task of pushing a boulder up a mountain Source: Shutterstock.

Ent Credit Union announced last week that it has approved more than $24 million in emergency loans and deferred about $90 million in loan payments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $6.7 billion, Colorado Springs, Colo.-based credit union said the measures, which also included a slashing of fees and doubling business lines of credit, were part of relief programs designed to ease pressure on its more than 370,000 members through the crisis.

In addition, Ent said it had prioritized the safety and well-being of its employees, most of whom were working remotely. Frontline staff at Ent’s service centers were being paid at time-and-a-half for the added risk of interacting with the public, and employees were receiving sick days that do not count against their paid time off, ENT said in a statement.

“We began to prepare for this scenario weeks before the social distancing and shelter-in-place mandates were instituted,” President/CEO Chad Graves said. “We knew this would be a huge undertaking and worked to make sure the bulk of our staff could work safely from home, while still serving our members at the highest possible level — sometimes in new and creative ways.”

The member relief programs included waived fees for thousands of members, $89 million in deferred business loan payments and more than $1.7 million in postponed mortgage payments. Ent had also increased lines of credit by more than $1.6 million for Colorado small businesses, and distributed 5,000 emergency loans totaling more than $24 million.

Ent also said it had “worked diligently” to quickly provide its employees with the resources needed to work remotely when social distancing and stay-at-home orders went into effect last month.

“Approximately 45% of Ent staff members are working remotely for the first time,” Graves added. “It shows their level of professionalism and passion that they’ve adapted so quickly to new processes serving members, as well as the dedication of our service center team members working at our drive-up locations and call center.”

In addition to ensuring physical safety, Ent said it had also made the mental well-being of its staff a top priority, encouraging regular check-ins through Zoom and offering mental-health days that do not count against their PTO.

“We want to make sure our staff has the tools they need to not only take care of our members, but to also take care of themselves and their families,” Graves said.