How Self-Help Federal Credit Union Supports Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19

Times are challenging

Our daily lives are different now. There’s little escaping the changes caused by COVID-19. Each day presents new challenges as we navigate personal lives, career obligations, and family routines within the confines of social distancing.

...Especially for Small Businesses

COVID-19 is top of mind for everyone as the globe navigates the pandemic. The current consumer behavior shifts could potentially bring the global economy to a slowdown, and small businesses would be among those most greatly impacted.1 It is undeniable that small businesses comprise an essential part of the U.S. and global economy. Small family-owned businesses have accounted for 44% of the U.S. GDP and 66% of new job creation in the U.S.2

Stevonne Ratliff, founder and owner of Beija Flor Naturals, received a business-purpose loan from Self-Help Federal Credit Union through the credit union’s partnership with Runway Project Oakland, a nonprofit supporting early-stage black entrepreneurs.

Despite being an essential part of the national economy, many favorite local businesses are facing harsh economic realities. While larger companies are adjusting to the pandemic crisis with solutions such as additional sick leave, job security, and technology for remote working, many small companies are struggling to generate enough revenue to keep the business afloat. Small businesses with low-wage uninsured workers are especially vulnerable during this time. They are faced with issues such as a decreased workforce, shortfalls in supply chain and inventory , and changes in market demand.

 

 

In Support Of Small Business – Our Response

Although the COVID-19 crisis has caused shocks in our economy, Self-Help Federal Credit Union remains committed to empowering communities by offering much-needed support to small business owners. As a community development financial institution (CDFI), we are strongly positioned to help provide solutions that serve their needs. We are working to ensure our partners receive the requisite liquidity, support, and stability during these unpredictable times. We have made a few immediate decisions to provide relief, including:

  • Participating in the U.S. Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to administer loans to eligible small businesses that are up to 100% forgivable with no fees, no personal guarantee, and no collateral
  • Reaching out to our borrowers and tenants to offer payment deferral options and other support to help them weather this crisis
  • Connecting our community partners with local and national support networks in a centralized and public resource page
  • Balancing the health and safety of our staff with members’ need to access funds and services by keeping branches open with limited lobby access, while enhancing our mobile and online access
  • Increasing members’ ease of access to funds by waiving certain account maintenance fees

How You Can Support Small Businesses Today

Likewise, there are important interventions that individuals can make today to support local small business owners. The most impactful action that individuals and organizations can take is to invest in CDFIs, such as Self-Help Federal Credit Union. Our impact extends coast-to-coast, and additional deposits coming into the credit union will be deployed immediately and directly to communities across the nation.

If you are looking for stable, secure, and impactful investment options, consider opening an account with Self-Help Federal Credit Union. Deposits in our federally-insured money market accounts and term certificates are invested directly in the families, businesses, and communities we serve.

Your deposits provide liquidity and support for small business owners who are often overlooked by mainstream financial institutions, especially those most vulnerable to the overarching economic impacts of COVID-19. Now, more than ever, incoming deposits will strengthen small businesses in vulnerable communities by bolstering and expanding Self-Help’s participation in the PPP.

To learn more about Self-Help Federal Credit Union as a socially responsible fixed income investment option, please contact to our Investor Relations Team at invest@self-help.org.

Many of us feel distraught and helpless in the face of the pandemic, but collective action can yield incredible results. We are each attempting to do our part in combating the crisis, whether it be by abiding shelter-in-place orders or minimizing grocery runs to once a week. Let’s all resolve to change our habits just a little more, to ensure that the small businesses that make our neighborhoods vibrant and strong can weather the crisis.

 

References:

1 Covid-19: Implications for Business https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/risk/our- insights/covid-19-implications-for-business

2 US Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy https://advocacy.sba.gov/2018/12/19/advocacy- releases-small-business-gdp-1998-2014/

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