By April 13, 2023 Community
Seattle, WA — April 13, 2023 — Verity Credit Union, an $859 million asset financial institution in Seattle that focuses on socially-responsible, community-rooted banking, announced today it was awarded a more than $2.4 million grant through the Equitable Recovery Program (ERP), established to support low- or moderate-income communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Verity joins other Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) nationwide in their commitment to partner with communities to develop and provide credit and financial products and services to underserved communities. Aligned with its efforts throughout the pandemic and during recovery, Verity will utilize the grant to respond to the needs of its members and member businesses, expanding its lending, grant-making and investment activities, as well as continue to build on its mission to enhance members’ lives by building trusted relationships and vibrant communities as an organization.
“During the most difficult times, our members relied on us to keep their homes, manage medical bills and keep their businesses alive. Receiving this grant is a tremendous honor, allowing us to further our mission to support them and our underserved communities, especially those individuals and businesses not served by other financial institutions,” said Tonita Webb, CEO of Verity Credit Union. “I’m incredibly proud of the hard work our team puts in to actualize our commitment, and the unwavering efforts to drive financial inclusion and community empowerment. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to use these funds to further shepherd the financial prosperity of those that need it most.”
Caption: Verity Microgrant Recipient, South Seattle College Food Pantry, hosts a pop-up farmers market created with the funds they received. The ERP grant will allow Verity to partner with more communities and organizations. (higher res image HERE)
The award recognizes Verity Credit Union’s dedication throughout the pandemic, funding 282 PPP loans in 2020 for a total of more than $13.8m, and focus on contributing to equitable recovery for underserved communities, especially BIPOC communities. The credit union’s deep partnership with its members and member businesses paves the way for it to develop services and programs tailored to meet their unique needs, enacting positive change, diversifying prosperity and expanding opportunities for generational wealth.
The Equitable Recovery Program Awards is part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Act; Section 523 of Division N; Pub. L. 116-260), which provided $1.75 billion to the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) to award Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) grants to respond to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To be eligible, organizations must have been Certified by the CDFI Fund as CDFIs as of the date of the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) publication in the Federal Register, have a track record of serving CDFI ERP Eligible Geographies and meet certain financial management criteria. Organizations must also meet benchmarks for programmatic/financial safety and soundness.
Verity’s commitment to serving the community is demonstrated through its partnerships with organizations and businesses like Zest AI, Business Impact NW, and others, as well as its innovative programs and services, including reduced overdraft fees, bicycle loans, solar loans, no-minimum CD programs, small business programs, and more.
ABOUT VERITY CREDIT UNION
Verity Credit Union is one of Washington State’s longest-standing credit unions, putting people, the planet, and prosperity for all above the bottom line. Our mission is to make meaningful, positive, and lasting change by partnering with our members and communities to co-create solutions. As a socially-responsible financial institution, about 95% of our deposits support the local economy and members with loans big and small to improve the well-being of businesses and individuals, especially those who have been historically left out of the financial system. We are one of few financial institutions with a Black woman CEO and leadership team and board that identifies predominantly female, allowing us to embody the change we’re working towards. Together, we can create stronger, healthier, more sustainable communities by making-people centric decisions.
Revolution PR for Verity Credit Union
Jennifer Ritchie, Nicole Hong