Northwest Credit Unions Come Through for Main Street Businesses
May 12, 2020
Northwest credit unions stepped up to the plate in the second round of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program and provided thousands of loans to the very Main Street businesses for which the program is intended – locally owned restaurants, barber shops, bakeries, and small construction companies.
As we checked in with Northwest credit unions, we heard time after time that they either maintained or even doubled the number of loans they provided in the first round.
Here are some highlights from the region:
- Idaho Central Credit Union’s team pushed hard to provide 3,500 small businesses with PPP loans.
- In rural Monmouth, Oregon, a PPP loan from Northwest Community Credit Union is helping two brothers re-tool their agricultural CBD business in a socially distanced environment. Employees’ salaries are protected through June. NWCU’s 171 PPP loans helped the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3965, as well as many women- and minority-owned businesses.
- A barbershop owner in Meridian, Idaho, obtained a PPP loan from CapEd Credit Union – a lifeline, she says, that helped save her business from bankruptcy.
- Country Doctor, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Seattle, has maintained its 175 employees through the crisis thanks to a PPP loan from Verity Credit Union. Instead of layoffs, Country Doctor reassigned staff to new duties as workload needs shifted. For example, the discontinuation of routine dental services meant that Country Doctor’s dentists were able to help with COVID-19 outreach in homeless shelters. By keeping all staff on duty, Country Doctor has been able to remain agile in its response and prepared for a surge of need. It is interesting to note that as of last week, Verity Credit Union provided PPP loans totaling $11.3 million to over 175 small businesses, with an average loan amount of $64,700.
How do the business owners feel about all of this? A quote from Greg Philo, a member of Clackamas Federal Credit Union in Milwaukie, Oregon, says it all.
“As a business owner, I just want to thank you.” Philo, the owner of FIRE Restoration, said. “When you own a business, it becomes personal, like a child or family. So, when it is jeopardized and someone is directly instrumental to helping out through tough times, it means a lot! I once did the math on how many families and people are directly dependent on FIRE for their livelihood. The number is well over 400 men, women, and children. So please know that your efforts have blessed those 400 people! You are a hero!”
Editor’s note: Real member stories make a difference in media and advocacy outreach. Please visit the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Coronavirus Preparation & Response Resources website to find customizable “COVID Support Templates” where you can tell the story of how you are helping your members in these difficult times. These reports can be shared with your members, local elected officials, and media. Please share them with us as well, by emailing Maija Noll, Development and Program Coordinator, Northwest Credit Union Foundation.
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