Northwest Credit Unions Receive $38 Million in CDFI Rapid Response Grants

Twenty-two Northwest credit unions designated as Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) were awarded $38.4 million by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Rapid Response Program. The awards were announced last week by Vice President Kamala Harris and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Because of the economic fallout caused by COVID-19, the program was designed to rapidly deploy capital to CDFIs through a streamlined application and review process.

“CDFI credit unions will be able to leverage these generous grants exponentially in their communities,” said Sharee Adkins, Executive Director, Northwest Credit Union Foundation. “These resources will allow credit unions to help their members live stronger financial lives.”

The grants range from $1 million to over $1,826,265 and can be used for many critical purposes such as financial products and services, operational activities, and building capital or loan-loss reserves. A list of Northwest credit unions that received grants can be found online.

“It is an honor to be a recipient of a CDFI grant,” said James Collins, CEO, O Bee Credit Union in Lacey, Washington. “When COVID hit, many of our members experienced significant financial hardship. We plan to use these funds as leverage to help those most affected, namely small and minority-owned businesses.”

Trailhead Credit Union, based in Portland, also received an RRP award.

“Receiving this grant will help us continue our mission of delivering financial solutions to enhance members’ quality of life and enrich their communities,” said Jim McCarthy, President and CEO.

Many of the Northwest credit unions which received the awards worked with NWCUF, or with Your Credit Union Partner, a Strategic Link business solutions provider, to apply for funding.

“The awarding of $38 million is a testament to the great work of CDFI credit unions across the Northwest, and it’s clear that Treasury sees the value these institutions bring to their communities,” said Claire Hendrix, Program Director, NWCUF. “It is our continued priority to support credit unions in leveraging their CDFI designations so members, small businesses, underserved communities, and more will benefit.”

More information about the CDFI RRP Awards can be found in Treasury’s news release.

Have a question or comment about this story? Email us!

Posted in Around the NW.