‘Advancing Communities’ through the pandemic

Campaign shares stories of community support.

February 9, 2021

As credit unions continue to support members navigating difficult financial circumstances due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, CUNA’s Advancing Communities campaign shares their story with policymakers and consumers.

In collaboration with state leagues, the campaign reinforces how credit unions are serving their communities during the national health crisis.

The Advancing Communities website features data and statistics on how credit unions are creating opportunities for underserved populations, expanding financial services in rural areas, and helping small businesses thrive. It also features testimonials from members sharing how credit unions have benefitted their lives.

According to the campaign, America’s credit unions provide $223 billion to the economy, more than one million jobs, and $13 billion in total financial benefits for Americans.

In a commitment to ensure economic prosperity and fairness for all, the campaign features a Plan for Better Communities to addresses systematic socioeconomic disparities and inequalities across the country.

Some of the ways credit unions are assisting members:

In Minnesota, 27 credit unions signed an agreement with other financial institutions to provide a uniform set of mortgage relief options through the State of Minnesota to help those hurting financially amid the pandemic, according the Minnesota Credit Union Network.

In October, 53 Minnesota credit unions and industry partners celebrated CU Forward Day through meal preparation and food packing, cards to seniors and frontline workers, care packages, food and clothing drives, contributions to nonprofits, and small, in-person volunteer events. (Affinity Plus Credit Union Twitter October 12)

Centricity Credit Union, Hermantown, Minn., engaged with its business members and in response to their feedback launched a Small Business Recovery Program to provide low-interest loans to help local businesses meet their expenses.

Anoka Hennepin Credit Union, Coon Rapids, Minn., donated money through its Spirit Foundation to help local high school and booster clubs make their activities COVID-friendly—a great help as kids are strive to remain connected with their peers.

Colorado credit unions provided more than $1 billion in mortgage deferments and $657 million in auto loan deferments during the pandemic, according to the Mountain West Credit Union Association. Among those was On Tap Credit Union in Golden, which purchased gift cards from local restaurants and donated them to families in need, in addition to drafting new financial relief options for members. (On Tap Twitter May 1)

Blue Federal Credit Union in Cheyenne, Wyo., augmented its financial offerings with expanded financial counseling options, including online seminars on ways to budget and plan around the pandemic. Blue Federal also pledged up to $200,000 in matching donations to nine local nonprofits and delivered more than 700 COVID survival kits to healthcare workers and first responders throughout Wyoming and Colorado. (Blue Credit Union twitter April 27)

In Indiana, Natco Credit Union in Richmond forgave nearly $19,000 on 50 loans.

Hoosier Hills Credit Union in Bedford donated $10,000 to local communities to assist with economic hardships.

The Indiana Credit Union League established a $350,000 grant program to help small and medium-sized credit unions meet unexpected expenses. It also worked with the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and other organizations to create an eviction/foreclosure resource guide to aid homeowners that might find themselves in trouble.