Advocacy on the Move
12 Northwest Credit Unions Receive Emergency Capital Investment Program Grants
December 22, 2021
Twelve Northwest credit unions with CDFI certification will receive tens of millions of dollars in Emergency Capital Investment Program grants. The funding was announced by the U.S. Treasury Dec 14. The funds will help credit unions in their continued support of consumers, businesses, and communities that are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
“The Northwest Credit Union Association and the Northwest Credit Union Foundation continually encourage our member credit unions to leverage resources such as ECIP grants so they can better serve their members,” said Sharee Adkins, Executive Director, NWCUF. “These grants are going to have an enormous impact as credit unions use them to provide loans, forbearance, and other financial relief to the communities that most need this help.”
NWCUA and NWCUF worked with many of their CDFI member credit unions to apply for the grants since the program funding was announced in August. Mid Oregon Credit Union, headquartered in Bend, was awarded some of the ECIP funding and may use it to build on a previous NWCUF grant.
“Mid Oregon Credit Union is proud of its history of service to low- and moderate-income communities in Central Oregon,” said Kevin Cole, President at Mid Oregon. “If we accept funding through ECIP, we plan to expand the Workforce Housing Loan Program that was piloted with a grant from NWCUF. These funds may also be used to support mortgage and small business lending. A majority of Mid Oregon’s loans are issued to low-and moderate-income households, and ECIP funds will allow us to expand programs that have been successful at meeting the credit needs of Central Oregon.”
The grants also could be used to help offset downward pressure on credit unions’ net worth, a result of the influx of deposits amid the pandemic. That will certainly be the case at Nampa, Idaho-based Clarity Credit Union. Clarity’s team has been instrumental in educating regulators and lawmakers at the state and federal levels about the pandemic’s impact on credit union net worth, operations, and ultimately, member services.
“We are very excited and glad to have the Emergency Capital Investment Program. It will help us to increase our capital ratio, which will allow us to better serve our members through new and broadening lending capabilities,” said Nick Fugal, Chief Financial Officer at Clarity.
In addition to Mid Oregon and Clarity other Northwest credit unions receiving ECIP grants include:
- Central Willamette Credit Union, Albany, OR
- Consolidated Community CU, Portland, OR
- Industrial CU, Bellingham, WA
- Ironworkers USA FCU, Portland, OR
- Lewis Clark CU, Lewiston, ID
- Newrizons FCU, Hoquiam, WA
- O Bee CU, Lacey, WA
- Peninsula CU, Shelton, WA
- Seattle CU, Seattle, WA
If your credit union does not have CDFI or MDI certification, explore your possibilities by reaching out to NWCUA.
“When resources such as the ECIP are available to help operational efficiencies and member services, credit unions should not sit on the sidelines,” Adkins said. “Our members were very successful with these grant applications and the funding they will receive will go a long way.”