SHELTON, Wash. (2/23/15)--Peninsula Community FCU, Shelton, Wash., helped member Bryan Shorten rebuild his custom tiling business in the wake of the Great Recession.
Shorten's business was thriving, but work dried up in 2008. Eventually, he declared bankruptcy
He found work installing tile, work in which he knew he excelled, so he restarted his business. However, but he worried that his post-bankruptcy credit would keep him from securing success, the Northwest Credit Union Association reported (Anthem Feb. 20)
As Shorten dipped his toe back into the small business waters, he attended a money management class offered by Peninsula CU and Kitsap Community Resources. It focused on how to understand and build credit.
He opened an account at Peninsula. Branch Manager Jenny Soule helped him open both a personal and a business account. Soule said that Peninsula pulls credit reports whenever new members join the credit union.
"His credit was not as bad as he thought," she said. She helped Shorten get a better rate on a truck loan, and also helped him get a share secured loan, a low-interest loan secured by his own savings, in order to build his credit.
Taken together, these steps amounted to a practical plan to help Bryan revive his credit. For Bryan, it was more than just practical, it was emotional. "It helped me believe that maybe there is a reason to work on my credit," he said. "I thought, maybe I can be successful again."
These days, Bryan is busier than ever. "Last year was absolutely insane," Bryan said. "I grossed three times more than ever before."
Shorten's tile business is booked months out, has another full-time employee and creates work for subcontractors.
After moving his accounts to Peninsula, he was surprised at the sort of relationships he was able to build with the staff. "They treated me like one of their biggest [members]," he said, "way bigger than I was."