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Published in Finance

West Michigan lenders receive $13.2M in federal funds to help underserved businesses, individuals

BY Friday, June 25, 2021 12:32pm

Several West Michigan credit unions and community lenders received a combined $13.2 million in federal funding that they can use to assist underserved businesses and individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding to federally designated community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, from the U.S. Treasury Department’s CDFI Rapid Response Program was made available in response to the economic effects of the pandemic. The funding went to CDFIs that offer programs for underserved communities.

“We’re really heavily into this business of helping people that really need the help,” said Ted Parsons, CEO at Omni Community Credit Union in Battle Creek.

“So, we continue to broaden and expand what we’re doing and can help more people in this area with loans. It allows us to continue to really serve those folks that need it and help them get themselves established with better credit and help them through tough times,” Parsons said. “We’re trying to lift up those folks who need the help, and a rising tide does lift up all boats. We want to do our part.”

OMNI Community Credit Union received $1.82 million from the Treasury Department, which this month provided $1.25 billion in CDFI Rapid Response Program funding to 863 organizations nationwide. Home and used car loans are a large part of OMNI Community Credit Union’s CDFI efforts, Parsons said.

“We feel very blessed to have gotten the money and to be able to put that to use in the communities that we serve,” he said.

CDFIs can use the funding for activities such as financial products and services, development services, and certain operations that include building capital and loan-loss reserves.

“These awards provide CDFIs with an unprecedented level of flexible capital to help distressed and underserved communities across the country take meaningful steps towards recovering from the debilitating economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” CDFI Fund Director Jodie Harris said in a statement. “CDFI RRP awards will enable CDFIs to help businesses keep their doors open, help families make ends meet, and help maintain important community facilities during this difficult time.”

In addition to OMNI Community Credit Union, CDFIs in West Michigan that received funding, including two Native American CDFIs, were:

  • Advia Credit Union in Parchment: $1.82 million
  • Astera Credit Union in Lansing: $1.5 million
  • Allegan Community Federal Credit Union in Allegan: $1.82 million
  • Chi Ishobak Inc. in Dowagiac: $1.2 million
  • Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW): $200,000
  • Kalamazoo Neighborhood Housing Services Inc.: $200,000
  • Michigan Community Capital in Lansing: $200,000
  • Northern Shores Community Development Inc. in Harbor Springs: $1.82 million
  • Opportunity Resource Fund in Lansing: $1.82 million
  • Venture North Funding and Development in Traverse City: $829,000
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