Sunshine Coast Credit Union (SCCU) announced today that they are launching an unprecedented series of investments to support local businesses and local economic recovery, in response to COVID-19.
“We offer our sincere condolences to those affected at the highest level by COVID-19. As the chosen financial institution for close to half of the Sunshine Coast’s residents, the safety of our employees and members remains our priority”, said CEO Shelley McDade. “Simultaneously, we continue to create new ways to meet our members’ needs, and we are committed to helping others do the same. Our business community is facing challenges that none of us have seen before. There’s no playbook for this, but what we do know as a cooperative is that we are stronger when we build our future together.”
The credit union was born from a difficult time back in 1941 – the Great Depression. Neighbours came together to invest in one another, depositing their funds so that other Sunshine Coasters could borrow to build their livelihood and businesses. The community succeeded, largely because the Coast worked together to build their Credit Union, and their local economy. “It has been 80 years since we’ve seen such a need to unite from an economic perspective”, said McDade. “This is a time for action; it’s a time for neighbours to be there for one another once again. We’re putting up to $100,000 in business grants on the table; close to $10,000 in a Business Resiliency Platform to benefit local companies, plus every ounce of expertise and advice our team has to offer. This is a pivotal moment for the Sunshine Coast. We have both the honour and responsibility to be part of the solution.”
The credit union recognizes it is their members who are making this support possible. “This investment in our business community is made possible only because people have chosen their locally-owned credit union as their primary financial institution – these people are our members,” McDade continued. “This is their gift to the community, and we believe it’s going to help local businesses not only survive this crisis, but thrive in the future.”
Jodi Fichtner, Chief Marketing Officer, indicates that although the challenges for local businesses are unique to each, some common threads are access to capital, expertise to redefine and reinvent how best to operate in a dynamic environment, and customer support. “Every business we can collectively support today, means a faster recovery for our community tomorrow. It is going to depend on everyone who calls the Sunshine Coast home to pitch in, buy local, support local and bank local in order for our small business-based economy to emerge from this crisis in a sustainable way.” SCCU understands that Coasters are eager to show their pride and support for their business community. The grant program provides an opportunity for individuals to activate $25,000 of those funds just by investing their money with their local credit union.
While Business Grants are open to members of the credit union, the Business Resiliency Platform is offered to the entire local business community with costs covered by the credit union. “Providing entrepreneurs with the tools to reassess their business model and reset based on new expectations is a critical first step to reinvention,” said Erin McGregor, Acting VP, Commercial Services at SCCU. “We are excited to bring this platform to our community with the help of our friends at the business accelerator firm, Spring. We chose Spring because of their expertise, and their online program is designed to impact the largest number of entrepreneurs possible. It’s that perfect combination of flexible self-paced learning and access to an online community for connection and support.”
With close to $800 million in assets, Sunshine Coast Credit Union is a full-service co-operative financial institution serving up solutions to more than 17,000 members through three branches and a robust digital platform. Investing in one another to build a healthy community is how we began, a vision that remains true today.
As a certified B Corporation®, Spring is a global incubator and accelerator thatempowers entrepreneurs and entrepreneur ecosystem organizations to build betterbusinesses and change the world. Through its global advisory services, Spring has helped more than 70 different incubators, accelerators, foundations, and governments on 5 continents enhance their capacity to maximize impact both in their local communities and globally. Clients in the space include organizations such as the City of Campbell River, Vancouver Economic Commission, SwissContact, Frontier Incubators, and more.