The $73 million, 9,500-member Bridgeway Federal Credit Union in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., has been recognized as a community development financial institution by the Community Development Financial Institutions fund.
Becoming recognized as a CDFI by the Treasury Department program allows the credit union to compete for grants from the CDFI fund to train its staff as financial counselors and to fund specific programs and products such as micro-lending and predatory loan alternative products.
Bridgeport FCU's CEO, Michelle McCourt, said the credit union has a long history of working with financially underserved members and their communities and that going through the process to obtain CDFI recognition would enable Bridgeway to keep up this work.
“This certification provides more opportunities through the CDFI Fund to apply for grants that will develop more products for this specialized market we serve,” McCourt said.
“Since we are the only CDFI-certified financial institution in our area, individuals who need our resources will have greater access that comes along with the capacity building of CDFI certification and U.S. Treasury funding,” McCourt added.
“As a partner, we can achieve more together than operating individually. By combining our efforts with partners, we will enhance the financial and social well-being of our communities,” she said.
“Congratulations to Bridgeway FCU for its certification. This achievement will allow the credit union to increase its reach to the underbanked with the services they desperately need for financial footing,” says CU Strategic Planning’s CEO Chuck Cockburn, whose firm helped Bridgeway navigate the CDFI application process.
“As a result of these efforts, Bridgeway FCU’s members and community will greatly benefit. The credit union, in turn, will enhance its visibility as a trusted financial resource, which will ultimately increase its value for future growth,” Cockburn said.