The Portland Tribune Covers Credit Unions’ Success, Future

December 30, 2014

By Troy Stang

Substitute “economic growth” for “power” and you have Portland’s 2015 business scene right there in a Lincolnism. Let the good times roll — but will they roll right past us? We talked to business leaders and thought leaders across the region and all expressed a giddy relief that the bad days of the Great Recession seemed to genuinely be fading, and that that 2015 could be a year of mold-breaking growth in jobs and maybe even wages. As a rising tide greets the U.S. economy, how will Portland stand out from the fl otilla of little boats?

Portland’s growth is underwritten by the continuing strength of Intel and Nike, but also inspired by the emerging software and the buoyant health and education sectors. The structural challenges to overcome in 2015 seem to be: 1) How can Portland attract hard working, educated people needed to staff this growth, as opposed to traditional trustafarians and slackers? 2) To expand, industry needs industrial land — where’s that coming from? 3) Can Portland’ s public and private sectors work together to get things done, or will the far suburbs continue to soak up the growth? One other word you can sub in: “businessperson” for “man.” Women are a growing force in the Portland business scene, and the Business Tribune sees fewer and fewer situations that conform to the two white guys and a computer image. We predict that in 2015, Portland’s business scene will look more and more like its population.

Northwest Credit Union Association

This year, Northwest credit unions have remained strong and continued to grow. Oregon credit unions signed up another 72,000 members in the 12 months ending in September, and in June of this year the credit union movement nationally surpassed a major milestone becoming 100 million memberships strong!

“What sets all credit unions apart from other fi nancial institutions — not just in the NW, but globally — is the structure, value and impact. Because of the credit union’s cooperative structure, the members, rather than shareholders, are benefi ciaries.

“For example, the average Oregon household containing credit union members saved $120 a year, and that’s just for those with basic services, such as a checking account. Loyal members, who use their credit union more extensively, saved much more.

“In 2015, we expect to see more families make the credit union choice, because the direct member benefi ts they receive can’t be duplicated by any other fi nancial services institutions. Northwest credit unions will further develop fi – nancial education so that people are informed and better prepared to make the best choices.”

Read the Full Story in the Portland Tribune


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