Patrons gather inside Open Crumb to take advantage of the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development’s Surprise and Delight pop-up shops, which follows a pay-it-forward model. Wells Fargo and Howard University Radio partnered with the coalition for the initiative.

By Megan Sayles,
AFRO Business Writer,
Report for America Corps Member,

Wells Fargo has teamed up with the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development (CNHED) and Howard University Radio to unveil  pop-up shops at small businesses in Washington, D.C.’s Wards 5, 7 and 8.

The collaboration will use a pay-it-forward model, in which CNHED pays for patrons’ goods and services with the only stipulation that they in turn continue to support local small businesses and bestow kindness on other residents in their community. 

The pop-up shops will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Huacatay Restaurant  and 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Black-owned Roaming Rooster on Dec. 14. 

“To be a part of the community is to make sure that Wells Fargo not only serves, but we are connected with community-based organizations, such as CNHED, which are also committed to serving and supporting small businesses,” said Traci N. Horne, senior community impact and philanthropy specialist at Wells Fargo. “With our enterprise-wide launch, The Bank of Doing, this focus goes hand in hand with our initiative and our second year of support of the CNHED’s initiative, “Surprise and Delight.” 

The Surprise and Delight pop-ups were originally organized in 2021 as a recovery response to the COVID-19 pandemic. CNHED chose Wards 5, 7 and 8, which have large African-American populations, for the endeavor because they were disproportionately affected by the Coronavirus.

Last week, the Surprise and Delight pop-ups were held at Mahogany Bookstore and Open Crumb in Ward 8. 

The pay-it-forward model was selected by Wells Fargo as a part of its Bank of Doing campaign, which seeks to advance communities through affordable housing, sustainable financing options, small business growth, financial literacy and entrepreneurial mentorship opportunities. 

“The purpose of the pay-it-forward pop-ups was two-fold: one, to directly help businesses by purchasing their products or goods, and two, to ignite a feeling of gratitude and hope in the customers whose purchases were covered,” said a spokesperson from CNHED. “The pop-ups are a way to remind community members to support small and local businesses with the hope that the businesses would receive an influx of sales that will ideally continue through the holiday season and beyond.”

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