Green Acres Supports Expanding MBL ‘Landscape’

Green Acres Landscape is celebrating 20 years in business, and to hear President Richard Kansky tell it, his relationship with Valley Credit Union has been the critical factor in enabling the Salem, Ore.,-based company to survive the recession.

“The downturn in the housing sector really impacted us, and we had to adjust both our service territory and our mix of clients,” Kansky said. “We needed to make our profit objectives by relying more on volume as well as a wider mix of services.”

Green Acres Landscape currently serves clients up and down Oregon’s I-5 corridor from Medford to Portland. Roughly 60 percent of the business is construction-related, and a high percentage of that is in commercial construction. The remaining 40 percent of the business is in the maintenance side and once again represents a mix of commercial and individual clientele.

According to Kansky, his relationship with Valley Credit Union helped the business weather other changes in the industry that are directly related to today’s economic reality.

“It is so important to be able to sit across the table from someone who understands your business needs and has the authority to address those needs,” Kansky said.

For Green Acres Landscape, that understanding was demonstrated through flexibility and common-sense responses to the company’s specific issues.

“Our customers are holding on to their money longer, and often we will not get paid for 60 or 90 days after we complete the work,” Kansky said. “That creates a real cash-flow problem, but Valley understands the dynamics of the business and provides us the credit lines needed to address those delays.”

Kansky had previously had a relationship with a major national bank, but once the economic crisis hit, his credit line was quickly slashed by nearly 70 percent.

“It was not for any credit issue,” Kansky said. “They were just changing their policy, and we really had no recourse. The credit union took the time to understand our business, and it has been a great asset for us.”

Today, Green Acres Landscape employs 45 people full-time, with many more temporary jobs created on a seasonal basis.

“I don’t see why we would need any other banking partner,” Kansky said. “Valley has been great in meeting all our critical financial needs.”

Of course, now Kansky’s relationship with Valley extends beyond just banking and business needs. Valley announced today that Green Acres Landscape has partnered with the credit union for the third-annual December Diaper Drive. The credit union created the program to benefit Family Building Blocks, a non-profit organization that works to break the intergenerational cycle of child abuse and neglect by providing services for high?risk families that have children between the ages of six weeks and five years old.

Throughout December, donations of new, unopened diapers, cleaning supplies, and hygiene products—as well as cash or check donations—will be accepted on behalf of Family Building Blocks at Valley Credit Union, located at 2096 Mission Street SE in Salem, and at Green Acres, located at 1974 Davis Road S. in Salem.

“Family Building Blocks serves an essential function in our community. We are excited to help support them again this year,” said Valley President and CEO Jean Wheat?Palm. Valley was recognized with a second-place Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Award for the program’s success last year.

Through their local facilities, Family Building Blocks helps hundreds of babies and toddlers each year, which means they go through a lot of diapers—more than 40,000 a year, in fact. Donations of diapers, cleaning supplies and hygiene items will ensure these families have access to essential items this holiday season.

“Our hope is that the items we collect during this drive will ensure Family Building Blocks can focus on what truly matters: breaking the intergenerational cycle of neglect and abuse in our community,” Kansky said.

 

Editors’ note: The Northwest Credit Union Association continues to work towards passage of S. 2231 and H.R. 1418. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid remains committed to a Senate vote before the end of the year, and a contingent of Northwest credit union advocates are currently on Capitol Hill meeting with legislators and urging continued support for the bill, which would increase credit unions’ capacity to issue member business loans (MBLs). The legislation would help create new jobs and strengthen the economy by giving more small businesses like Green Acres Landscape access to capital while strengthening community ties by connecting more locally owned businesses with not-for-profit lenders in their own communities.

 

Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:

Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Pam Leavitt, Policy Advisor

Posted in Around the NW, Community Impact.