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Because Local Matters

February 8, 2017 • General News

Thank you for your membership in Spokane Federal Credit Union. By belonging to a local, member-owned credit union, you’re part of a cooperative movement that delivers substantial benefit to families and businesses, while making a huge impact on your local and regional economy, as a whole.

Recently, the Northwest Credit Union Association commissioned economists at ECONorthwest to perform an independent analysis. The 2016 Credit Union Impacts report documents the economic impact of Northwest credit unions. We are excited to share the results provided by 148 Oregon and Washington credit unions with you.

ECONorthwest studied data from nearly 150 Northwest credit unions, and found that they generated $7.7 billion in economic impact across Oregon and Washington in 2016.

You are one of 5.5 million people in Oregon and Washington entrusting their finances to not-for-profit, member-driven credit unions. As cooperatives, credit unions do not have stockholders, and instead exist to serve you, the member.

In 2016 alone, Northwest credit unions delivered $528 million in direct benefits to their members. And as members reinvested this money in their families and communities, it generated a buying power impact of $574 million. What does this mean?

Since last time ECONorthwest conducted a similar study in 2014, the impact of benefits credit unions delivered to their members grew by an astonishing 50 percent.

Those benefits ripple out into local communities, as well. Along with direct financial benefits for members such as dividends, lower interest rates on loans, and higher interest rates on savings, credit unions drive economic growth, with every family-wage credit union job creating two more.

The $7.7 billion in economic impact documented by the study represents the effect of having credit unions as businesses in the Washington and Oregon economies. This enormous impact does not even include the additional economic impact created by lending activities such as auto lending, mortgage lending, and business lending. Consider the current snapshot of Northwest credit union lending, showing that 3.4 million credit union loans, totaling $52 billion, are helping to strengthen individuals, families, and small businesses.

Providing affordable credit to our members is important. Auto lending provides transportation to jobs and family events, and supports other jobs in the auto industry. Home loans help families find safe harbors and provide stability in communities. Lending to small businesses creates another source of capital for entrepreneurs, and fuels job growth on Main Street, instead of going to stockholders on Wall Street.

The Credit Union Movement continues to fulfill the role for which it was created. Through our not-for-profit, financial cooperative approach, we generate thousands of family-wage jobs, hundreds of millions in direct member benefits, and $7.7 billion in economic impact in the Northwest alone.

Clearly, credit unions are delivering on behalf of our member-owners, and the local communities in which we serve.

Thank you for being part of Spokane Federal Credit Union. Not only do you and your family benefit, but you help to strengthen the families, communities, and the economic foundation of our beautiful region.

For more information about credit unions’ economic and social impact, and to find social media messages you can share, please visit www.nwcua.org/credit-union-impact.

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