Oregon Credit Unions and Other Financial Institutions Help 19,000 Businesses Obtain Billions in SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loans

Huge demand created a backlog in the government system, but credit unions cut through the red tape to help thousands of Oregonians continue to receive paychecks.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Lynn Heider
[email protected]
503.329.7208 (Mobile)

Tigard, Oregon (April 20, 2020) — Every credit union in the state is leaning in to support two million Oregonians who are credit union members — consumers who live in communities large and small, rural and urban.

One example of this service is the benefits thousands of businesses and their employees received because credit union employees were “all in” to navigate the backlog created by huge demand for Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program loans.

Oregon Credit unions and other financial institutions were able to help nearly 19,000 small businesses receive approval for $3.8 billion before the funds were exhausted April 16.  The loans made to small businesses are forgivable and will allow them to continue to pay their staff for up to eight weeks, even if the doors to those businesses are closed to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Consider the work of the team at Clackamas Federal Credit Union, which helped 99 businesses obtain more than $8 million in funding.

In the words of Debra Galliano-Nolen, co-owner of the Better Homes and Gardens Realty Partners, “Along with millions of other small business owners, we found ourselves in a very scary and unusual position when the COVID-19 shutdown of our country hit.  We took immediate action when the small business stimulus package was enacted, doing our best to maneuver through the confusion and implementation problems that came with the PPP program.  We reached out to SBA and discovered that Clackamas Federal Credit Union was going to be one of the entities handling these loans.  When we contacted CFCU, we were amazed at how helpful and friendly they were, especially since our business accounts were with a big box bank at the time.”

Clackamas FCU’s team helped Better Homes and Garden Realty Partners to finalize their loan.

 “As a woman owned business of a major real estate brokerage in Clackamas County, we finally feel like we’re part of a banking ’team’, a team of people that will help us with our banking needs, a team that will offer solutions, a team that cares about us.  Bye, bye Big Box Bank, hello CFCU!  We are forever grateful,” added Danielle Bade, who is Galliano-Nolen’s business partner.

In Bend, Mid Oregon Credit Union helped to secure over $5 million in PPP loans which protected 748 jobs in the first week the SBA funds were available. OnPoint Community Credit Union, based in Portland, helped 100 businesses obtain nearly $9 million in SBA funding.

The Northwest Credit Union Association is urging Congress to immediately move forward with plans to provide hundreds of millions of dollars of additional funding for the SBA PPP program.

“We are thrilled to be able to help our small business members survive and keep their employees paid as we get through this crisis together,” said Aaron Goff, President and CEO of Clackamas Federal Credit Union. “We are a relatively small credit union, but our staff has worked night and day to help as many businesses as possible, and we stand ready to do more when Congress allocates more funding for the Paycheck Protection Program.”

Meanwhile, credit unions continue to find financial solutions for Oregon families, through such programs as options to skip consumer, auto, and mortgage payments, low-to-no interest emergency loans, and loan modifications to make monthly payments more affordable.

For example, more than 16,000 Main Street consumers who are OnPoint members leveraged their credit union’s offer to skip loan payments, to keep their cash on hand for other emergencies. More than 700 consumers skipped their mortgage payments for the same reason. That’s $1 million these homeowners can keep on hand at a time when they most need it.  Credit unions’ community giving DNA is a strong as ever. Shortly after COVID-19 hit Oregon, the credit union donated $100,000 to Meals on Wheels People, in order to make sure the most vulnerable populations were served warm meals in the safety of their own home. OnPoint’s staff members volunteered their time to make deliveries as well.

“OnPoint’s purpose is to build strong communities by supporting financial growth and well-being, one person at a time. We are proud to build our partnership with Meals on Wheels People to help ensure no one has to worry about their next meal throughout this difficult time,” said OnPoint’s President and CEO, Rob Stuart.

The credit union is on the front lines providing cybersecurity and fraud protection guidance to its members as well, since, unfortunately, scammers find opportunities in times of crisis.  

These are only a few anecdotal examples of the work credit unions and their essential employees are doing to help Oregon come through COVID-19 stronger. As not-for-profit, cooperative financial services providers, credit unions do not pay stockholders on Wall Street. Their number one focus is their members. With all the worries Oregonians are shouldering, they can count on help with their finances. Their credit union has their back.

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The Northwest Credit Union Association is the trade association representing more than 175 not-for-profit, cooperative credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and their 7.3  million consumer members. As not-for-profit cooperatives, credit unions look out for their members’ financial well-being. Everyone should open their eyes to a credit union.  For more information, please visit: https://yourmoneyfurther.com.