneurs and business owners and to make 50 loan recommendations.

The center’s Chief Operating Officer Robert Lopez said this program continues the history between the VEDC and Wells Fargo in helping entrepreneurs start and build their businesses.

“Small businesses create economic opportunities that extend well beyond the business owner by providing job opportunities and commercial growth in their communities,” Lopez said in a prepared statement.