CDFI Credit Unions are a Community Resource
Greylock Federal Credit Union
Greylock Federal Credit Union embraces community partnerships as core to their mission as a CDFI. These special relationships with area community organizations allow Greylock to offer affordable financial products designed to address the unique needs of underserved populations.
Through community partnerships, Greylock develops special loan products, makes direct referrals for services, and provides financial coaching to their specific population.
Each special loan product is backed by funds on deposit from the partner. In turn, Greylock provides loans that can serve as an escape from payday loans, the means to avoid eviction, the resources to maintain utility connections, and to ensure mobility through car loans.
Some examples of Greylock's partnerships include Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC), with two micro-loan options and a Community Access to Rides car loan program. All BCAC loan program applicants receive coaching from Greylock's Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors. Another partner, Construct Inc., owns numerous low-income properties to provide people experiencing homelessness with safe, affordable housing. For this partnership, Greylock provides security deposits through a micro loan along with coaching to help the new residents build financial stability.
In addition to the special loan programs and coaching, Greylock also offers its partners access to community meeting space and private offices. This space is part of our recently opened Community Empowerment Center (CEC). The CEC is the home of Greylock’s CDFI activities, including coaching and educational programs.
Current partner use of the CEC includes accepting fuel assistance applications, free tax preparation services, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number processing, and medical, dental and mental health care through a mobile medical clinic. These are services that one does not see in traditional banking establishes, but are thriving at Greylock, thanks to their CDFI certification.
When Congressman Richard Neal and SBA officials, Wendell Davis and Oreste Varela, needed to see PPP lending in action, they visited Greylock Federal Credit Union.
Thanks to Jodi Rathbun-Briggs, SVP and Chief Lending Officer, and the team at Greylock, 455 small businesses secured PPP loans in the first round of funding, amounting to $30.6 million and saving 3,999 jobs. Repro Systems, a family-run commercial printing and blueprint business, is just one of the many businesses able to rehire
employees they had been forced to let go because of the pandemic. Congressman Neal, an author of the CARES Act, expressed satisfaction that Repro Systems and businesses like it were receiving help, just as the legislation had intended. In Greylock's second round of PPP, they helped 577 businesses with $32.6 million and saved 3,455 jobs.
John Bissell, Greylock President and CEO, acknowledge that more was needed for Berkshire County's small family businesses, but is grateful for Congressman Neal's support and the Greylock team's "work around the clock to save almost 7,500 local jobs."