Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa) recently toured the Dupaco Voices Building, a major Dubuque historic revitalization project, which has become the location of Dupaco Community Credit Union’s operations center.
Originally built in 1924, the former vacant manufacturing building is located in downtown Dubuque’s Historical Millwork District – the neighborhood were Dupaco was founded. After nearly two years of construction, the building opened to Dupaco employees in January 2021.
“The building’s location allows staff to increase their community involvement—a key employee retention and recruitment attribute for Dupaco,” said Dupaco President/CEO Joe Hearn. “Many people entering the workforce seek to patronize and work for organizations which make a genuine positive impact in their communities. Dupaco is an organization with a mission to improve the economic and social well-being of its members, and the Voices building integrates our employees into the heart of it all.”
Beyond giving new life to a tired community treasure, the revitalization of the Dupaco Voices Building will provide a truly unique space for not only Dupaco employees, but future businesses and retail tenants. And, the newly opened Dupaco Alley illuminates a space for the community for the first time in nearly 100 years.
While on the tour, representatives from Dupaco and Iowa Credit Union League also discussed credit union issues, including member business lending and the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), with the Iowa Representative. As of April 30, 2021, Dupaco distributed more than $50.5 million in PPP loans to 1,620 small businesses. Of those, more than 99% of Dupaco’s PPP loans went to businesses with 50 employees or less and more than half of Dupaco’s PPP loans were for $10,000 or less. In fact, nearly 1 in 3 of Dupaco’s PPP loans were for $5,000 or less, with the smallest PPP loan being $80.
Dupaco representatives also provided an update on their new UpSkill Living Loan, a new wage replacement loan for individuals seeking to gain education and training to obtain a better paying job, a program the credit union is partnering with Opportunity Dubuque, Greater Dubuque Development Corporation (GDDC) and Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC). The UpSkill Living Loan is supported by the US Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) grant.
Discussion also included Dupaco’s partnership with Dubuque-based Creative Adventure Lab on their launch of two new rural Innovation Labs which provides programming content and expertise to empower financial education, community innovation and entrepreneurship services for rural economic development opportunities. Dupaco also advocated for a more coordinated data security effort to better protect members and all consumers.