Encouraged by last year’s success surrounding a statewide event to support small businesses, Michigan credit unions are prepping for another “cash mob.”
The second annual CU Lunch Local will kick off Oct. 15, according to Michigan Business Connection LLC, a commercial lending CUSO, and Michigan CU Capital, an entity that provides channels for credit unions to serve their members’ small business lending needs.
Last year, more than 51 credit unions cash-mobbed local businesses by patronizing their products and services, both firms said.
To prepare for the event, the $92 million NuPath Community Credit Union in Wyandotte, Mich., has approached a local restaurant near its branches to work with the owner to provide co-branded coupons for its employees. The restaurant will then bill the credit union office for the number of coupons redeemed.
“With two branches on opposite sides of the state, it’s a perfect opportunity to get our name out in the community,” said Kathy White, president/CEO of NuPath. “While our staff is lunching, they have ample opportunity to discuss our credit union with the restaurant employees along with other patrons.”
The timing of CU Lunch Local could not have been better as NuPath is scheduled to start offering business services in the fourth quarter this year.
“Both of our branches are located near lovely downtown areas that we promote on a regular basis,” White said. “It’s a perfect opportunity for us to support a local restaurant versus a large chain.”
The $139 million Public Service Credit Union in Romulus, Mich., is also gearing up for the statewide effort. Since the event coincides with International Credit Union Day, Rob Mercier, vice president of growth and development, suggested having lunches along that theme at local businesses.
Patrons have many international eateries to choose from in the area including restaurants that feature Italian, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Mexican and Thai cuisine, Mercier said. Each day Public Service CU will have a different ethic luncheon brought in for its staff.
“When we do special events like this, it allows us to do what we do best and that is relationship- driven marketing,” Mercier said. “It gives us an opportunity to go out and share our story and support a handful of local business owners.”
Public Service CU said it has offered commercial accounts and business lending since 2008 with its commercial lending portfolio surpassing the $11 million mark.
Susan Wyupta, chief financial officer and senior vice president, said the credit union’s business members frequently share how much they appreciate Public Service CU’s higher deposit rates, lower loan rates, and lower fees.
Credit unions can stay up to date on CU Lunch Local on the event’s Facebook page.